3 Anti-Cavity Foods You Never Knew About!

Hi friends!

Lucky Taste Buds has been going through some rough patches and disappearances lately, but I hope that you’ll keep me on your Google Reader or visit occasionally because sometimes, I WILL share something useful!

Dental school has kept me busy, but if I’ve been learning all this “good stuff”, I figured all you food-lovers and health-lovers would also appreciate some good oral health care tips too!

Three fabulous foods you never knew could prevent cavities! 

1. CHEESE

Yup, protein and fat. The combination (free of sugar) is actually anti-cariogenic! (which means, anti-cavities!) Another fabulous reason to eat cheese I guess.

2. XYLITOL

Whether it is xylitol gum or xylitol mints, these are great to pop in your mouth after a meal if you can’t brush. Personally, I do both, but I find that chewing gum encourages my teeth grinding habit, so sometimes I go with mints during more stressful periods (exam time) when I know I tend to grind more!

Spry makes delicious mints in many flavors, including peppermint, lemon, and berryblast! Trident also makes gum with xylitol in it now!

3. CACAO

Nope, not the chocolate that is full of sugar and milk, but the real stuff. Dark, wholesome goodness.

Now I can not-so-stealthily transition into some amazing raw, organic dark chocolate that I got to sample recently from Fearless Chocolate.  Look how cute the bars are!!! :)

Fearless Chocolate makes 5 dark chocolate flavors, all raw, all organic, and all dairy-free!!

All the bars are 2 servings and 120 calories per serving.

  • 75% Cacao Dark as midnight Great for those who love dark chocolate straight up. This was one of my favorites!
  • 70% Cacao Matcha Green Tea Peppermynt Though not as green tea heavy as I would like it to be, still a refreshing, unique flavor that I enjoyed.
  • 70% Cacao Super Seeds (with Chia AND hemp seeds!) I know, I know, seeds are good for ya, but this flavor took me a while to warm up to. It had a nice crunchy texture but the seeds kept getting stuck in my teeth! 
  • 70% Cacao Sweet and Hot (with Hibiscus and Ginger) I can’t say anything good about this flavor so I’m gonna keep my mouth shut. I honestly didn’t enjoy this one much. 
  • 70% Cacao Exploding Coconuts This was my #1 favorite. I am NOT a coconut lover, but the shredded coconut in here just works wonders. 

And because I know everyone is interested in some stats and ingredients. Here is my favorite flavor and its nutrition label. The other flavors don’t deviate much from this awesome, short, wholesome ingredient list!

Thank you Fearless Chocolate for providing the samples. Rest assured that all opinions above are my own and I was not subsidized or compensated in any way for this review.

7 Things You Never Knew about Dental Schools

Two weeks into classes at dental school and already, I have never felt like I worked so hard yet had THIS much fun learning as I do now! Here are 5 things that even I didn’t know about dental schools and dentistry before school started!

Check out our simulation lab. :P

7. Dental school folks know how to work hard (really hard)…and play hard too!

6. Dental students dissect cadavers from the pelvis and UP! That means, we have to memorize every single nerve, muscle, artery, vein, membrane, fascia and its function. (which also means, I’m in anatomy lab ~15+ hours/week…that’s how well we have to know our bodies!)

5. Dental school is 4 years and we need to pass the national boards (after 2nd year and after 4th year) to be able to graduate, just like in medical school.

4.If you want to specialize (i.e. orthodontics, pediatrics, oral surgery), there is an additional 2-6 years MORE schooling you have to go through to be licensed! (You also have to be like…top 5% of your class to be able to get into one of those programs!)

3. Dental students practice giving EACH OTHER injections (mostly during their 2nd year of school) before they ever inject a patient.

2. Dental school is just as competitive to get into as medical school! (Tufts accepted under 4% of their applicants to their dental class this year.)

1. If you’re like me, after dissecting a human body, you have NO desire whatsoever to eat anything that has blood or animal fat. The current dental school diet for me consists of: Plenty of bars, PB & jelly banana sandwiches, and take-out.

As for protein, please meet my newest friend (courtesy of Tofu Xpress):

This would be my new Tofu Xpress tofu press, containing SILKEN tofu! Yes, silken! I was shocked to find that not only did this contraption get all the liquid out of my soft, silky tofu block, it didn’t crush it to pieces! I was able to take out the whole block of tofu in one block. The only complaint is that it takes some womanly muscles to push that springy lid all the way down to lock under the plastic wings.

Alright guys…back to studying. Such is life. :)

Welcome to Boston!

It’s been a few months since I last updated. I know I’ve been MIA with the comments but I’ve been following you all – yup, even through the HLS, which I unfortunately missed due to travels and moving.

My very lucky taste buds have been eating their way through Hong Kong, Cancun, LA, Malibu…and now, BOSTON!! I’ll be reporting to you live, the life and gripes and food from the perspective of a poor dental student, but hopefully it’ll be fascinating too! If you ever wanted to know how dentists were educated or what dentists eat…maybe LTB will shed some light on that. :P

Garlic “Tong Choi” from Fuk Lum Moon, HK dimsum restaurant.

Grilled MahiMahi with Coleslaw and Rice Pilaf from Malibu Seafood.

Cha Cha Chicken from Cha Cha Chicken at Santa Monica Pier.

While I settle in, I’d love if any of you familiar with Boston’s dining scene to drop a comment or 2 below! I welcome all recommendations! And if you’re not familiar with Beantown, tell me what you’ve been up to!!!! Don’t give up on me yet. :)

On a side note, CSN has a lot of options for twin beds for me to furnish this little home of mine at a good price!

Manna Bread Uncensored

Oh Manna. This ain’t your ordinary bread. I like to think of Manna Bread as the healthiest, most wholesome, nutty delicious flour-less vegan cake-like organic bread you can possible devour. Except it’s not cake. This is 100% “bread” because Manna breads have no grease, no sweeteners, no eggs, and no salt.

Intrigued?

What is Manna bread? It is a line of 100% sprouted high-protein whole-grain bread (so moist and dense it’s like cake, the way I see it.)

Manna bread does NOT contain: No salt, yeast, oils, sweeteners, leaving agents, anything artificial!

Manna Bread comes in 9 flavors: Banana Walnut Hemp, Carrot Raisin, Cinnamon Date, Fig Fennel Flax, Fruit & Nut, Millet Rice, Multigrain, Sunseed, and Whole Rye.

Manna Sourdough bread comes in 3 flavors: Multi-grain Flax sourdough, Bavarian Rye sourdough, Sunny sourdough

The Pros: The breads really are delicious (read: addicting), filling, high in protein, high in fiber, all-natural, nutrient dense, nutty, in short, WORTH every penny!!

The (Only) Cons: These loaves come smaller than your average loaf of bread and are NOT pre-sliced. I have difficulty stopping at a single piece or two because they taste so good!! For those a little afraid of portion control, make sure you slice it or weight it or stash it away once you’re satisfied!

The Sourdoughs…

Multi-grain Flax Sourdough

Stats (per slice/50g): 130 cals, 2.5g fat, 200mg sod, 24g Carbs, 6g Fiber, 5g Protein

Ingredients: Filtered water, organic whole wheat flour, organic rye flour, organic multigrain blend (organic whole wheat, organic rye, organic barley, organic oats, organic flax, organic millet, organic buckwheat), organic flaxseeds, sea salt.

Tastiness: 7.5/10. This exceeded my expectations for both a sourdough bread and a multi-grain bread. Obviously, the stats are great, but after toasting, this bread gave off a lovely nutty yet sour doughy smell that

Bavarian Whole Rye Sourdough

Stats (per slice/50g): 120 cals, 1g fat, 220mg sod, 25g Carbs, 8g Fiber, 5g Protein

Ingredients: Organic rye flour, filtered water, sea salt, organic caraway seeds, organic fennel seeds, organic coriander seeds.

Tastiness: 9/10. This was one of the best savory, smooth, hearty sourdough breads I’d ever tasted. The flavor was not too tart like sourdough bread can be with a deep rye aroma. Wonderful when topped with hummus!

The Non-Sourdoughs…

Cinnamon Date

Stats (per 2oz slice/56g): 150 Cals, 0g fat, 15mg sodium, 29g carbs, 5g fiber, 6g sugar, 8g protein

Ingredients: Sprouted organic wheat kernels, filtered water, organic dates, organic cinnamon, organic oatmeal

Tastiness: 9/10. This is everything I wanted in a nutty, sweet bread that is high on chew and doughy factor. It is definitely not as cinnamon-y or date-filled as I would like, but paired with some pumpkin butter and your own sprinkling of dried fruit, this is wonderful dessert bread. Perfect for an after dinner treat!

Banana Walnut Hemp Manna Bread

Stats (per 2oz slice/56g): 140 Cals, 4.5g fat, 5mg sodium, 27g carbs, 2g fiber, 12g sugar, 5g protein

Ingredients: Sprouted organic wheat kernels, filtered water, organic dried banana, organic walnuts, organic flax seeds, organic hemp seeds

Tastiness: 6/10. This bread fell short of my expectations because it wasn’t half as banana-flavored as I’d like. However, the bread was still tasty and studded with lots of walnut pieces. This flavor isn’t as succulent and sweet as several other flavors, such as the fruit and nut or the cinnamon date. If you’re craving some real banana flavor, try topping the loaf with some fresh banana slices!

Fig Fennel Flax

Stats (per 2oz slice/56g): 120 Cals, 1.5g fat, 10mg sodium, 26g carbs, 5g fiber, 8g sugar, 4g protein

Ingredients: Sprouted organic wheat kernels, filtered water, organic black mission figs (diced figs, organic out flour), organic flax seeds, organic fennel seeds, organic poppy seeds, organic pumpkin seeds, organic sunflower seeds, organic sesame seeds

Tastiness: 7/10. A textural PARTY in my mouth! Ultra moist, dense, and absolutely loaded with crunchy pumpkin and sunflower seeds over the top while the inside is studded with crunchy flax seeds. Initially, it doesn’t seem as sweet as the name promises and I didn’t feel the fig represented in the loaf, but the next couple bites sealed the sweet deal. However, I’m not a fan of the fennel in sweet bread so the heavy fennel flavor was a no-go for me.

Fruit and Nut

Stats (per 2oz slice/56g): 140 Cals, 1g fat, 7mg sodium, 27g carbs, 6g fiber, 16g sugar, 6g protein

Ingredients: Sprouted organic wheat kernels, filtered water, organic raisins, organic dates, organic almonds, organic cashews, organic hazelnuts, organic cinnamon, organic nutmeg, organic oatmeal

Tastiness: 8/10. This loaf has the most sugar nutritionally out of all Manna bread flavors, mainly coming from the organic raisins and dates. However, being someone with a sweet tooth, this bread was perfect as a dessert, sweet snack, or breakfast. PERFECT when topped with peanut butter!

Millet Rice

Stats (per 2oz slice/56g): 130 Cals, 0g fat, 10mg sodium, 28g carbs, 5g fiber, 9g sugar, 5g protein

Ingredients: Sprouted organic wheat kernels, filtered water, organic millet, organic brown rice

Tastiness: 8/10. Flavor-wise, this had a hint of sweetness, was nutty and mild. The versatile bread could use a topping or two in order to play up either its sweet or savory characteristics, but it is also delicious on its own. Texturally, the millet rice provided a ton of crunch to it, almost to the point where I felt like the millets were designed to get stuck in between my teeth.

Other Manna Bread FAQ’s (in case you were wondering)…

1. You can buy Manna breads in the frozen section at Whole Foods, or online. Here is Manna’s product catalog.  http://www.mannaorganicbakery.com/ver.php?mod=categories_product_catalog

2. How long can Manna Bread keep for?

Frozen (-10 F) – up to 1 year

Refrigerated (35 F) – 2-3 weeks

Room Temp (65 F) – up to 5 days

3. Why is the bread so sweet if Manna doesn’t use sweeteners?

The sweetness of Manna Bread® is solely due to their unique sprouting process, which converts starches into maltose and other complex carbohydrates. There is no added sugar, no yeast, no salt, or preservatives.

For all other questions, please visit Manna Organics for information! :)

Ultra-Swirly Cinnamony Cinnamon Rolls

I have always been afraid of live yeast.

I was a science major in college and even with 4 years of bio labs under my belt, yeast cultures on petri dishes still gave me goosebumps. When Nick suggested we bake cinnamon rolls from scratch this weekend, the first thing that popped into my mind was, OH CRAP, YEAST.

Except, who knew that it was going to be so easy and that it would be so much fun to make your own cinnamon rolls at home??

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Here is my issue with buying cinnamon rolls from “others”. Yes, including the purchase of you, mister P. Doughboy rolls:

1. They are always TOO freakin’ big! Who needs 6 rolls the size of your head when you can have 12 the size of your fist you can eat and share with your doorman, or neighbors, or friends?

2. There are NEVER enough swirls!!! I am a cinnamon sugar girl, and if you don’t make your own rolls, the rolls will have 2 swirls at the most! Meaning, it is full of unflavored dough and not enough cinnamon.

3. They are always too sweet. There is always too much icing.

4. Laying out rounds of Pillsbury doughbough can never instill as much pride in you as overcoming your fear of living yeast, rolling your own dough, and baking cinnamon rolls you can call YOUR own.

5. Did someone say, TOO MUCH BUTTER?

To avoid all this, I suppose the best thing to do would be to bake your own rolls. and you know what? It is SO worth it.

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THE ULTRA-Cinnamony CINNAMON ROLLS (The lower-fat and sugar kind)

This was originally Paula Deans recipe. I took out some butter and sugar, stretched the dough thinner, added more cinnamon, and made more swirls. The result? 20 cinnamons rolls vs. 12 and a TON more flavor! As usual, feel free to substitute ingredients.

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1/4 ounce package yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup scalded vanilla soy milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used NuNaturals baking blend for a sugar-free dough)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (you can use whole wheat flour)

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon (I used 4!)
  • Oil spray to grease baking pan
  • granulated white sugar to dust over pan (optional, but totally delicious)

Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons hot water  

Directions

1. Dough: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix soy milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

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2. When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 11-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal.

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Cut into 18-20 slices. (Nick cut half a tube, I cut the other half)

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3. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the bottom of baking pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. (I’m not sure if the lamp/heat helped, but it did make for an entertaining sight!)

Allow rolls to double in size

Bake in oven for about 35 minutes or until nicely browned.

4. Icing: Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls. If you’re desiring a taste before icing, go ahead!

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5. Do not allow to fully cool before devouring. Pick your favorite pieces or the biggest roll there is…and eat!! :)

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A note to my favorite readers: I’ll be vacationing in Hong Kong for 2 months before I return to the US and move to Boston for grad school in August! I hope you all follow me and my foodie adventures to Asia and soon enough, Boston!! I am SO excited.

And just for you, I’ve calculated the nutritional stats at Caloriecount.com. These stats are for one Ultra-swirly cinnamony cinnamon roll.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 50 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

188

Calories from Fat

64

% Daily Value*

Total Fat

7.1g

11%

Saturated Fat

4.2g

21%

Trans Fat

0.0g

Cholesterol

27mg

9%

Sodium

171mg

7%

Total Carbohydrates

28.4g

9%

Dietary Fiber

0.6g

3%

Sugars

11.5g

Protein

2.8g

Vitamin A 4% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 1% Iron 6%
Nutrition Grade C

* Based on a 2000 calorie diet


Pretzel Crisp Winners

Winners of the Snack Factory Pretzel Crisp Prize Pack are:

#59: Jill at My So Called Health Life

#78: Ruth at she-fit.com

Congrat’s ladies!!

Giveaway! Modern Classic Pretzel Crisps Uncensored

Have you ever had those amazingly delicious dark chocolate covered pretzel crisps from Trader Joe’s??

The Snack Factory pretzel thins from the new Modern Classics line are very much the non-chocolate coated, less caloric version of that treat. My favorite, the cinnamon toast flavored pretzel crisps!!

I’m not gonna lie, I also am a sucker for beautiful, colorful, gourmet-looking packaging and Snack Factory definitely has this down. You may have already enjoyed several products created by Snack Factory founders Warren and Sara Wilson. With 30 years of snacking behind them, the Wilsons were the creators and former owners of the New York Style Bagel Chip Company and the Funnel Cake Factory. In 2004, they founded Snack Factory and in 2010 launched a new line of pretzel thins with a focus on natural and healthy snacks!

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There are 3 product lines by the Snack Factory company:

Deli Style: Original, Garlic, and Everything

Special Edition: White chocolate peppermint, Dark Chocolate, Peanut butter & Choc

The Modern Classics: Tuscan Three Cheese, Supreme, Cinnamon Toast, and Classic

With only 110 calories per serving (average of about 10 pretzel thins), Snack Factory is encouraging consumers to “Rethink Their Pretzel.” Below are my takes on the “Modern Classics” line and here’s a chance for you to win 4 flavors of these delicious pretzel crisps!

The Classic

Stats (11 crisps/28 grams): 110 Cals, 0g Fat, 330mg Sodium, 23g Carbs, 1g Fiber, 2g Sugar, 3g Protein

Original Pretzel Crisps

Tastiness: 6.5/10. Nothing against classic/plain pretzel chips, but without the extra flavoring, all I can focus on is the saltiness…which is, I suppose, inherent in all things labeled “pretzel”. These crisps are uber crunchy (not crispy) and hold up well to any dip. It also isn’t as dry as a regular pretzel, which I like. Overall, a 6 because there is nothing special about its flavors – a solid savory snack, but too salty yet still bland when eaten without accompaniments.

Cinnamon Toast

Ingredients: Flour, Seasoning (sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt), Soybean oil, Sugar, Salt, Malt Syrup

Stats (10 crisps/28 grams): 110 Cals, 1.5g Fat, 230mg Sodium, 23g Carbs, 1g Fiber, 4g Sugar, 3g Protein

French Toast Pretzel Crisps

Tastiness: 9/10. I will always be a sucker for the cinnamon and sugar combination. I have to seriously give Snack Factory major kudos for resisting over-dosing the pretzels with sugar. Although sugar comes in as the 2nd and 3rd most plentiful ingredients in the list, one serving in total only amounts to 4g of sugar! That’s definitely an upgrade from lots of sugar-laden energy bars on the market. The best part is that this was done so strategically NO flavor was compromised. Yes, it may not be sweet enough for some folks, but to me, this was the perfect amount of sweetness for an after dinner snack or mid-afternoon munchies.

Tuscan Three Cheese

Ingredients: Flour, Seasoning (Whey, sea salt, sugar, natural Romano, Asiago, and parmesan cheese flavors, brown sugar, cheddar cheese powder (pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), buttermilk, soybean oil, whey, disodium phosphate, citric acid), non-fat dry milk, dehydrated red bell pepper, dehydrated garlic and onion, tomato powder, natural olive oil flavor, chili pepper, citric acid, red pepper), soybean oil, sugar, salt, malt syrup ), Soybean oil, Sugar, Salt, Malt Syrup

Stats (10 crisps/28 grams): 110 Cals, 1.5g Fat, 520mg Sodium, 22g Carbs, 1g Fiber, 3g Sugar, 3g Protein

Tuscan 3 Cheese Pretzels

Tastiness: 8/10. For someone who does not like the flavor of stinky cheese, I loved the Tuscan 3 cheese!! Call me crazy, but the seasonings on these pretzel thins border more along the lines of a ranch sauce gone gourmet. I’ll call it, ranch-lite!

Personally, I am rejoicing over Pretzel thins because FINALLY there is a pretzel that doesn’t leave my mouth feeling like the Gobi desert!!! Something crunchy, flavorful, satisfying all on its own, and yet will actually hold up to any chip dip I choose to dip into!   There is a flavor for every taste bud:

  • If you like sweets, THEN head for the Cinnamon Toast
  • If you love savory,PICK up some Tuscan 3 Cheese (though it does have the most complicated ingredient list)
  • If you like dips or if you enjoy original/seasoning-free flavors, THE Classic is for you

I am more than surprised at how flavorful and delicious the actual pretzel seasonings are without going overboard. Nutritionally, the pretzels actually beat out a ton of other “healthy” products, including many granola bars, cereals, wheat thins, and yes, chips!

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THE GIVEAWAY

The who: Two lucky winners

The What: A total of 6 bags (each 6oz) of modern classics pretzel crisps, including:

  • 2 bags Tuscan Three Cheese
  • 2 bags Cinnamon Toast (my favorite!)
  • 1 bag Classic
  • 1 bag Supreme

The (Easy) How:

  1. Comment below and tell me which non-reviewed product from the Snack Factory you would like to try (mandatory entry)
  2. For 2 additional entries EACH: blog, tweet, or link back on your next blog post about this giveaway with a linkback to this post. Make sure you comment in the section below for each item!
  3. For 1 entry: Add Lucky Taste Buds to your blog roll or google reader (new readers only please!)

Giveaway closes June 7th at 6pm CST!!


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