Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Soft Foods

I have a tendency to deny that anything is wrong with me until it is really, really wrong. Like in 2010, when my appendix burst on a Monday morning and I didn't actually seek medical attention until Friday morning. The result is pretty much always worse than if it was dealt with promptly - after my appendix was removed I should have been out of hospital within a day, but I had to stay for a few while I was hooked in to antibiotics.

I've done it again, with a much less intrusive body part this time. I have bad teeth - not in a crooked sense, but in a cavity sense. I maintain good dental hygiene, but I grew up without fluoridated water and probably ate too much sugar as a child. I also didn't go to the dentist for several years, because last time I went the dentist was judgmental and mean.

I finally decided to bite the bullet, find a nice dentist, and get everything fixed. But between the first assessment appointment and my first fixing appointment, I got a terrible tooth ache. Enough to keep me awake 2 nights in a row. I had to get one of my wisdom teeth removed.

I had a few days of eating completely smooth things - pretty much exclusively pumpkin soup and smoothies. But after the anaesthetic wore off, I really craved something that I could chew. I don't know why - maybe the action makes it feel more like eating, and thus more satisfying. But these are some of the soft meals we came up with.

 A chickpea & sweet potato tart, adapted from a recipe in Let them eat Vegan! This had a head of broccoli blended through it to maximise nutrition and flavour while minimising chunky bites. This meal served two dinners, since we only ate half on the first night (with potatoes). Here it is on the second go, served with some terrible looking "leftover fritters". Andy mixed up some leftover rice, leftover pumpkin soup, and leftover ful (like a dhal, but made with fava beans), and some frozen peas, and made them into patties. They were soft, rather than crunchy, and with small bites were very easy to eat.

 Bangers and mash is another easy to eat meal. The veggie sausages we used are quite soft on their own, and again cutting them into small bites made them even easier to eat. And mashed potatoes are one of my ultimate comfort foods. On top, Andy whizzed together some hummus and pesto to make a gravy-like sauce.

 For breakfast, I switched from drinkable smoothies to spoon-worthy ice creams. This one is simply a few frozen bananas, some frozen blueberries, and a scoop of tahini. Blended all together in the food processor, it was a yummy but really very healthy soft serve.

My new (nice) dentist is recommending that I have my other wisdom teeth removed in the near future, so I'll be on the lookout for more of these soft but not smooth recipes. Any suggestions?


Anonymous said...

waaah, teeth woes! I'm always scared the dentist will tell me I need a needle so I delay going. I can't think of what to suggest for meals sorry, smoothies are my go to for lots of things! Maybe something like overnight oats with chia (assuming the chia is well soggy)?

Kari said...

I had braces as a teenager, so sympathise with the need for soft foods but urge to chew. I remember using sweet baby food as something soft but portable to take to school...but don't recommend that option really! Overnight oats do sound possible, as does baked sweet potato with nut butter? I'd be pretty happy with lots of banana soft serve too! Good luck for the remaining wisdom teeth.

Joey said...

Oh no, you definitely have my sympathy. Anything more than just a scale and polish will fill most people with fear, but a whole wisdom tooth removed is something else. Soup is definitely the way forward. That and more ice cream!

Dr. James DeFinnis said...

I have sensitive gums too, but for different reasons. When I was a kid, I had this crazy inclination to swallow toothpaste. Good thing the dental fluorosis didn't set in and my habits were checked early on, so I didn't harm me too much. That's why I love this post of yours! The foods you've listed here are not only healthy, but are also perfect soft foods when my teeth and gum nerves are acting up! BTW, the wisdom teeth removal is not the most pleasant of experiences, but I'm pretty sure this nice dentist of yours would make it as comfortable as he can! Good luck!

James @ Back Mountain Dental

Kate said...

You poor thing! How about puddings, overnight oats, porridge, quiche, soft pancakes/crepes with besan flour?? Hope it all goes well- milk it for all the pampering and sympathy it's worth :) x

Kayla :) said...

I had braces as a teenager so I definitely get where you're coming from with the soft foods. After I got them tightened even chewing the softest bread was too painful. Porridge and soups that are either blended or have really small pieces are good. Chocolate mousse is also great. Once I had my braces tightened on my birthday and we had a big bowl of chocolate mousse with candles in it instead of a cake. You might also like the Golden Lentils and Rice recipe on my blog, that doesn't really require chewing if you take small mouthfuls :) Good luck with the rest of the teeth!

Nadine said...

Ha! I had all four wisdom teeth out at once and couldn't eat for a week. I lost two kilos which was the silver lining :) Smoothies were my saviour, I pretty much drank them and soup for a week. I didn't much feel like eating to be honest. That breakfast icecream looks amazing though - I had a similar thing recently with blended cashews, berries and acai and coconut milk a bit too I think, of sorbet like consistency.

Byron Kennedy said...

Having oral surgery is definitely not fun and I know firsthand how annoying it can be on a soft foods diet. This is the time for you to think about working with a local dental professional who is going to be able to help you out. They will work with you on a variety of issues and get you to where you need to be.

Byron Kennedy @ A+ Family Dentistry