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Delicious Chili Delivers the Heat (and Healthy Goodness) in One Bowl

Thursday - January 24th, 2019
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Photo by Henrique Felix on Unsplash

When winter temperatures take a dip, there’s nothing quite like a big bowl of chili to heat things up. We love how most chili recipes allow you to get creative and sneak in a little (or a lot) of healthy veggies that are good for you and your oral health.

The American Dental Association emphasizes that eating a balanced, nutritious diet is key to a healthy lifestyle. This includes fruits and veggies, whole grains, dairy and lean protein.

We took that recommendation as a challenge and found a chili recipe that delivers all of that in one delicious bowl. We found this inspiration EatingWell.com. It’s high in fiber, low in calories and, to top it all off, it’s immune boosting as well – so important in this season of sniffles. Perhaps the best part is that it’s easy enough to make on a busy weekday. In fact, do yourself a favor and follow the “make ahead” directions below and double the batch to freeze some for dinner another night.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili (4 servings)

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1/4 teaspoon salt
21/2 cups water
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
4 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Topping: Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Step 1:
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Step 2:
Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Add cheese for topping.

Step 3:
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Why do we love this one? Two big reasons – the sweet potato and the generous helping (2 cans!) of black beans. Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, which helps teeth and bones stay strong. Black beans are chock full of protein, and also offer smile-protecting vitamins and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus.

As always – even with good-for-you foods – clean your teeth after snacks and meals to keep your smile healthy and bright. And the next time you visit your dentist, talk with them about the role that good nutrition plays in maintaining your oral health.