Superbowl has sadly come to be synonymous with fried food, greasy chips, gallons of prepared potato salads, dripping barbecue wings and a thousand other things I hate to even mention on this blog site! When it comes down to it, I truly do watch the Superbowl for one reason and one reason only, and that IS the food. But, I hate potato chips, I could live on fruits and vegetables, and my favorite dessert is whole wheat graham crackers. How does this work for Superbowl? It’s fantastically easy. If you’re worried that “healthy” or “good-for-you-snacks” would be shunned if you displayed them at your upcoming party, you can completely re-think your menu plan. There are amazingly delicious recipes that are equally as healthy and satisfying. Plus, they’re just waiting to be made and devoured by you and your friends, so start planning now!
Tara makes hosting a Super Bowl party healthy and delicious with her guest post on innovative snack options, and all vegetarian-friendly too! Author Tara Alley is a freelance writer from Montana who is very passionate about healthy eating and living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. When not in the kitchen or working on her own writing, you can find her promoting green coffee for Coffee Home Direct.
Healthy Super Bowl Recipes
1. Seven Layer Dip: This is one of my all time favorite recipes, Superbowl or no Superbowl! Plus, it’s got beans for extra fiber and avocado for healthy fats so it’s super filling and satisfying. And those guys who won’t touch “health food”? Not to worry, they will devour this dish! I like to use fat-free sour cream and forgo the cheese, but you could easily use a low-fat cheese and even try yogurt.
2. Vegetarian Chili: Almost nothing says super bowl like chili! Use a favorite family recipe or track one down that’s loaded with fresh veggies and various kinds of beans to really fill you up like this Vegetarian Chili recipe. I really enjoy serving with a side of delicious homemade cornbread made with whole wheat flour and honey. Eat plenty and you’ll be much less tempted to snack on those high-calorie treats somebody is bound to bring.
3. Veggie Tray: This should be a given! Serve with some hummus in delicious flavors like Roasted Red Pepper, Toasted Pine Nut or Forty Spices. If you feel like you’re really going to miss ranch dressing, I often buy the packets and mix with fat-free yogurt instead of mayonnaise. By the way, if you call your veggie tray by it’s French name: “Crudité,” it sounds even better!
4. Veggie Skewers: These are an incredibly easy and delicious option. Chop up large portions of all your favorite vegetables: mushrooms, red peppers, onions, tomatoes, etc., sprinkle them with olive oil and a favorite spice and then grill them over the barbecue.
5. Edamame Snacks: Filling, snack-able, easy, and delicious. Steam and sprinkle fresh green Edamame beans with olive oil and sea salt.
6. Nachos: They don’t have to loaded with cheese – try a healthier and tastier version which combines fresh cilantro, tomatoes, chilies and salsa to add flavor, as opposed to mounds of cheese.
7. Pita Chips: These fulfill the crunch and salt many seek in potato chips, but are so much better for you. You can now buy whole wheat varieties that are low in fat and high in flavor at almost any grocery store. Or, you can buy pita bread, cut into bite sized wedges with a pizza cutter (they’ll shrink during baking, so make them a little bigger than you want the final result), place on a cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Add salt if desired and bake till crispy.
8. Veggie Chips: Just like the pita chips, these are so easy and so good! Slice extremely thin slices of veggies like sweet potatoes, potatoes and parsnips and prepare just like the pita chips. You can also do a batch of Baked Sweet Potato Fries, toss in olive oil and a light sprinkle of parmesan cheese and bake for an amazing variation on traditional French fries. While you’re at it, roast some veggies like cauliflower under the broiler. Amazing!
9. “Chex” Mix: Yep, I said it. I’m mildly addicted to the stuff! To make it more satisfying, use whole wheat style “chex” from your natural food store, replace the butter with olive oil, and toss in almonds and whole-wheat pretzels. For a dessert style, look up their chocolate version, but use organic dark chocolate and almond butter instead of peanut butter.
10. Popcorn: Keep a large bowl of air-popped popcorn handy. It’s inevitable that you’ll want to sit and intently watch that game at some point (probably while mindlessly snacking) so put some light, airy popcorn in front of you instead of Doritos! For a smacking option, try adding a drizzle of chocolate sauce, honey or lemon-salt-olive oil topping and see how your friends will pound on the pack!
Any gathering is meant to be fun, both for the guest as well as the host. So keep it simple, but keep it healthy at the same time. These amazingly simple snack options with healthier twists will keep your appetite at bay, without adding any extra inches on your waist.