With football season in full swing, I thought for today’s post I would offer you some healthy food swaps to incorporate into your next game day party! Don’t think for one minute that by making a few healthier versions of your favorite snacks that you’ll be sacrificing flavor. These ideas are still very delicious and can be a great addition to the next time you’re cheering on your favorite team!
- Homemade Dips. Rather than purchasing pre-made vegetable, spinach, or artichoke dips, why not make your own! By making your own dips, you’re able to have more control of the ingredient list, thus eliminating added fillers and preservatives that are often times found in pre-made, packaged foods to preserve shelf life.
- Simply swap nonfat Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise or sour cream that the recipe typically calls for, and you’ve already got yourself a delicious protein packed version of your favorite dips without sacrificing flavor.
- Making healthier versions of artichoke or spinach dips is another great way to consume additional veggies throughout the day. Both spinach and artichokes are nutrient powerhouses containing an excellent amount of dietary fiber as well as vitamins A, K, and C (I touch upon the health benefits of several different vitamins and minerals throughout previous blog posts, so feel free to check them out! 🙂 ).
- Oven baked buffalo chicken wings. We know that consuming too many fried foods on a regular basis can be detrimental to our health, so instead of ordering wings for your next party, bake your own at home by purchasing a bag of frozen all natural chicken wings and seasoning yourself! There are many simple recipes for baking your own wings at home, which I will link to our Pinterest page. Baking your own wings will help limit additional unhealthy fats from the oils in which the wings are fried.
- Cauliflower buffalo bites. These are very simple to make and a great way to sneak in extra vegetables for the day. As I stated in my last post, cauliflower has a very neutral taste, thus making it very versatile in cooking. Simply wash and dry a head of cauliflower, break apart into florets and coat with a drizzle of olive oil, hot sauce, or whatever spices you enjoy and roast in the oven until desired crispiness! Not only will you have a crowd-pleasing side dish to munch on during the game, but you’ll also be serving a dish packed with healthful nutrients like vitamins A and K and minerals calcium and phosphorous!
- Homemade guacamole. Avocado, the main ingredient in guacamole, is known to contain a variety of healthful nutrients like potassium and vitamins K, C, and E, in addition to being a great source of monounsaturated fat, which may help reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol and decrease risk for heart disease. When eaten in a moderate amount, avocados can help your body properly absorb the nutrients from other nutritious foods eaten with avocado, due to its high healthy fat content. If you have the ingredients: lime juice, cilantro, garlic, diced tomato, onion, salt, pepper, then you’ve got yourself everything you need to make your own guacamole!
- Homemade chips. To pair with your homemade dips, you can even make your own chips by baking fresh pita or whole grain tortilla wraps. Simply slice into triangles, brush your ‘chips’ with a little olive oil sprinkle with a little sea salt, and bake at 350 degrees until desired crunchiness!
- Make-your-own tacos/taco salad. This can be another easy and healthy idea to have at your football party! Simply set out your typical taco ingredients, and let your guests do the work! 🙂 Taco filling ideas to have available include cooked ground beef or turkey, shredded lettuce, salsa, chopped onion, fresh chopped tomatoes, and shredded cheese. This is another place where you can swap plain Greek yogurt for sour cream and where you can use your homemade chips and guacamole!
- Muffin-tin crab cakes. Finally for all those Baltimore Ravens and MD crab cake fans, this easy muffin-tin crab cakes recipe is for you and a must at your next football party!
I hope you enjoyed these ideas and will incorporate a few of them into your next football party!
American Heart Association. (2015, September). An avocado a day may keep bad cholesterol at bay. Heart Insight Magazine. Retrieved from: http://heartinsight.heart.org/Fall-2015/An-Avocado-a-Day-may-Help-Keep-Bad-Cholesterol-at-Bay/
WebMD. (2004). A little fat helps the vegetables go down. Retrieved from: www.webmd.com/food-recipes/20040727/fat-helps-vegetables-go-down
*As always, please discuss any questions or concerns with your medical physician regarding your health, as the information I provide is based on my own research and experiences and should not replace any medical advice.