The end of football season is upon us and you know what that means….
With all the excitement that comes with this American “holiday”, so comes the excess calories and deep fried snack foods. Though I can’t say I’m too thrilled about the teams this year, (sorry not sorry) I am always excited about the fun filled activities that take place on this special day! And if you just watch the game solely for the commercials and the halftime show, I totally support you.
In anticipation for the big game, I’ve thrown together a list of my favorite Superbowl foods (with a healthy twist of course). On a day dedicated to football and food, these delicious snacks are sure to keep you in line with your nutrition goals.
Not only are these snacks delicious, they serve as a healthier alternative that you can feel good about putting in your body. From barbecued meats to dips and desserts, there is a delicious treat for everyone. Let’s dig right in!
1) Blackened Shrimp Avocado Cucumber Bites
These shrimp avocado cucumber bites are the perfect little snack that offer a big protein punch! These bad boys include healthy fats and protein in a bite size snack. Play around with the seasoning on the shrimp or add your own twist to the avocado flavoring. You can always try barbecuing the shrimp if you want a little extra smoky flavor!
2) Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
Don’t get me wrong, buffalo wings can be a healthy option when prepared without the greasy fried batter. But if you want to try something a little different, these cauliflower bites are a great alternative. You can even make your own buffalo sauce and experiment with the flavoring. Not only that, cauliflower is extremely versatile and is packed with fiber and valuable micronutrients. Score!
3) Spinach Artichoke Dip
Nothing compares to the savory flavors of a good spinach artichoke dip. This recipe drops down the calories by replacing those high fat cheeses with greek yogurt! You get to keep the creaminess of the dish without sacrificing the flavor. As a general rule, if you’re looking to replace high calorie ingredients contained in most dips, greek yogurt or cannellini beans are great substitutes that don’t compromise flavor!
4) Crackers and Mango Salsa
This mango salsa is so simplistic but SO good every time. It’s fresh, healthy, and playfully bright! Try it with some multigrain crackers or low sodium chips to enjoy the tropical flavor. Pro tip: this salsa tastes amazing on grilled mahi mahi or salmon with coconut rice!
4) Good Ol' Fashioned Veggies
Okay, I know this doesn’t seem very exciting, but having easy access to vegetables on a platter makes it much more likely that you’ll actually eat them instead of letting them sit in your fridge. So load up on some fresh peppers, tomatoes and carrots and dip ’em in your favorite sauce!
Hummus or greek yogurt ranch dressing are both great options. I’ve recently fallen in love with Bolthouse Farms Classic Yogurt Ranch dressing if you’re interested in a low-calorie ranch substitute. I honestly cannot taste the difference and it’s only 45 calories per 2 tbsp compared to regular ranch which can be up to 100 calories higher for the same serving size!
6) Steak or Chicken Kabobs
Get out your grillin’ gear and enjoy some steak or chicken kabobs! There are so many different kabob varieties that you really can’t go wrong. Pineapple, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and steak are a fantastic combination that packs a lot of nutritional value in addition to tasting amazing.
Both steak and chicken are considered complete proteins and offer a high biologic value, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids and our body is more capable of accessing it’s nutrients when broken down. Keep in mind, steak does contain a higher amount of saturated fat than chicken, but for the sake of the Superbowl spirit, either is a fine choice.
Get creative with this one! There are so many combinations out there, why limit yourself to just one recipe?
7) Avocado Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are my absolute weakness! It’s a shame they have to be so jammed full of fat. Even with light mayonnaise these yummy snacks are still not the healthiest option, which is why I was so happy to stumble upon an alternative that uses avocado instead of mayo. You still get the creamy tanginess without the artificial ingredients. Give these ones a try!
8) Peanut Butter Fruit Dip
This fruit dip was the star of the show a few year’s back when I made it for my best friend’s birthday party. It is unbelievably light and fluffy! With only 3 ingredients, it is by far the simplest dip to make and always tastes amazing.
For an even lighter option, replace the peanut butter with PBfit Peanut Butter Powder and omit the honey. If you are using a flavored yogurt, usually there is enough sugar already that you don’t need the extra honey. Even then, this homemade dip is a great alternative to premade fruit dips you buy at the store.
9) Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Okay, I know what you’re thinking….chickpeas? Bleh.
But hear me out. Yes, this recipe contains chickpeas, but if you have not tried it yet, give it a shot and be prepared to be surprised. It is so tasty and full of protein! You’ll feel good knowing that it isn’t nearly as high in sugar as regular cookie dough.
The peanut butter overpowers any trace of chickpea flavor and the chocolate chips make it just like regular cookie dough. As a bonus: try using this dip as a pancake mix! This recipe is great for making thick, fluffy chocolate chip pancakes.
10) Apple Nachos
This recipe is one of the best ways to enjoy a sugar craving the natural way! Apple nachos can be made with a variety of toppings. Whether it’s peanut butter, crushed almonds, or dark chocolate drizzle, these bite sized treats can be dressed up any way you’d like.
Just be wary of some ingredients as they may not be the most ideal choice (i.e. caramel is practically liquified sugar and maybe not the best topping to choose from). Shredded coconut, raw walnuts and cranberries are also great options worth trying!
11) Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Strawberries and chocolate are the perfect flavor combination!
In Superbowl spirit, give this recipe a try and don’t skimp on the mini football decor (shown in the recipe). Opt for dark chocolate when possible as it contains higher fiber, lower sugar, and antioxidants.
Remember that a higher cacao percentage doesn’t always translate to the chocolate being “healthier”as some brands make their chocolate with different fillers. Generally speaking though, the higher the cacao percentage the better the nutritional profile.
Have fun enjoying these delicious recipes as you cheer on your team this season! As always, eat well, exercise often, and enjoy life to the fullest.