Whether its college bowl games or those leading up to the super bowl, watching weekend football games is common during the fall months. And, while the fans may like to nosh on Buffalo wings, potato chips and pizza, there’s something to be said for making healthy “bowl” games snacks rather than the normal fare. With football season in full swing, it’s time to bring out healthier game day snacks.
Baked tortilla chips can be substituted for regular potato chips which are full of fat and way too much salt. Or you can make kale chips that will provide the same crunch and be better for you, still. And what’s a chip without a dip? The following are some healthier alternatives to creamy, full-fat dips:
• Guacamole will give those eating chips the creamy texture they want without all the fat or calories. Yes, avocados do have fat, but it’s plant-based and therefore much better for you than cream or animal-based fats. Add white onion, Serrano pepper, cilantro and limes and watch it disappear!
• Traditional salsa is a healthy dip that is enjoyed by football fans. It is made with vine-ripened tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and a little bit of garlic. Mix it up a little by adding mangos and avocado for a change of pace your sports fans will love.
• Hummus is another healthy dip choice since it is made from garbanzo beans, garlic, tahini (ground sesame seeds), lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning. Add roasted bell pepper for a different twist on traditional hummus. You can dip chips or fresh vegetable sticks.
• Bean dip is easy to make with canned refried beans, salsa, diced chilies, green onions and ground cumin. If possible, use vegetarian refried beans which are made without lard and are, therefore, a healthier choice.
• Creamy spinach dip can be made healthier if you use low-fat versions of cream cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream. Switching to the low-fat version can save quite a few calories per serving without compromising the taste.
Vegetable sticks are often served during game days. Instead of using full-fat ranch-style dip, substitute Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise and sour cream. Add freshly chopped parsley, chives and garlic for added flavor. This will taste very similar to the ranch taste the fans clamor for but will have considerably less fat.
It is common to see chili being served right before or during the big game. Leave out the beef and you’ll reduce the calories by quite a bit. Vegetarian chili is made like regular chili but without the meat. To give the texture of meat, you can use a vegetable-based meat substitute. You can boost the health factor by using black beans in your chili and using chunks of fresh tomatoes.
It isn’t uncommon for game watchers to consume a good amount of food without even realizing it. So before serving up the traditional full-fat snacks, consider how you can make those foods healthier for those you care about. In many cases, the gang won’t even realize you’re giving them healthy “bowl” game snacks.