Even though my family aren’t huge football fans (and lost our reason to care about the game itself two weeks ago), we enjoy using the Super Bowl as an excuse to have an ‘appetizer fest’. Our spread runs the gamut from fresh veggies to Buffalo wings with everything in between – so there are opportunities for healthy choices and decidedly UNhealthy choices.
At the top we have a ‘one serving’ image of chips and seven-layer dip, which is part of the latest ‘This Is One Serving’ series from Greatist looking at Super Bowl snacks. Those guides are always an eye-opening reminder of just how much we are eating compared to an actual serving.
Greatist also comes through with a list of 31 Guilt-Free Super Bowl snacks, including a guacamole alternative using broccoli that cuts the fat and calories and adds loads of vitamins … might have to try THAT one! CNN also put together a reasonable list of 11 healthy ideas, as does Mens Fitness, and Patch.com has some Southern-themed ideas that mix in healthy alternatives. I also really loved the list at FitSugar and might try out the roasted tomato hummus.
Here are a few tips that we use to make our favorite snacks healthier:
- Go home-made. Do you know how easy it is to make salsa or guacamole or other dips and treats? Very easy! There are loads of sites that will help you with healthy home-made snacks and dips, as well as substitutes for common store-bought stuff.
- Use baked chips, or bake your own! Buying baked chips cuts calories and fat by 75%, but beware of higher sodium and potential acrylamides. Baking your own chips is super-easy – just thin-slice in a food processor or mandolin and stick on a backing sheet with Silpat. Add some salt and spices and you are all set.
- Bake your own sweet potato fries or wedges. Sweet Potatoes are a ‘superfood’, and baking them up with some salt and spices gives you a great sweet and salty treat.
- Watch those dips! I mention the hummus and ‘brocc-amole’ above, but another fave is blue cheese for the wings. We have found that yogurt is the ‘miracle substitute’ for fat-laden components. We use it in baked goods rather than oil, and to make our home-made dressing similar to this suggestion.
- Broiled chicken wings. You get a huge fat savings by not frying your wings, and with some light spices on the wings during broiling you get great flavor. Then doctor up some Frank’s Hot Sauce (or your personal favorite) and add a bit of melted butter to help adhesion and mix it all up in a dutch oven. Amazingly great taste.
- Nachos – for our ‘meal-worthy’ nacho platter, we use cooked fat-free refried beans (a large can) thinned slightly with water, then a layer of baked nacho chips, some low-fat vegetarian chili, then reduced fat cheddar cheese, jalapenos, then more of the refried beans, chips, chili and topped with cheese and jalapenos. We also dump on salsa on our plates. We have made a meal of this – and it gives you plenty of nutrition as well as filling you up!
But what if you don’t WANT to make healthier choices? There is no shortage of grease-dripping, fat-laden, calorie-packed options available … but how about something unique?
The image above is from BuzzFeed, where editors came up with a 47-layer dip that is served up in … well, basically a bucket. You can read about it here or check out Good Morning America making it live.
What is in it? Here is the list:
1 box yellow “Mexican” rice (Goya)
1 large bag each:
Nacho Cheese Doritos
Cool Ranch Doritos
1 box cornbread mix (Jiffy)
1 box mac n cheese (Kraft)
1 package taco seasoning mix (Ortega)
one 12-oz. can each:
beef chili (Hormel)
12-oz. jar/bottle each of:
salsa con queso
hot sauce (Cholula)
1 small can or jar each:
pickled okra (Rick’s Picks Smokra)
1 (approx. 12-oz.) container each:
pico de gallo
1/2 pound each of:
pulled pork (prepared from a store or restaurant)
1 head (or 1/2 head) red cabbage
1 head iceberg lettuce
1 bunch cilantro
1 bell pepper
3 jalapeño peppers
1 bunch scallions
1 red onion
2 yellow onions
2 large tomatoes or 1 box cherry tomatoes
1 package bacon or bacon bits
1 block or 1 cup pre-grated/crumbled:
pepper jack cheese
feta or cotija cheese
1 bag frozen tater tots (Ore Ida)
1 bag frozen corn
one 10-pc Chicken McNuggets
1 large french fries
Obviously on GMA they just dumped ingredients in the pot, but you can see there is a TON of work that goes into making this – so if you are having a party you might want to spread out responsibility for ingredients and then have fun building the stack together!
What is your Super Bowl snack strategy? Do you go healthy or just indulge? What are your favorite snacks for the big game – or any time?!?