The Super Bowl is almost upon us. And Super Bowl Sunday, aside from Thanksgiving and Christmas, is one of the much anticipated days in the American tradition of enjoying the company of our loved ones and indulging in and overeating our favorite snack foods. If you’re feeling anxiety over the foods that you’ll find tempting you on the buffet table, fear not. If you’d like to host your own party, you’ll have more control over the kinds of foods that are served. There are many very healthy alternatives to the traditional fanfare and you don’t have to worry about delivering on taste. And if you’d rather not host, you can bring your own snack contribution to the party and learn how to steer clear of the worst foods you may find.
Before we dive into recipes, keep in mind that home-made dips and popular snack foods will be much healthier than their store-bought versions. Packaged, store-bought dips will have a lot of added chemical ingredients that you don’t have to worry about if you make the dip yourself.
- Guacamole and salsa- This tasty dish is full of healthy fats and hopefully healthy garlic, tomatoes, and spices. If it’s made fresh from actual avocados, you can feel free to indulge. However, instead of the tortilla chip dipper, which will add a lot of extra salt, empty carbs, and inflammatory oils, look for an alternative like vegetable sticks. Cucumber chips are great with guacamole. If you simply must have the crunch of chips, you can bring a bag of your own homemade, baked corn tortilla chips. Just make sure you use organic corn tortillas. Recipe here.
- Onion dip- It depends on what’s in it, but onion dip is great for dipping veggies and as long as it’s home-made, you don’t have to worry about all the added preservatives and hard-to-identify ingredients.
Onion Dip: Cook 2 thinly sliced organic onions in coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat until golden, 35 minutes. Cool, chop and mix with 1 cup organic sour cream, 4 chopped scallions and salt to taste. You can add cooked nitrate-free bacon pieces too. Yum.
- Hummus is a protein rich dip that is sure to be a hit at the party. Usually made with heart-healthy olive oil and garlic, hummus is great with veggie sticks or low-carb pita bread slices.
Mini Veggie Pockets: Warm 12 mini pitas. Cut off the tops and fill with hummus, crumbled feta and chopped olives, cucumber, lettuce and tomato.
- Popcorn is a great, fiber rich snack and has high levels of polyphenols which help prevent degenerative diseases like osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Most corn in the U.S. is genetically modified though, so be sure to find the organic variety at your local health foods store. Pop your corn with coconut oil and drizzle with a little butter and garlic powder. Add some good crunchy protein too like roasted pumpkin seeds.
- Mixed nuts are a great source of healthy fats and minerals. Just beware of the salted kind. An ounce of dry-roasted salted mixed nuts can contain up to 190 milligrams of salt.
It’s so easy and delicious to make your own pizza instead of ordering out. Here’s a great whole wheat crust recipe that is sure to score points on the big day. Make sure to use organic wheat flour. Or here’s a gluten free recipe for pizza crust.
So there’s bound to be beer at the party. Go for a low-carb variety if you can and one that isn’t made with wheat. Be sure to drink a glass of water in-between beers. Water will also cut down on gratuitous snacking and extra calories.
Have a safe, healthy and fun Super Bowl party. Remember, if your team doesn’t win and your snarky brother-in-law’s team does, the next season is only seven months away.