9 Healthy Super Bowl Snacks to Make for Your Super Bowl Party
Overindulging during the big game may be a rite of passage for many fans, but it doesn’t do our bodies any favors. Avoiding the usual fare of pizza, wings, and snacks of the orange, powdered-cheese variety doesn’t mean we have to sit around the tube eating salads. There are plenty of healthy twists on traditional football foods, and with a little ingenuity, you can prepare some healthy Super Bowl snacks to keep you on top of your game and feeling good (no matter what the outcome on the field is).
Here are 9 healthy Super Bowl snacks you can make at your party this year:
- Salsa: This low-calorie party favorite is a great place to start and a staple of any Super Bowl party. With tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, and lime juice, salsa provides plenty of vitamins A and C. We do, however, have to throw a flag at the accompanying fried tortilla chips, which are disqualified from the healthy snack game. Try using baked whole-grain chips, pita chips, or even steamed shrimp instead!
- Guacamole: Second only to salsa, guac is quickly becoming America’s favorite dip. And it’s no wonder: Fresh avocados are a great source of nutrients and heart-healthy fats. With onion, cilantro and lime–perhaps some chopped tomato, cilantro and jalapeño as well–guacamole is not only fun to say, it’s the perfect snack to keep you satiated during the game.
- Shrimp cocktail: It’s a fact: if you load up on protein, you will want to eat less. Shrimp are also high in zinc and antioxidants, which are essential this time of year. In place of the store-bought cocktail sauce (usually high in sugar), try that fresh-made salsa instead. Avoid the deep fryer and steam the shrimp. Try sprinkling a little Old Bay or your favorite spice of choice –or baste with a teriyaki glaze!
- Hummus: Fresh hummus is easy to make–and great for you, too! Just blend garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon, and chopped garlic. Add some sun-dried tomatoes and tomato paste to spice it up (fun to do if your favorite team wears red uniforms!). For dipping, use pita bread, carrots, or celery.
- Spinach artichoke dip : Greek yogurt, a healthy alternative to the usual base of sour cream, makes for a tasty twist on this classic choice for Super Bowl snacks. Try using fresh-cooked spinach and artichokes. Mix in chopped watercress, and serve in a bread bowl with carrots and celery. You’ll score big at any game party.
- Chicken skewers or kabobs: A great way to keep the snacks healthy this Super Bowl is to skip the deep-fried wings in favor of skinless grilled chicken strips. One ounce of chicken provides 9 grams of protein. A little teriyaki glaze or herb marinade in place of the usual ranch, blue cheese, or barbecue dip will certainly kick this appetizer up a notch and reduce calories.
- Cheese plate: Hard cheeses provide more calcium (and calories) than spreadable cheeses like Brie. Cheese also goes great with wine, which is better for your blood pressure than beer. We all know these games can be nail-biters, so take it easy on the ticker and cut your calories to boot.
- Popcorn: Instead of butter and salt, spice up a bag of this low-calorie snack with chili powder, cumin, or even Creole seasoning. Get creative! The serotonin in this gluten-free grain is one of the reasons popcorn continues to be one of the all-time happy foods.
- Sweet potato chips in malt vinegar: Potato chips are clearly a go-to snack for many fans, but all that oil makes for tons of unnecessary calories. Instead, try slicing up a sweet potato and bake the chips instead. You can even dip them in malt vinegar for a tangy twist.
Studies show that adding fat to your veggies helps the body absorb the nutrients. So try out some of these healthy recipes and don’t run your body into the red zone this Super Bowl Sunday. Keep score by counting calories in your Super Bowl snacks, and you’ll go into the off season feeling good about yourself. Happy (and healthy) snacking and Go Team!
Consult one of Scripps’ Affiliated Medical Groups’ specialists to discuss any specific dietary concerns and close out this football season on a healthy note.