SeAnn Safaii, PhD, RD, LD and Kate Imthurn, University of Idaho
Original post: CDAPress.com
When the words Super Bowl Sunday are said, what comes to mind? How about Football, Family, Friends, and Food? It is estimated that the average avid football fan eats about a days’ worth of calories (3,000) during the game. The U.S. Calorie Control Council estimated that Americans consume more than 11 million pounds of chips while participating in the festivities.
So, how can we keep traditional snacks, but also intercept those pesky empty calories before they score a touchdown in our end zone? Well, we put up a good defense by eliminating their chance altogether and making those snacks trade out for the, say, lighter third-string players, the substitutes. With this third string of snacks, you will be able to watch the Super Bowl without worrying about the food football game going on in your mouth.
We know that we still want to stick to our traditional snacks to keep everyone happy, so why not make them over toward healthier versions? For starters, try making ranch dip with fat-free Greek yogurt dip. We did a taste test with a group of women earlier this year and none of them could tell the difference between the higher fat ranch dip and that made with Greek yogurt. In fact, many like the Greek yogurt version better. Serve this with cucumbers, broccoli, and cauliflower, mix in some carrots and celery, and you have yourself a yummy healthy veggie dip.
What about the usual twice-baked potatoes? Substitute reduced-fat sour cream or even fat-free, and add vegetables and vegetarian chili as toppings. This will still give you the usual twice-baked potatoes that your guests are excited about, but cut back on the calories and add some essential nutrients for the body.
Pizza is another customary Super Bowl Sunday snack, but instead of the thick, greasy pizza that you would normally get, try a homemade loaded flatbread pizza! This is where you can let your creative side free and experiment with different types of pizzas. You can pick up the flatbread at any grocery store, in the pizza section. One of my personal favorites is to take whole wheat flatbread, add pizza sauce and reduced-fat cheese, top with basil leaves, sliced tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, chicken or turkey sausage, and sprinkle a bit of minced garlic and Italian seasoning over the top. Then throw this delicious creation into the oven and you have yourself a loaded flatbread pizza. You can make several of these for your friends and family without much work.
These are just a few ideas that will help you to eat healthier on one of the biggest Sundays of the year. For more ideas, I would suggest looking online for a healthy appetizers cookbook or some quick, easy recipes. Here is one of our favorite sites: www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/healthy_super_bowl_appetizer_recipes. At minimum, try taking some of your usual recipes and substituting ingredients with reduced fat or whole-grain products.
With simple changes, you can make a Super Healthy Super Bowl!
RECIPE: Roasted Cauliflower Bites with Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
Roasted Cauliflower Bites
You can turn these into Buffalo Bites by tossing them with your favorite hot sauce after they’ve baked for 15 minutes; then continue baking until done.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
- Cut the cauliflower into individual bite-sized florets. Try to keep them about the same size. Rinse them in a colander under running water. Shake off excess water but don’t dry. Spread them out on the baking sheet.
- Combine all seasonings in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the cauliflower, turning the florets so that all sides are seasoned. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes; turn florets and bake another 15 minutes or until they are beginning to brown in spots. Remove and serve warm with nacho cheese or other dipping sauce.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Nutrition (per serving): 65 calories, 3 calories from fat, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 273.4mg sodium, 764.6mg potassium, 13.7g carbohydrates, 6.4g fiber, 6g sugar, 5g protein.
Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
- 1 cup plain, sugar-free non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup mashed sweet potato
- 2 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 -3/4 teaspoon salt (optional or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 10-ounce can Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Chilies, drained and liquid reserved
- chipotle powder, to taste
- Put all ingredients except Rotel tomatoes and chipotle into the blender. Blend at high speed until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking and stirring until mixture becomes very thick. Stir in the drained tomatoes. If sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon or so of the reserved tomato liquid. Check seasoning, and add chipotle powder to taste if you’d like it spicier.
- Serve warm with Roasted Cauliflower Bites, tortilla chips, or crackers or atop burritos and tacos.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Makes about 2 cups. Nutrition (per serving): 46 calories, 8 calories from fat, less than 1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 168mg sodium, 71.9mg potassium, 6.5g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, less than 1g sugar, 4g protein. Nutritional data uses 1 cup of plain soymilk.