Whether you gather for the game, the halftime show, the commercials, the food or some combination of the aforementioned, Super Bowl Sunday has become an iconic event to celebrate the culmination of America’s favorite pastime.
But let’s be honest. The food is where it’s at.
Your favorite team since childhood made it to the Super Bowl for the first time ever and is getting completely crushed at the end of the 3rd quarter, but somehow those honey garlic wings chased with that double stuffed Oreo just makes it an easier pill to swallow.
Like most Americans, I’ve always welcomed this pseudo holiday with open arms and as a good excuse to eat myself into a sodium induced coma. However, it’s TOTALLY possible to whip up some easy healthy snack swaps that are just as (dare I say) if not more mouth watering than the stereotypical Super Bowl junk foods.
Top 5 Super Bowl Snacks Made Healthier
Chips and dip, wings, cheese and crackers, pizza and nachos are usually in the top 5 most popular snacks served during the big game. However, they tend to be packed with unhealthy fats, preservatives, processed sugars and other inflammatory ingredients. So, to keep the taste buds flowing and the junk consumption down, do a couple of easy switcheroos to keep the same yummy snack but with healthier ingredients.
- Chips and dip –Switch out a dairy based sour cream and onion or ranch dip with fresh salsa or fresh guacamole. I love to make homemade guacamole because it’s super simple and always tastes more flavorful than pre-made (in my opinion). That being said, I do enjoy this brand because of the simple, whole food ingredients.
- Cheese and crackers –Switch to a hard, grass-fed cheese like cheddar, parmesan or swiss. Grass-fed cheese has a higher level of omega-3s and a fatty acid called CLA, and is also a better source of certain fat-soluble vitamins. You can also switch your crackers to a brand with simpler ingredients that are also gluten free. We enjoy this brand and also this brand in our house.
- Pizza –Get some gluten free crusts and make a simple tomato pie! Primal Kitchen has an amazing pizza sauce. I always love this brand because I know I’m getting whole food ingredients with minimal to no sugar. Grate a little grass-fed parmesan on top and finish with some fresh basil leaves or dried basil.
- Wings-Air fry or bake your wings and use avocado or olive oil instead of butter or canola oil. Top with Primal Kitchen’s buffalo sauce or make a glaze using a little honey, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar and sriracha.
- Nachos-Let me just say, we have nachos in lieu of taco night quite often in our house. We use Siete grain and corn free tortilla chips, seasoned ground beef or shredded chicken (either homemade taco seasoning or Siete taco seasoning) and then a crap-load of veggie toppings (onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, olives), and garnish with avocado and/or cilantro.
Healthy Lentil Chili Cheese Fries
Saving the best for last, below is one of my favorite recipes to whip up for Super Bowl Sunday. It’s warm, filling, delicious and a play on two of America’s favorite comfort foods – chili and cheese fries!
I originally saw the idea on a talk show a few years back and have tweaked it a bit over time. You can eat it as a chili or, my favorite, serve it over baked potato wedges or sweet potato fries to create a healthier version of chili fries!
What you’ll need for the chili:
1 yellow onion
1 or 2 green bell peppers
2 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of cumin
2 tbsp of olive oil
4 cloves of minced garlic
2.5 C finely chopped mushrooms
15 oz tomato sauce
1 C fresh diced tomatoes
1.5 C of cooked lentils
1.5 tbsp light brown sugar
Black pepper for seasoning
3-4 green onion stalks
A bag of Alexia organic sweet potato or regular fries OR see below for easy homemade potato wedges.
Directions for chili:
Start by sautéing the onion and bell peppers in the olive oil until softened over medium-high heat.
Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5-8 minutes until slightly softened.
Add in the seasonings (garlic, sea salt, chili powder and cumin) and cook until fragrant, continuing to stir frequently to avoid burning.
Add the lentils, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and brown sugar.
Season with black pepper, reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for about 10 more minutes.
Garnish with green onion before serving.
Serve as a chili or over the fries!
Take 4-6 large russet potatoes and cut into 8ths lengthwise. Try to make them approximately the same thickness.
Toss the wedges in olive oil so they are evenly coated.
Arrange them in a single layer on a baking tray with the skin facing down.
Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes in an oven preheated to 390 degree F, turning the wedges about halfway through the backing time.
What you’ll need for the cheese sauce:
1 C raw cashews
1 C water
1/3 C canned tomato sauce
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tsp agave syrup
Directions for cheese sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Move to a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat while stirring until it’s warmed through and thickened in texture.
If you’d like to round out the savory snacks with something sweet, you gotta check out the super easy fondu recipe over HERE.