Thursday, January 30, 2014

7 Healthy Superbowl Sunday Snacks

It's that time of year again. When Americans turn up the deep fryer and ice down their beer, and you can practically feel the calories jump onto your body. Yup – its Superbowl time. And it wouldn't be a true all-American game if we didn't snack through the entire thing. In fact, it is estimated that we will consume 1.23 billon chicken wing portions, 69 million pounds of avocados, 49 million cases of beer, 14 million hamburgers, 11 million pounds of chips, 4 million pounds of pretzels, 3.8 million pounds of popcorn and 2.5 million pounds of nuts this Sunday. Meaning, we're all going to end up in a terrible food comma unless we smarten up and make some healthier snacking choices. 
While it is perfectly fine to have some indulgence (this day only comes around once a year, after all) it is also important not to over do it. Here are some healthier ways, choices or options to the otherwise fattening Superbowl snacks.

Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip
[Recipe from]

Dips are sneaky. Sometimes they're healthy but 90% of the time, if you're not carefully reading the ingredients, they're secretly packing on calories. Opt for a homemade dip so you know exactly what's in it. This dip has a healthy dose of iron from the spinach and fibre and vitamins from the lentils. And instead of constantly dipping chips or crackers, try using celery or carrot sticks every so often. Mix all these below ingredients in a food processor and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Then serve. 
Get the full recipe here


Homemade Pizza
Ordering in is never a good choice for your health. Delivered pizzas come with a lot of grease, fatty meats and cheese with a side of high calorie dipping sauce. That doesn't exactly help your waistline when you're sitting on the couch eating a few slices, followed by an evening of continuous snacking.  Instead, try making your own. Just remember to go heaviest on the veggies, and scale down the fats with healthier meats, like sandwich sliced ham, chicken or shrimp (instead of bacon or sausage) and use low-fat mozzarella as your cheese. Another cut back should be in the crust, either make your own, go with whole wheat and/or thin crust or try using a tortilla shell as a base, for a lighter option.

Gobble up a Turkey Burger
[recipe from Sweet Treats]

Burgers are an easy go to for game day, and it's no wonder! You can easily hold it in one hand, and have an ice cold beverage in the other. But big beefy burgers not only blow the proper meat proportions right out the window, once you add in the cheese, bacon and mayo, it can be more of a threat to your health (especially if too many are consumed). We suggest passing by the beef aisle and instead make a stop in front of the ground turkey. Its a much leaner meat, and if you get creative with your toppings you won't even realize you're sinking your teeth into a healthier main.

For more directions on how to make the patty, Thai sauce and 'slaw that goes on top, check it out here.

Kale Chips

Let's stop the 11 million pound madness, and boycott eating potato chips this Super Bowl! Kale chips are a very healthy alternative, and we honestly believe you won't be able to tell the difference in taste. Kale is high in iron, vitamin K, filled with antioxidants and is high in fibre, low in calories with zero fat – yes, you read that right. These chips have NO fat. They're also very versatile and can be made to satisfy any sweet, spicy or just-plain-salty craving. 

1 bunch of Kale
1 tbsp oil (grapeseed, coconut, olive etc)
1 tsp Himalayan Salt

Cut kale into bite sized pieces (removing the stems) and toss with oil of your choice. Lay on baking sheet and put desired amount of salt onto chips. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, until edges are brown, not burnt. They should be crispy, not chewy.

Big Ole Bowl O'Popcorn
Believe it or not, popcorn is a great snack to munch on while suffering from stress-induced eating – so keep it handy when your team is down a touchdown with only minutes left in the 4th. Popcorn is a high volume snack too, but the best thing is, it's low in calories – when you skip the butter. In fact, that's the only time it is considered unhealthy. Adding up the sodium and fat content from pre-package or pre-made popcorn is down right scary. A sure fire way to avoid that this Sunday is to pop a fresh batch yourself, and test out some of the seasonings listed below.

1 tbsp of coconut oil (in place of butter)
Topping of your choice: Parmesan cheese, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Oregano, Himalayan Salt, Cinnamon, Cacao Powder, Any Spices/Herbs, Herbamare ...the list is endless

*Gobble* Turkey Chilli 
[Recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny]
Sinking your spoon into a bowl full of chilli this Sunday is actually a wise decision. Because it's made up of mostly vegetables, beans (fibre) and meat (protein) you're getting a hearty dish that will keep you fuller, longer. While this probably won't deter us from snacking, it's worth a shot. Have a lot of people coming over for the game? No problem. It's easy to make, it feeds a large amount of people and it's budget friendly. Plus, using ground lean turkey or chicken instead of beef cuts calories, making extra room for our next recipe! 

2lbs lean ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp oil (olive, coconut etc.)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can petite diced tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp hot sauce, or however hot you want it!
1 can kidney beans, drained + rinsed
2 bell peppers, diced
2 jalapenos, chopped
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Pepper to taste
3 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp oregano
1/8 cayenne pepper

For cooking directions, please go here

Skinny Football Brownies
[recipe from Fit Sugar]

After all the snacking on savoury and salty goods, you're going to have to satisfy your sweet tooth. Luckily, we have an alternative to a cupcakes covered with loads of icing in your team colours; brownies! But these aren't just any brownie... while they still have some chocolate in them, they actually have 90% healthier ingredients than not. We're not saying you can have the whole pan to yourself, but the cacao powder will give you significant cardiovascular health benefits. Studies have even shown that it can reduce blood pressure, which is something you'll need help with if the games doesn't quite go your way!

3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1 large egg + 2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp espresso
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 walnuts (optional)

For baking directions, please go here

Just because we don't have it listed above, doesn't mean it's a no-go for the game. Here are some other healthy snacks that deserve recognition.

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