Whether you’re a football fan or not, absolutely no one can pass up the appetizers and snacks that make their way to the counter when the games begin. Creamy, cheesy dips, miniature meats wrapped in bacon, deep-fried everything, and endless platters of wings may be a win for the tastebuds but a major loss for your health. To ensure your football season goes without any major health concerns, here are some tips for health-ifying your favorites.
Ditch the dairy:
I’m not saying all of it, but at least one of the dairy ingredients in your casserole or dip could probably be replaced with a healthier option. Or, fully commit to the dairy-free life and swap ‘em all out for healthier options.
Replace your cheeses with cashew spreads or other non-dairy cheese substitutes, and swap out the pounds of butter for coconut or olive oil. As for the cream, try thick dairy-free milk like oat milk, as it packs little flavor and significantly less fat.
Use an air fryer:
If you haven’t hopped on this trend yet, now is the time. The air fryer is a game-changer in the kitchen. It minimizes cooking time and doesn’t produce as much heat as a deep fryer or oven.
And best of all, it fries food with very little oil, so the fat content of chicken fingers just went to virtually zero. Make some healthy mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers, or mac and cheese bites in your new favorite kitchen gadget.
Sneak in more veggies
Whether you want to add peas or spinach to your guacamole, tomatoes to your queso, or extra beans and legumes in your chilly, beefing up on vegetables will allow you to minimize your use of less-healthy ingredients. The best part? No one will ever know.
Flip on chips
Chips are really just edible utensils used to get dips and sauces to your mouth. Swap them out for fresh veggies—carrots, celery, or bell peppers—or seed-based crackers. Not only will this make for a healthier alternative, but it’ll also give guests more energy to stay for the whole game.
Fill the cooler with more than just beer
There’s no denying the satisfaction that comes with an ice-cold drink while watching your team score another touch down. But it doesn’t have to be beer.
Spiked seltzers or flavored sparkling waters with vodka or gin will still give you a desirable buzz with half the calories. Encourage guests to alternate between drinks and bottles of water so they keep their blood alcohol levels low, stay alert, and fill up on water.