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Big sporting events call for big flavor! But so many of our game day favorites are full of fried, processed, packaged junk, they can leave us feeling rather unsportsmanlike after noshing on them all afternoon. Instead of reaching for the usual bag of potato chips or dialing up pizza delivery, aim to choose snacks made from real and wholesome ingredients.
Whether you’re cheering on Team USA in Sochi, or rooting for your conference in the Super Bowl, all five of these delicious snacks are perfect for fans of all ages. Bonus points: the fast and easy prep will have you out of the kitchen in time for kickoff!
1. Black Bean and Avocado Hummus
Black beans are a nutritional MVP. One cup contains 50% daily value of fiber, 30% of protein and magnesium, 20% of iron and folate, plus lots of antioxidants. They have a rich, almost smoky flavor that pairs well with another super-food, avocado, which is high in beneficial fats and all 18 amino acids. Blended up with seasonings and a squeeze of lime juice, they create a delicious hummus dip. Kids (or husband) aren’t keen on hummus? Just call it bean dip! Serve it up with some pitas or organic corn chips.
- drain and rinse 1 can organic black beans, place in blender
- halve and pit an avocado, scoop flesh from skin and add to blender
- season with 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, juice of 1 lime, and salt/pepper to taste
- blend until very smooth, chill and serve
2. Greek Yogurt Onion Dip
Greek yogurt is the star of the defensive line. Packed with probiotics and enzymes to protect your gut and help digest nutrients in other foods, it is also a great source of calcium for healthy bones. This quick, easy dip is so much better for you than those sodium-laden packets of onion soup mix, but every bit as yummy and satisfying. Serve with fresh veggies or root veggie chips for dipping.
- in a small bowl, combine 3 Tbsp dried minced onion, 2 tsp dill weed, and 2 Tbsp dried parsley flakes, along with a few generous shakes of salt, pepper, and garlic powder
- blend seasoning mixture into a 16-oz container of plain Greek yogurt, stirring well. Chill 1 hr or longer to allow the dried onions to rehydrate and flavors to blend.
3. Sweet Potato “Skins”
Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamins A and C, manganese, potassium and fiber. They are one of the most concentrated sources of beta carotene, and contain a number of trace minerals as well. Always eat with the skin on for the most benefits! Thick slices of sweet potato, brushed with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with parmesan are just as tasty as loaded ‘tater skins, but with a lot less fat and more redeeming nutritional qualities!
- preheat oven to 425 F
- scrub clean and slice 2-3 large sweet sweet potatoes, into about 1/4 inch thick rounds
- brush rounds lightly with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese
- bake in single layers on parchment-lined cookie sheets about 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender and cheese is golden brown
4. Tamari Roasted Cauliflower
Cauliflower is an up-and-coming star on the Superfoods team. We tend to ignore “white” foods and opt for brighter colored fruits and veggies instead, but current research is revealing that cauliflower is full of cancer-fighting phytonutrients. When tossed with rich-tasting tamari and roasted in a hot oven, the florets develop a toasty, caramelized outside and a tender, buttery inside.
- preheat oven to 425 F
- rinse a large head of cauliflower and trim into bite size florets
- drain well, toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp tamari (or liquid aminos, a wheat-free alternative to tamari or soy sauce), and a few pinches red pepper flakes if you desire a little “kick”
- let marinate about 30 minutes
- spread cauliflower in a single layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and roast for about 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through
5. Quinoa Pizza Bites
Quinoa has the highest known protein content of any grain. It also contains several trace minerals, 9 essential amino acids, plenty of fiber, and is gluten-free. These pizza “cupcakes” are easily made from leftover cooked quinoa, so next time you make a quinoa dish simply make a little extra for this recipe! Packed with lots of flavor, they are a kid-friendly finger food treat for game time. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.
- preheat oven to 400 F and grease a muffin tin very well (these tend to stick, you may want to use paper liners)
- combine 1 c cooked quinoa with 1/2 c grated mozzarella cheese, 1 beaten egg, a few dashes of garlic powder, salt, and pepper, 3 Tbsp marinara sauce, and 3 tsp Italian herb blend
- add 1/2 c diced, nitrate-free pepperoni if desired
- scoop 2 Tbsp quinoa mixture into each muffin cup, pressing down, and top each with a bit more mozzarella cheese
- bake 12-15 minutes
Consider making one or several of these delicious, better-for-you snacks for your next game night, be it your favorite sport on the big screen, or a board game at the kitchen table!