Updated: Feb 10
Gameday is here and you want to enjoy your favorite snacks but don't want to break the calorie bank. Here are 5 easy ways to make your favorite snacks just a little bit healthier.
1. Buffalo Wings
No need to get rid of your buffalo wings (they're everyone's fav, right?!) A way to make them healthier is to bake them instead of frying the wings, you could also put them in the air fryer to get a nice crisp to them.
Here's a baked Buffalo Wings recipe from Food to get you started:
Fill a large pot halfway with water and then add 1 lb chicken wings, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon salt.
Bring the water mixture and wings to a boil and then boil for 15 minutes.
Transfer the wings to an oven-safe container coated with cooking spray. Bake wings on "Broil" (high) for 15 minutes on each side. (For crispier wings, cook longer on each side, maybe 20 minutes per side).
While waiting for wings, combine the 1/2 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce and 1 tablespoon of Margarine in a microwave-safe container and cook in the microwave for 2 minutes or until melted. (You can cook the sauce longer for a thicker sauce).
When the wings are done, shake 'em up with the sauce and enjoy!
For lighter options for your buffalo wing dipping sauces, you can also use non-fat yogurt as a base for your dipping sauce. Here's a recipe from the Food Network to get you started.
Tacos can be a healthy game day option because they're filling and packed with baked meats and healthy veggies. Cut calories by ditching flour tortillas and opting for corn tortillas instead. An even lower carb option is substituting lettuce cups for your tortilla altogether. Butter lettuce is soft, flavorful, and an excellent way to hold your taco fixings- here's a recipe for butter lettuce tacos to get you started.
Swap out your sour cream topping for a healthier option. I like greek yogurt or Mexican crema instead, but here are some other options.
3. Seasoned Popcorn
There's nothing better than great snacks during the big game and a little crunch goes a long way. Rather than opting for salty, calorie-filled processed foods, consider making your own seasoned popcorn. Popcorn can be filling AND healthy (just make sure you don't load it with butter and salt). Add some flavor with creative seasonings. You can give it a little kick by adding paprika and chili powder, for example. Here's a garlic & herb seasoning recipe from SimplyQuinoa.
1 – 2 teaspoons garlic powder (depending on your preference – start with 1)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon sea salt
4. Bean Dip (or any other dip, for that matter)
One option is to make your dip with a yogurt base to add healthy nutrients and limit calories. Another option is to use hummus instead of a traditional dip. Go one step further by skipping traditional potato chips and using pita chips or a variety of colorful veggies such as cucumber, zucchini, peppers, and carrots to dip in the hummus.
Forget take-out! Instead, make your own pizza using a cauliflower crust instead of a traditional flour crust. If you're short on time, simply buy a cauliflower crust pizza, as there are many commercial options available. Make sure your pizza is loaded with veggie toppings and you'll definitely score points with this one!
Go team, go!
Dr. Jen Caudle is a board-certified Family Physician, Associate Professor at Rowan University, tv health expert, and video creator. Sign up to receive Dr. Jen's Daily Health Tips to get daily emails (Mon-Fri) with health information you can use to live a healthier life. Follow her on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.