Healthy Football Snacks

Whether you are tailgating or watching the football game at home, there is sure to be plenty of snacks and food available. Unfortunately, many of the choices are either fattening, unhealthy or full of empty calories. To help avoid temptation, it’s a good idea to offer or bring along healthy football snacks to ensure that there will be at least one or more nutritious options. Try some of these Healthy & Nutritious Football Snacks.

Mini Pepper Nachos

Nachos are a popular football snack but usually full of fat and carbs. Try using mini peppers as a healthy alternative to tortilla chips and watch the platter disappear.
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (more if you like it hotter)
1 lb ground beef
1 lb mini peppers, halved and seeded
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped tomato
Other toppings as desired (sour cream, olives, chopped jalapeño, avocado, etc.)
In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes.
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef until just cooked through, about 7 to 10 minutes, breaking up any clumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Add spice mixture and sauté until well combined. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking try with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Arrange mini peppers in a single layer, cut-side up but very close together.
Sprinkle with ground beef mixture and shredded cheese (make sure every mini pepper gets a little meat and cheese!). Bake 5 to 10 minutes, until cheese is melted.
Remove from oven and top with chopped tomatoes and any other desired toppings. Serve immediately.

Healthier Homemade BBQ Sauce

While this isn’t a snack by itself, of course, this sauce is a great alternative to the traditional version which is full of sugars. So you can cover your baked wings and other meats without all of the guilt. Bonus: it is naturally vegan and gluten free.
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup molasses
3 Tbsp. worcestershire*
2 tsp. liquid smoke**
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt
(optional: a few pinches of cayenne powder for extra heat, which I recommend)
Whisk all ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer (uncovered) for 20 minutes, or until the sauce has slightly thickened.
Use the sauce immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 week.
*To be sure you’re making this sauce vegan, find a brand of worcestershire sauce that is vegan, like Annie’s.
**To be sure you’re making this sauce gluten-free, look for a brand of liquid smoke that is certified GF. Try Wright’s or Colgin.


Rice Krispie Chicken Tenders (with Healthier Homemade Chick-Fil-A Sauce)

Brown Rice Krispies make a surprisingly delicious breading for baked chicken strips and this healthier version of Chick-Fil-A sauce is a tasty accompaniment. You could also try some of that homemade bbq sauce listed above.
Chicken Strips
1 lb raw Chicken, cut into long thin slices
2 cups GF Brown Rice Krispies (or regular if you desire)
1/3 cup Egg Whites
1/2 teaspoon each: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Sa Salt
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
2 tablespoons Mustard
2 tablespoons BBQ Sauce
2 teaspoons Honey
Sea Salt, Pepper, and Cayenne Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place egg whites in shallow bowl.
In a separate bowl, add rice krispies and smash with the bottom of a cup until it is a crumb like texture (some will be almost a flour consistency, but don’t smash long enough for all of the krispies to be completely crushed). Add seasonings in bowl.
Dip each slice of chicken into egg whites, then coat completely on both sides, and place on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.
When all are on baking tray, lightly sprinkle a little more sea salt onto tenders, and place in oven.
Bake for 10 minutes, remove and flip, and bake for 10 more minutes.
Combine yogurt, mustard, BBQ sauce, honey and seasonings in small bowl.
Serve with chicken tenders for dipping.

Healthy Guacamole with Frozen Peas

Guacamole is usually a big hit for many parties, so you may want to double the recipe if sharing with a group. This version is lower in fat and calories, but tastes just as yummy as the real deal. The peas give an added bit of nutrients and a subtle sweetness, plus they give the guac a vibrant green color.
1 cup frozen peas, slightly thawed
1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
juice from 1 lime
½ cup grape tomatoes, cut into ¼ -inch dice
½ cup red onion, cut into ⅛-inch dice
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1–2 cloves minced fresh garlic
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Place peas in the bowl of a food processor or mini chopper and pulse until the peas are smooth.
Transfer peas into a medium bowl and add lime juice, tomato, onion, jalapeño, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Stir everything together with a fork.
Add avocado chunks to the bowl and mix well, mashing the avocado as you stir.
Serve with an assortment of raw vegetables and tortilla chips.
Try some of these healthy & nutritious football snacks while rooting for your favorite team, as well as your health, this season. For more wholesome snacks at game time, follow our link below.