Top 5 Healthy Superbowl Party Snacks

Last year, I went to a Superbowl party at a friend’s house …

It was a lot of fun and I happily ate a tasty assortment of typical Superbowl party selections: pizza, nachos, hot wings, etc. But by the end of the evening, I totally regretted eating all of that greasy, heavy food. I felt sluggish, bloated and really sleepy. I could actually feel my body working overtime to digest a stomach full of all of the wrong foods.

“Next year will be different.” I vowed, as I struggled to stay awake during the 15-minute drive back home.

This year’s Superbowl party will be at our house, and I’ve decided to add some healthy, guilt-free items to the menu. Here are my top five picks:

1. Guacamole and Chips – this is my all-time, number one favorite snack. Guacamole is chock full of nutritious raw ingredients: avocado, fresh garlic, diced tomato and onion, fresh cilantro and parsley. Add a generous squirt of fresh lime juice, a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and it’s ready to eat. You can also find low-fat varieties of tortilla chips at most supermarkets. But sometimes I like to use whole wheat pitas. I cut them into little triangles and get them nice and crisp in my toaster oven.

Note: although avocado are high in fat, I eat them as often as I can because they are full of “the good fat” … the fat that actually helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.

2. Fresh Veggies and Dip – this is a standard crowd pleaser that’s super easy to make. Just slice up an assortment of your favorite raw veggies and add a bowl of dip. Most supermarkets have several healthy dip options, but I like to make my own. I start with plain greek yogurt, add fresh garlic, maybe some diced red bell peppers or chopped spinach, some grated parmesan cheese and my favorite spices.

3. Stuffed Mushrooms – another easy dish because you can stuff it with just about anything. Some of my favorite fillings are: chopped shrimp mixed with garlic and grated parmesan, low fat ground beef mixed with chopped onion/garlic and topped with a bit of mozzarella, whole wheat bread crumbs mixed with mashed chick peas and a bit of grated cheese … the options are endless. Just pop the stuffed mushrooms into the oven and bake until tender.

4. Panini Bites – also an easy and versatile option. Start with a healthy whole grain bread, and add any combination of low fat meats, cheeses or vegetables to the sandwich. My favorite sandwich dressing is mashed avocado, but I also use mustard and sometimes low fat garlic mayo. I cut the toasted panini into bite-size pieces and serve on a large platter with toothpicks. They are the perfect finger food!

5. No Regret Spicy Chicken Wings – the typical recipe for buffalo wings includes deep-fried, fatty, chicken wings and a rich, butter-filled buffalo sauce. I use skinless, boneless chicken breasts that are cut into small pieces, lightly breaded and baked. My own buffalo sauce has less than half of the butter called for in most recipes. The result? – same delicious taste that is much healthier for you.

Enjoy the Superbowl!