The Final Four are playing this weekend in a March Madness mash-up not to be missed. If you’re already planning your game day menus, you’re likely gathering the fixings for nachos, wings, chip and dip and more. And while your team might thank you for the show of enthusiastic loyalty, your digestive system and waistline will most definitely not be thanking you. Instead of the traditional high-fat fare, try these five healthy game day snack ideas:
- Veggies and Hummus – Hummus is a great Mediterranean spread made by combining chickpeas, olive oil, lemon, garlic and a sesame paste called tahini. Chickpeas contain a significant amount of fiber and protein, both of which can keep you feeling fuller longer. While the protein and fiber keep you full, the carbohydrates in hummus can provide you with the energy you need to cheer on your team. Put out an array of fresh veggies such as carrots and peppers for dipping.
- Fruit Kabobs – You don’t need to fire up the grill to get a great kabob. Cut up a variety of fruits and slide them on skewers for a healthy treat with a touch of sweetness. You’ll be surprised at how quickly these disappear. You could even get creative and try to find fruits in team colors for each kabob. For example, if you’re watching the Syracuse vs. North Carolina game, you might use orange, cantaloupe and mango for the Orange and blueberries, blackberries and grapes for the Tar Heels.
- Ground Turkey Meatballs or Sliders – If you have to have a more traditional option, look for ways to make your recipe healthier. If sliders are on the menu, make them with ground turkey or chicken instead of beef. You can do the same with meatballs. If you’re making something sweet, cut the sugar in half – you’ll barely notice. You’d be surprised at the many ways you can tweak your existing recipes to give them a healthier edge.
- Black Bean Salsa and Pita Chips – Instead of store bought salsa, make your own using fresh ingredients. Toss black beans, diced avocado, corn, diced peppers, red onions and fresh Roma tomatoes together with a splash of olive oil and vinegar for a delicious thick and chunky salsa. Instead of corn chips, opt for pita chips, which are much lower in calories and fat.
- Trail Mix Bar – A fun option is a trail mix bar. Put out a variety of healthy nuts, dried fruit, pretzels, granola and even some chocolate chips or M&Ms and let guests create their own little baggy of trail mix. Be sure to look for nuts that have not been roasted or salted. This snack means less waste as well since guests can take what they haven’t eaten home with them.