Football season means sitting on the couch with a plate full of snacks.
It’s not just football season; it’s snacking season as well.
Hot wings, nachos, pizza, seven layer dip, you name it!
As great as this all sounds, many of the foods you eat during this fine time are terrible for your oral health.
If this is a problem for you, I’ve got plenty of healthy alternatives that are just as tasty!
1. Spinach Artichoke Dip – Feeds 32 people; 2 tablespoons per serving
Who doesn’t love a good, creamy spinach artichoke dip? It’s great to dip for tortilla chips, pita chips, and baguette slices!
- 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 16-ounce can of lima beans (drained)
- 1 cup of mayonnaise
- 4 ounces of cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon of a hot sauce of your choice
- 1 teaspoon of capers (drained)
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard
*Put these first eight ingredients into a food processor for about 15-20 seconds.
- 1 14-ounce can of artichoke hearts (drained)
- 10 ounces of chopped spinach
- 3/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup of sliced green onions
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
*Add these five remaining ingredients to the other food processed ingredients, pulsing five times, and processing for about 10 seconds until mixture is smooth.
*Bake in the oven in a 1-quart dish at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 25-30 minutes. The top of the dip should be slightly browned and bubbly when ready.
2. Mini Taco Cups – Makes 12 taco cups
Ditch the overly-topped tacos and opt for healthier, bite-sized taco cups. They’re cute, and they’re just as tasty as the real deal while providing plenty of nutrients thanks to its veggie ingredients.
- 9 tortillas (each cut into fourths, creating 36 tortilla pieces)
*In a sprayed 12-cup muffin tray, add 3 tortilla pieces into each muffin compartment, overlapping them so that they’ll cook into a cup. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or until lightly browned.
- 8 ounces of cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning
- 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt
*Mix these three ingredients in a bowl.
- 1/2 cup of corn
- 1/2 cup of black beans
- 1/4 cup of diced peppers (yellow)
- 1/4 cup of diced peppers (orange)
- 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 diced avocado
*Mix these six veggies together, while slowly incorporating the cream cheese mixture you previously made.
- 1/2 cup of ranch dressing
*Add the veggie & cream cheese mixture into your tortilla cups, and drizzle lightly with ranch dressing on top.
3. Blue Cheese Apricot Balls – Makes 16 individual mini cheese balls
Blue cheese and apricot: You’ve got that strong flavor perfect to pair up with chicken wings, and you’ve got a healthy sweet addition. Use these cheese balls to dip celery sticks, pita chips, or tortilla chips.
- 6 ounces of cream cheese
- 1/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese
*Blend these two first ingredients until smooth.
- 1 ounce worth of chopped, dried apricots (approximately 12 apricots)
- 3 tablespoons of chopped, roasted walnuts (or any other nut you want to use)
- 1/2 tablespoon of salt
*Stir these three ingredients with the cream cheese and blue cheese mixture.
*Shape into 16 mini cheese balls (or make one large cheese ball if you’d like)
- 1/2 teaspoon of fresh rosemary (or 1/4 teaspoon of dried rosemary)
- 2 tablespoons of chopped, roasted walnuts (or any other nut you want to use)
*Roll the cheese balls into a mixture of rosemary and walnuts to complete.
4. Baked Zucchini Fries – Serves 6
Switch out greasy fries for their healthy baked zucchini counterparts.
- 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup of fresh, grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- A pinch of kosher salt & ground black pepper
*Mix these first four ingredients together in a bowl.
- 4 zucchinis (cut each one into fry-sized, even pieces – be sure to cut lengthwise)
- 1/2 of all-purpose flour
- 2 beaten eggs
*Flour your zucchini, dip in your beaten eggs, and add your panko breadcrumb mixture
*Cook at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes. Take out of the oven when lightly browned and crispy.
- 2 cups of chopped parsley leaves (fresh)
*Garnish your zucchini fries with parsley for extra flair and flavor.
*Enjoy! Eat them by themselves, or dip them in a desired dip.