DOWN…SET…HUT!

Let's Eat! | January 28, 2016 | By

As the NFL season comes to an end, we’ve only got a little over a week until the Big Dance: Super Bowl 50! Even though I don’t get that into football, I enjoy getting a group of friends together to watch the commercials game. And it’s a decent excuse to snack all evening… 😉

When it comes to snacks, it’s very easy to get stuck serving foods with tons of preservatives: flavored chips, processed cheese, frozen treats. The list goes on and on… Although some of these foods are my favorite things, my tummy can’t handle them anymore.

I’ve got a couple of whole food snack staples that are fun to share with a group and easy on the tummy:

  1. Popcorn. And I mean real popcorn; none of that microwave crap. I’ve been using coconut oil to pop popcorn and it works great. Just put a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in the bottom of a deep pan with a lid, add enough kernels for a single layer across the bottom, put on the lid, and crank up the heat. Swirl the pan a little as everything heats up so you don’t burn it… Drizzle the batch with real butter and a little salt (or your favorite spice combo) and you’re ready to go! It’s soo quick and simple – and delicious. Purchasing a bag of kernels for popping is cheaper than that boxed stuff, anyways…
  2. Cheese & Crackers. Sounds boring, huh? Well, I like to provide a fun mix of cheeses to keep it interesting… I really like Brie cheese. It’s creamy and buttery and goes really well with salami. Along with the Brie, I like to provide a sharp cheddar cheese; extra sharp white cheddar is one of my favorites! Then, provide something funky: blue cheese, goat cheese, something with peppers, etc. One of my favorite funky cheeses I found at Osceola Cheese Factory in Missouri: Hickory Smoked Habanero Sharp Cheddar. It’s spicy, smoky and soo interesting. As far as crackers, I like to serve the plain Pretzel Thins or Triscuits. Those two seem to have the least amount of ‘bad stuff’ in them. I’ve found that if you get the flavored versions, the ingredients list gets a little nasty. Along with the cheese and crackers, it can be fun to mix in salami (or some kind of sausage) and some fruit. I know that cheese can get expensive but, Sam’s Club has really great prices and a decent selection. So, if you’re going to need quite a bit of cheese, go there!
  3. Homemade Hummus. Some of you might be thinking ‘yuck’ but, hummus can be a delicious and simple addition to your snack repertoire. Chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, and lemon juice are always a good start. Then, I like to add cumin. And LOTS of it! Serve with some toasted pitas and veggie sticks and you’re set…
  4. One-Two-Three Dip. Now, this is the gold mine you were all waiting for: queso. Who doesn’t like queso?! And if you don’t, I’m cool with it; that just means more for me! As much as I love the classic combination of Velveeta and Rotel, we all know Velveeta is not real cheese. And I don’t have to tell my body that; it already knows. This queso recipe is from my dad’s wife and it’s genius! Are you ready for it? ONE pound of (browned) breakfast sausage, TWO cans of Rotel, THREE bricks of cream cheese. That’s it. Put everything in a microwave safe bowl and nuke it or put it all in a tiny crockpot to slowly heat up. It’s a crowd pleaser! Serve with your favorite tortilla chip and you’ll have a bunch of happy guests…

In addition to being whole foods, most of the snacks listed above can be modified to accommodate several diet restrictions, if they don’t already comply. From vegetarians to vegans to gluten-intolerance… If you’ve invited a friend with one of these diet restrictions, they’ll be excited to know that you’re offering snacks that they can enjoy, too!

Do you have plans to watch the Super Bowl this year? Do you invite people over to watch it with you? What are your favorite whole food snacks?

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