by MELISSA GORDON
There are times in our lives when we overeat — and it’s darn well worth it. Like ordering a second dessert on a first date that you both wish would never end. Or snacking between laughing fits when celebrating one of your best friend’s milestones. Or easing grief with family, memories, and comfort food.
But then there are the times we overeat and it’s not really worth it, and we end up feeling kind of remorseful the next day. Watching a football game, where, let’s face it, you don’t really even care about the outcome, probably fits into the latter category.
Lucky for us, there are so many delicious, healthy snack options that we can splurge without the guilt. So if you’re hosting (or attending) a party this year, do everyone a favor and provide (or bring) a healthified version of the snack you were going to bring. Here are some alternatives that are sure to score big points at your party:
Potato chips » Kale chips with sea salt
Veggies and dip » Veggies and hummus
Cookies, cupcakes, or candy » Fresh or dried fruit
Walking tacos or nachos » Apple nachos (thinly sliced apples drizzled with honey and nut butter)
Any sort of meat ensauced in a crockpot » Chicken sausage bites (if you get pre-cooked chicken sausage, all you have to do is slice, heat, and serve with toothpicks. And yes, I made up the word “ensauced.”)
Salsa » Pico de gallo
Refried beans » black beans
Anything fried » Sweet potato fries with guacamole hummus — see below!
For the Guacamole Hummus
• 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained with two tablespoons liquid reserved
• 1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
• 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
• 1/4 cup tahini
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
Add all ingredients, including reserved chickpea liquid, to a blender or food processor. Puree until very smooth.
For the Sweet Potato Fries
• 2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into sticks 1/2-inch wide and three to four inches long
• 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss sweet potatoes with oil and spread them out on a baking sheet (use two baking sheets if needed to prevent crowding).
Mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle over potatoes.
Bake for about 10 minutes, then turn the sweet potatoes with tongs and continue baking about 10-15 minutes longer or until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown. Let cool five to 10 minutes before serving.