Whether you’re watching USC versus UCLA or the Chargers battle the Cowboys, football season seems to call for savory, salty snacks. Enter: chips and dip, the quintessential football party nosh. From nacho cheese and tortilla chips to onion dip and potato crisps, chips and dip could be the official snack food of football. But there’s rarely anything healthy about chips (which are usually fried) and dip (which is usually fatty). Add that to the fact that you usually eat more than you intended to, and chips and dip can stack up to be a diet buster.
But there’s hope! While chips and dip will never classify as a health-promoting superfood, you can make healthier chips and dip for football season. Use the following strategies to trick out your snack food and make your chipping and dipping a little bit healthier.
Chips and Dip Ideas
- Opt for baked chips instead of fried, and you’ll whack off numerous calories.
- If you’re concerned about additives and extra chemicals, you know not to buy the Doritos Jacked Ranch Dipped Hot Wings Flavored Tortilla Chips (yes, that’s a real thing). Instead, try plain old corn chips, whose ingredients are corn, corn oil and salt. Better yet, try the low-sodium version – you won’t be able to tell the difference.
- Toss out the chips altogether and scoop your dip with baked crackers or pita chips. They’re often sturdier than fried chips, and make dipping easier.
- Go veggie with carrot chips. Cut your own or buy the pre-cut ridged wafer sliced carrot chips. Try other fresh vegetables instead of chips, like sliced red bell peppers, fresh green beans, snap peas, purple asparagus and broccoli rabe.
- You can also try organic vegetable chips, made from sweet potatoes, kale, carrots and leafy greens. Purchased veggie chips can be loaded with sodium and corn flour – but if you bake your own, you’ll know your veggie chips are the real deal.
- Homemade dips are almost always a healthier choice than store-bought versions, which usually contain tons of fat, salt, and preservatives. Make your own whenever possible, like a delicious, healthy fat avocado guacamole.
- No matter what kind of dip you have, sneak in some chopped-up vegetables to enhance its flavor and nutritional profile. Try chopped tomatoes in nacho dip, cucumbers in sour cream dip, and corn in bean dip.
- Making your own dip? Opt for low-fat or no-fat ingredients, such as sour cream. Or replace the sour cream completely with healthier Greek yogurt.
- Add fresh herbs to kick up the flavor of your dip without adding extra calories. Minced cilantro, parsley and basil can really wake up your dip.
- Finally, serve your dip with small plates and spoons so that people can take just the amount they want. When your only option is a massive bowl of dip next to a giant bowl of chips, it’s hard to keep track of what you have already eaten.
Related on Organic Authority