Healthier Game-day Tailgate Treats

Football is awesome, even if (like me) you know nothing about the game. Why? The food, the company, the food, the excitement, and did I mention the food? All that greasy carb-y goodness – it’s the best thing ever when you’re chowing down and cheering for your team. 

If you feel the same way, you’re not alone. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest day of food consumption of the year, right behind Thanksgiving. A national survey found that 25 percent of football fans gain an average of 10 pounds over the course of the NFL season. That’s a lot of chicken wings!

The aftermath of too many game-day treats can often be the worst. Nobody wants to be popping antacids like candy while your stomach’s insides are doing somersaults. On the other hand, you don’t want to be “that person” who shows up to the party with some sticks of celery and a jar of almond butter. 

Isn’t there a way to have the best of both worlds, to eat healthy and enjoy it, too? Why, yes, there is – thanks for asking! Just sub your spuds for cauliflower and carrots to make cleaner, healthier versions of your favorite fried foods.

Cauliflower Tater Tots

Original recipe from Baking outside the Box 

Ingredients: Drain the cauliflower well after boiling.

2 cups cauliflower
½ cup cheddar cheese
½ cup cooked bacon, minced
1 Tbs. butter
1 large egg yolk
¼ tsp. onion powder

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

We couldn't find our food processor, so we grated the cauliflower instead.

3. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir them together.

2. Boil cauliflower for 3-5 minutes or until nice and soft. Drain and pulse in food processor (or grate, if like me you couldn’t find a food processor).  

4. Form the tots and placeon a parchment lined baking sheet.

Form your cauliflower mixture into bite-sized tots.

5. Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up.

7. Drain off grease by placing on a plate with paper towel.6. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden and crispy.

8. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.




Carrot Fries Sprinkle some fresh parsley onto of your carrot fries for the finishing touch.

Original recipe from Healy Eats Real

Ingredients: Cut your carrots into fry-like matchsticks.

1 pound carrots (about 10-12 medium carrots)
1 ½ Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. thyme

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the oil and herbs well with your carrot fries.

2. Wash, peel, and cut carrots into roughly 4”x½” sticks.

3. Put carrots into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme. Stir carrots to evenly coat with oil and spices.

4. Evenly spread carrots on parchment lined baking sheet.  Make sure your carrot fries aren't touching each other.

5. Bake carrots for 25-35 minutes, checking halfway through to flip carrots for even cooking. Carrots are done when easily pierced with a fork and slightly brown and crisp on the edges.

6. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.

Enjoy!Carrot fries and cauliflower tots are kid-friendly healthy treats.