Blog Site Discontinued June 23, 2017

Welcome. This blog site, healthy eating and food safety, has been discontinued as of June 23, 2017. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Make March Madness Healthy

Make March Madness Healthy

It’s that exciting time of year when college basketball rules! With lots of games to watch in the next few weeks, friends and family will be gathered to support their favorite teams. Watching so many games to watch, there is plenty of time for munching. Rather than choose foods that could be called for an offensive foul that are high in salt, sugar, calories and saturated fat look for some healthier options.

Put out a big bowl of air-popped popcorn and a variety of seasonings as well as pita chips with hummus, or bowls of fresh or dried fruit and unsalted nuts. Since it is still cold with plenty of snow on the ground, a soup that can be made in advance and put in the crock pot is a great way to keep people warm as well as fill them up.

If you’re making or ordering pizza, choose whole grain crust and add some healthy veggies as a topping. Offer your guests a healthy twist on the fan favorite – burgers – this year by serving salmon or veggie burgers with all the fixings on a whole grain bun. Add a leafy green salad and some baked sweet potato fries as sides. Another fan favorite is pasta – tortellini primavera, or a simple pasta dish made with extra virgin olive oil or marinara sauce and fresh veggies will satisfy your guests’ appetite (if not their appetite for a win!).

Avoid empty calories and the high sugar loads associated with sodas. Instead, serve your guests flavored water and flavored seltzers. Smoothies are not just a taste treat but can serve as a delicious (and healthy) dessert item. Mix dark berries in a blender with a banana and soy milk, maybe even a small teaspoon of peanut butter, and you’ve got a taste treat that’s sure to please.

It never hurts to have chocolate around, and all the better if you choose dark chocolate (it provides health benefits that milk chocolate doesn’t). Choose products containing at least 70% cocoa, and leave small squares out for guests to nibble on.

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