Football season is here and that means it’s tailgating time in Tennessee! Whether you attend every game in Neyland Stadium, prefer throwing your own soiree at home, or even if you don’t like football at all, I think we can all agree that food is one great thing about this time of year. While I absolutely love to indulge in savory and sweet treats on occasion, I also enjoy having some ideas for fun food that is also a little bit healthier.
Here are a few lightened up versions of traditional game day fare and some simple ideas for snacks that will work for game day or any day. The best part about these treats is that most of them are orange and white, so you don’t have to sacrifice team spirit for taste.
Go Big Orange Popcorn
This is my kind of snack, because it’s easy, tasty, kid-friendly, and takes no time to make.
- 4 cups of popcorn, popped. Use plain or lightly salted.
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips
- 1 6 oz, package of dried apricots, cut in halves
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
Pop popcorn. Add white chocolate chips, almonds, and apricots. Mix together and eat. Note: This is also great with cranberries, but we are sticking with orange today. The great thing about this mix is that you can add whatever you want to it and it will still be delicious!
Here is another easy treat for any day of the week, but the presentation makes it tailgate-worthy in my opinion.
- Oranges (mandarins work best)
- Cheese cubes (optional)
- Dark chocolate chips (optional)
- Toothpicks or small skewers
Peel oranges and separate slices. Remove seeds if needed. Cut larger orange slices in half if desired. Place slices on toothpicks or skewers. Serve plain or alternate with cheese cubes. Melt chocolate chips and drizzle over oranges if desired.
You can also skip the skewers and make these Salted Chocolate Dipped Mandarin Slices. Yum!
Carrot Cups With “Skinny” Ranch Dip
- Baby carrots
- “Skinny” ranch dip (this is a great recipe if you want to make your own. There are also pre-made Greek yogurt and ranch dip options in the refrigerated section at Trader Joe’s if you want to save yourself the effort)
- Mini mason jars or clear plastic cups
Pour the dip into the jars and add carrots. Orange and white, and done! You can also do this with hummus or any other choice of veggies. Leftovers are great for lunches, too!
Speaking of dip, it’s hard to have a tailgate without buffalo dip. This is a lightened-up version that still tastes great. Serve it with celery sticks, and you are all set. This is also a win since buffalo dip is already orange!
This orange salsa is sure to add a punch of flavor (and color) to your spread.
While you are thinking of salsa, you can’t forget about nachos. These will take care of those nacho cravings without the guilt.
Here is another delicious, healthier twist on a classic game day treat.
All I can say is, if you cover some veggies with cheese and pizza toppings, my kids won’t be fooled into thinking it’s pizza, but they will eat it.
These turkey sliders are so tasty, you may want to add them to your regular meal rotation. You can also wrap them in lettuce if you don’t want the buns.
And finally, it’s fall and we can’t forget about pumpkins. These bars are great for game day, play dates, after school snacks, or any time you are in the mood for a fall treat.