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Lightened up Super Bowl snacks

Who’s ready for some football? As you may already know, the Super Bowl is this weekend which means gathering around the TV to cheer on your favorite team. Personally, I’ll be watching for the hilarious commercials in between the sports ball stuff. Let’s not forget about the food. Unfortunately, some Super Bowl snack favorites like hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken wings and potato chips can cause you to pack on the pounds while cheering for your team. Don’t bail on your resolution to be healthier now. Stay strong. Below are some tips to help you make healthier choices this Super Bowl Sunday.

• Include vegetables in the game plan. Cut them up and serve them with a low-fat dip or hummus. You can also grill them and serve as a side to your main course. Don’t forget about guacamole. Avocados have healthy fat which is good for your heart.

• Grill leaner meats like ground turkey, pork or chicken breasts for main courses. It doesn’t have to be deep fried to be good. Grilled chicken skewers are a great for reducing the mess greasy fried chicken wings can have. Plus they’re healthier too.

• Choose water whenever possible. Alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages contain a lot of calories and won’t quench your thirst. Try flavored water with lemon and lime, ginger and mint, or pineapple and mint.

• Substitute fresh salsa and either pita bread or baked chips for nachos and cheese. Below is a Plate It Up recipe for a healthier salsa option.

• Use lean beef or ground turkey to make chili. Turkey chili is a filling, low fat, big flavor option.

• Serve a fruit-based dessert like fruit kabobs or fruit salad.

More healthy recipes and ideas that use local ingredients are available through Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud, a partnership of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and Kentucky Department of Agriculture. They are available online at https://bit.ly/2MCGvLK or by contacting the Boyle County Extension office.

Questions or comments about the column? Email me at a.price@uky.edu

Cucumber, Corn and Bean Salsa

Ingredients

2-3 large cucumbers

2 tomatoes

1 yellow bell pepper

1 small red onion

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

½ cup black beans

½ cup fresh whole kernel corn, cooked

1 ounce package dry ranch dressing mix

1/8 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar, optional

Yield: Makes 20, ½-cup servings

Directions: Wash all vegetables. Finely chop cucumbers, tomatoes, pepper, and onion. Combine in a large mixing bowl with chopped cilantro. Drain and rinse beans and add to chopped vegetables. Add corn. If using canned corn instead of fresh, drain off liquid prior to adding to vegetables. In a small bowl, mix together ranch dressing packet, vinegar, and sugar. Pour dressing over vegetables and mix well. Serve immediately or refrigerate until chilled.

Nutritional Analysis: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 130 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 70% Daily Value of vitamin C, 6% Daily Value of vitamin A