Q:  What are some healthy snack ideas for my Super Bowl party this Sunday?

Instead of serving too many junk foods typically found at Super Bowl events, offer the following healthy alternatives sure to please any crowd!

Make Home-made Chips & Dips

It’s easier and tastier than you imagine, and way more impressive than serving one from the store. Many of the prepackaged creamy dips are highly processed, high in sugar and unhealthy fats and contain few nutrients.

Try this simple, home-made hummus recipe:

Most store-bought hummus is okay, but this is an item that’s super easy to make from scratch! Within a blender or food processor, add a can or two of no-salt-added chick peas (garbanzo beans), a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, and a spoonful of tahini or sesame seeds. Blend until smooth and at the consistency of a creamy dip.

Make variations by adding roasted red bell peppers, black beans, and/or garlic to the mix. Hummus is high in fiber, protein and numerous micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals). Most people enjoy it as much as most commercial dips like Ranch or Blue Cheese, but it’s a far healthier alternative.

Speaking of Blue Cheese dressing or dip, make this healthier substitute instead:

Combine together plain Greek yogurt, blue cheese crumbles, onion and garlic powder to whatever consistency that you like. Serve with raw veggies or baked chicken wings.

Never made your own guacamole? Here’s how:

GuacamoleMash fresh avocados and mix thoroughly with fresh diced tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and lemon or lime juice. Adjust ingredient amounts based on your preference. Avocados are high in unsaturated, heart healthy fats, and the additional ingredients make this is a nutrient-dense, flavorful, real food.

Include raw veggies alongside the chips and dips to add more color and nutrition to the party.

Carrots and celery sticks are great, but most of us have seen them served in this setting before.

Eat the rainbow: Add cherry tomatoes, different types of bell peppers cut into sticks or rings, cucumber slices, raw broccoli and cauliflower, sugar snap peas, radishes, and any other veggie that grabs your attention when grocery shopping. All of these would go well with the dips described above.

If buying chips, make sure they’re baked and not fried. Or, make your own!

Slice whole grain tortillas into small triangles, place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. Serve with hummus, guacamole and/or salsa.

Come back tomorrow for part II of our healthy Super Bowl snack ideas! We’ll discuss game-winning snack substitutes and how to be smart with the beverages you serve!