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  • Taylor Richter, RDN, LD

Tailgating Favorites with a Healthier Twist

As the leaves begin to change and the air turns crisp, there's no denying that fall is upon us. And with the arrival of autumn comes a cherished tradition for many Americans: tailgating. Whether you're gathered around the TV to watch your favorite football team or setting up a grill in the parking lot, tailgating is all about good food, good company, and good times. But who says tailgating favorites can't be both delicious and healthy?

Air Fryer Wings


When it comes to tailgating, there's one dish that stands out above the rest as the MVP: chicken wings. They're a staple, a tradition, and an essential part of the game day experience. However, the typical deep-frying process can turn these beloved treasures into a nightmare for health goals. Wings made in the air fryer use less oil, don’t need to be breaded and can still let you enjoy a tried and true classic.




Cauliflower Buffalo Bites


Crispy and spicy, buffalo cauliflower bites are a fantastic alternative to traditional buffalo wings. Coat bite-sized cauliflower florets in a light batter, bake them until golden brown, and then toss them in a buffalo sauce. This might sound like it's not a great option, but don't knock it until you've tried it. These cauliflower bites can hold their own when it comes to parties!





Sweet Potato Nachos


Swap out traditional tortilla chips for thinly sliced sweet potatoes to create a crunchy base for your nachos. Top with lean ground turkey, black beans, diced tomatoes, lettuce, black olives or any of your other favorite nacho toppings. Add some sliced jalapeños and a dollop of Greek yogurt for a spicy, creamy kick. This twist on nachos not only tastes amazing but also provides a dose of vitamins and fiber.





Game Day Chili


When it comes to game day, few dishes can compete with a steaming bowl of chili. This comforting classic not only warms your soul but also fills you up with hearty goodness. With the flexibility to customize the level of spiciness and toppings, it's sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next tailgate party. By making a few tweaks to the traditional recipe, you can have a game day chili that's both delicious and nutritious.





Brownie Batter Dip


While we've covered savory options for your tailgating menu makeover, no gathering is complete without a sweet treat. Brownie batter dip is a delightful and shareable dessert that brings all the rich, chocolatey goodness of brownies to your tailgate without the fuss of baking. You can dip strawberries, bananas, pretzels, the list goes on and on! So, go ahead and enjoy this treat that tastes so good you would never believe it also has protein and fiber in it, too!




Living Plate


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In Conclusion

Tailgating doesn't have to mean compromising on flavor and health. By incorporating some inventive, nutritious twists into your recipes, you can savor the best of both worlds: delicious fall flavors and tailgating favorites. Give these recipes a shot at your next tailgate, and you'll not only dazzle your friends with your culinary skills but also ensure that everyone leaves the event content and energized. Here's to a fall season that's both tasty and moves you towards your goals!

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