Healthy snacks and sporting events don’t exactly sound like they belong in the same breath, unless you’re talking about orange slices and little kids right? But guess what? I found that healthy snacks and adults going to watch major sports actually can, and do, go hand in hand.
While most of you were enjoying your Thanksgiving dinner of turkey and stuffing, I was enjoying a long standing Texas tradition of spending the day at AT&T stadium with the Dallas Cowboys. (I think I’m really beginning to get sucked into this whole Texas thing. I even wore “sorta” cowboy boots to the game too.) Did I mention I didn’t go to the game with my husband, but my father-in-law. (Yes, I’m going for the DIL of the year award!) My FIL is a MASSIVE football fan and even works on the chain gang in Cleveland for the Browns.
We had our Thanksgiving on Wednesday and fully expected to spend Thursday eating our way through nachos and foot longs. You know, the usual stadium food. To say I was shocked and surprised at the food I found waiting for me at the stadium would be an understatement. (And the fact that I’m writing a post about it is even more surprising to me.)
Almost immediately inside the main doors I ran across a food booth called “Healthy Options.” What the what? A stand (that kind of looked a bit like a farm stand) loaded with healthy snacks like grapes, carrots, apples, snap peas, pears, tangerines, bananas, cut fruit, string cheese, milk, coconut water, bottled water, dried fruit, gluten free sandwiches and gluten free crunchy snacks. Lots of healthy snack ideas.
After I picked my jaw up off the floor I checked out the signage a bit closer and found that this healthy snacks kiosk is filled with produce and snacks from Melissa’s Produce. Since I work with Melissa’s I felt like I needed to do a bit more investigating of this lovely little oasis. I thought my FIL’s head was going to explode. He’s a really big health freak…so to say he was happy with this would be an understatement.
I learned that there are 4 of these healthy snacks stands in AT&T Stadium (so you don’t have to travel far to find one) and they originally started with 1 stand that was geared towards kids so parents could feel good about giving their kids something other than cotton candy and junk food. What they learned, very quickly, is that the adults liked the healthy snack ideas for themselves even more. So the number of stands increased very quickly. Oh, and not only are these the healthiest snacks in the stadium, they’re also the least expensive snacks in the stadium.
One of the things that I found at the stand was a new crunchy snack called Clean Snax. They are so new that they had just launched them at the stadium that day. They were wiped out pretty quickly too. There are 4 different flavors, all are gluten free, and I found out that they are actually in some stores across the country right now too. They come in cranberry (which was wiped out so early I couldn’t get my hands on a box, but the guy at the stand told me that was his favorite), pumpkin seed, coconut (I highly recommend) and almond. These little crunchy squares are as addicting as french fries, but a whole lot better for you.
As I looked around the crowd, I saw lots of Cowboys towels being waved in one hand and people eating pieces of fruit. I can’t say this is something I would have expected to see in Texas, let alone in a football stadium!
I checked with Melissa’s to see if this was the only stadium to have these healthy snacks stands and I found out it’s not. This stadium has the most stands, but you can also find these Healthy Options stands at Yankee stadium, Citi Field, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, Qualcomm Stadium, Honda Center and Staples Center.
Remember I said my FIL was a major football fan? Well, we spent pretty much all weekend either at a football game (remember that I live in Texas) or watching one on tv. I was so inspired by the Healthy Options stand at the game, I tossed out my plans for the junk food I was going to make for our home viewing and made a bunch of healthy snack recipes. In homage to the unbelievably huge nachos we saw at the Dallas game, I made healthy apple nachos for us and I thought I’d share the recipe with you. My in-laws inhaled them.
- 1 Red Apple (cored and cut into slices)
- 1 Green/Yellow Apple (cored and cut into slices)
- For the Whipped Peanut Butter
- ⅓ Cup Smooth Peanut Butter
- 1 5.3 Ounce Cup Vanilla Yogurt
- Pomegranate Arils (optional)
- Drop the apple slices into a bit of lemon water to keep them from turning brown while you make the whipped peanut butter.
- Scoop the peanut butter and yogurt into the bowl of your stand mixer or a deep bowl that you can use a hand mixer in.
- Use the whisk from your stand mixer, or your regular beaters on your hand mixer, and whip the peanut butter and yogurt until it's light and fluffy. Make sure you scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl so you don't get lumps in your fluff (that's just not good).
- Randomly pile the apples then top with the whipped peanut butter.
- Sprinkle with pomegranate arils, if using.
- Serve and stand back so you don't lose any fingers as everyone starts grabbing for them.
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