14 Healthier Recipes For Your Super Bowl Sunday (Low carb, paleo, vegan, sugar free)

Super Bowl Collage

Being that I am a patriotic, warm-blooded American, it would only follow that of course I love football. I am saying this with a backdrop of the American flag billowing valiantly behind me. There is also a bald eagle.

There may be naysayers who doubt this claim, asking strange questions like “But what about the time you asked who was winning an hour and a half before the game even started?” Ha! Well – “Or what about when you asked how many quarters were in a game?” UHH I CAN EXPLAIN- “Or when you-“

ok FINE YOU CAUGHT ME AND MAYBE I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT FOOTBALL. But. I do love the Super Bowl. Wanna guess why? HINT: It starts with ‘f’ and ends with ‘ood’. GIVE UP YET?

Yes, and no one is surprised. The Super Bowl has given rise to some truly fantastic snackage over the years. And the excuse to make and inhale all of them in short order (like I even need an excuse).

It has come to my attention, however, that many are justifiably hesitant to participate in this nationalistic tradition of Super Bowl snacking, since most traditional Super Bowl fare is not exactly the epitome of healthy eating. And that just ain’t right. So here’s a little collection that covers some of our favorites: low carb, gluten free, paleo, vegan – NO ONE GETS LEFT BEHIND.

Recipe links below! And remember, with a few simple substitutions (vegan cheese products, switching out proteins, using alternative sweeteners) most of these recipes can easily be adapted to dairy free, vegan, or sugar free if not already!

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Buffalo Salmon Avocado Salad here at The M’Academia Nut

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Football Deviled Eggs at Full-Thyme Student

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Mini Bun-less Cheeseburger Bites with Thousand Island Dip from Sugar-Free Mom

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Buffalo Spiced Cocktail Nuts at All Day I Dream About Food

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Zucchini Nacho Chips from Keto Adapted

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Crunchy Cucumber Rolls with Herb Cheeze from Nutrition Stripped 

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Quick and Easy Guacamole from KetoDiet

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Loaded Mexican Nachos – Paleo Style from Primally Inspired 

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Kickin’ Chili from Peace, Love and Low Carb

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Jalapeño Popper Dip from Simply Gourmet (TIP: leave out the cracker crumbs for a lower carb topping!)

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Vanilla Cinnamon Chia Seed Pudding at The M’Academia Nut

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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Truffles from I Breathe I’m Hungry

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Avocado Chocolate Mousse – Two Ways! from Chocolate-Covered Katie

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Cosmopolitan Jello Shots from All Day I Dream About Food 

Pumpkin Spice Butterscotch Blondies (Low carb, sugar free, gluten free, dairy free)

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I think I may fit the criteria for a basic fall girl. I realized this recently while excitedly purchasing a seasonal caramel apple tea and babbling endlessly about the brisk autumn air and oversized sweaters.

Witnesses have confirmed I appeared to be wearing leggings and a puffy faux-fur lined vest at the time.

It was, then, no surprise that the notorious pumpkin spice essentially took over my entire life and has continued well into the winter, which brings us now to this fine recipe featuring all the seasonal elements you JUST MIGHT EXPECT FROM ME. You can take the girl out of the fall, but you can’t take the fall out of the girl.

But of course, with some extra credit: grain free, sugar free, low carb, easily made dairy free, with healthy fats and proteins from both almond flour and almond butter!

What we got here is some dense, gooey, butterscotch-y blondies featuring notes of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg – I regret nothing!! And actually, go make this. You probably won’t regret anything either.

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Pumpkin Spice Butterscotch Blondies (Low carb, sugar free, gluten free, dairy free)

Recipe adapted from All Day I Dream About Food

Yields: around 30 squares

Ingredients: 

2 cups almond flour
2 tsp pumpkin spice mix
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup natural almond butter (or any mild-flavored nut butter)
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, softened (Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or Melt Organic Spread would also work for dairy free)
1 cup sweetener (I use Swerve)
4 large egg whites, or just under 3/4 cup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 – 1 1/2 tsp butterscotch extract (I use Frontier)
1/2 tsp liquid stevia extract (I use Sweetleaf)

Optional:
1 tbsp sugar free brown sugar substitute (like this)
1 tsp maple or molasses flavoring OR 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325°F and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda and salt.

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WASTE NOT.

In a large bowl, beat almond butter, butter and sweetener until smooth and well combined.

Beat in egg whites, vanilla, butterscotch and stevia extracts until well combined.

Beat in almond flour mixture until fully incorporated; spread mixture in prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a knife or an offset spatula.

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Stirring this counted as my entire year’s worth of arm reps.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes (less for a gooey consistency, more for a cakier consistency), until just set. I’ve found that the edges will be done before the center, which is fine – they’ll just be a little lighter and cakier.

Remove and let cool at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

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Nutritional Info:

Calculated with 1 tbsp brown sugar substitute, without molasses.

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Raspberry Linzer Cookies AND Bars! (Low carb, sugar free, gluten free, dairy free)

 

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Cookies. So classic. So RELIABLE. Every time I need to make a dessert, I think, “Cookies. So classic and so reliable. Why do I never make cookies?”

And then I make the cookies and I’m like “ok THIS is why I don’t make cookies.”

Look. It’s nothing against cookies as an actual dessert. It’s everything against the rolling and cutting and re-rolling and re-cutting and getting the thickness just right and then having to eat all the extra ones you burned (well, that part’s ok) because you decided to guess what “1/4 of an inch” actually looked like.

(………burnt cookies not featured.)

But I wanted to be like a fancy Viennese pastry chef and make those pretty little Linzer cookies – or die klassischen Linzer Augen, AS IT WERE. I also knew this would take me approximately several hundred years to do because cookies are a high-maintenance dessert and I refuse to hear otherwise.

So for those in the “aggressively lazy” camp (this is a running theme you can always expect here), I thought: what if you made Linzer cookies but instead of cookies they were bars? Ideal! And THEN I discovered I wasn’t even the first to have thought of this! Super ideal!!

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But then I made both anyway, because it was just so exciting. I don’t think that actually saved me any time, in retrospect, but it meant there was a lot of sampling and I’m ok with that.

Simple and healthy ingredients, dairy-free adaptable, perfect for the holidays and also every other day. Oh, and did I mention? LESS THAN SIX INGREDIENTS. As I always say, lassen Sie es sich schmecken!

Recipes and nutritional info for both cookies and bars below:

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Raspberry Linzer Cookies (low carb, sugar free, gluten free, dairy free adaptable)

Recipe adapted from I Breathe I’m Hungry

Yields: About 32 cookies

Ingredients: 
Cookies:
1 cup granulated sweetener (I used Swerve)
4 cups blanched almond flour
3/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted (Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or Melt Organic Spread would also work for dairy free)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Filling:
1 cup sugar-free or reduced sugar raspberry preserves
1/8 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp xanthan gum (optional, but helps filling set and hold together)
Powdered sweetener, for dusting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or spray with oil.

Combine the sweetener, almond flour, butter/oil/spread, and extracts. Stir together until a crumbly but firm dough forms.

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Roll dough out onto parchment paper until about 1/4 inch thick.

Cut using a Linzer cookie cutter or a medium round or fluted cookie cutter, then using a smaller round, heart, or star shape to cut out the center (or honestly just buy this). Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 8-12 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges.

Allow to cool to room temperature. Spread raspberry preserves filling on the flat side of each solid cookie. Dust the top of the cutout cookies with powdered sweetener, and press the flat sides together, with the raspberry preserves in the middle and the powdered sweetener on the top.

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The Ghost of Cookies Past.

And now for your bars, as promised:

Raspberry Linzer Bars (low carb, sugar free, gluten free, dairy free adaptable)

Recipe adapted from I Breathe I’m Hungry

Yields: Around 30 squares

Ingredients: 
Crust:
1 cup granulated sweetener (I used Swerve)
4 cups blanched almond flour
3/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted (Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or Melt Organic Spread would also work for dairy free)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Filling:
1 cup sugar-free or reduced sugar raspberry preserves
1/8 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp xanthan gum (optional, but helps filling set)

 Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F and line a 9×13 with parchment paper, or spray with oil.

Combine the sweetener, almond flour, butter/oil/spread, and extracts. Stir together until a crumbly but firm dough forms. Press about 2/3 of the dough into the pan.

In a separate bowl, combine the raspberry preserves, almond extract, and xanthan gum (if using).

Spread the preserves mixture evenly over the crust, and then crumble the remaining crust mixture over the top of the preserves layer.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 28 – 30 minutes or until golden brown and firm.

 

Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting into 2 inch squares. Voila!

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Nutritional Info:

As calculated with sugar free raspberry preserves:

linzer bar nutrition info

 

Buffalo Salmon and Avocado Salad (Low carb, sugar free, gluten free, dairy free)

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At this point in time we are going to aggressively ignore my shameful update schedule and instead focus our energy on other shameful concerns. For example: how did it take me this long to discover buffalo sauce?

I have no idea where this came from, but it’s like I got hit with a truck. Just outta nowhere. It’s been rough, guys. I can recognize a buffalo recipe on Pinterest from across the room. I’m obsessed with buffalo covered everything and no one even cares since they’ve already been enjoying their chicken dips and wings since the dawn of time.

While feverishly trying to incorporate hot sauce into everything I eat, I came across this Salmon & Avocado Salad recipe at The Healthy Foodie . With a few tweaks (aka ADDING MORE HOT SAUCE), I knew it would be an excellent vehicle to help me shovel more buffalo-type stuff in my face. And finally, a savory recipe to share! I eat that stuff, too! Not just cake! Honest!

Adding celery was key for me – I think celery legally has to be included with all buffalo dishes? Look, I don’t make the rules. But at least this time we can subtly dice it up and use it to add a little texture and crunch. Cilantro provides an excellent zip and balance for all that creamy avocado, too. This has become a staple in my fridge – I always try and have a batch available. It keeps really well!

Avocado: a little TOO photogenic.

Avocado: a little TOO photogenic.

So what makes this recipe in particular so fantastic? It’s cheap, quick, and easy for starters. (Canned or pouched salmon is almost always wild-caught!) Frankly, those three factors pretty much seal the deal for me, but it’s also – surprise!! – really GOOD FOR YOU. It’s low in carbs, high in fiber, and provides enough healthy, anti-inflammatory fats (don’t fear the fats!) to keep you satiated until the next time you’re trying to figure out how to inhale more buffalo sauce.

Buffalo Salmon & Avocado Salad

Recipe adapted from The Healthy Foodie

Yields: four servings (I have been known to eat it in less)

Ingredients: 

2 (5 oz.) pouches wild-caught salmon
1 ripe avocado
1 stalk celery, diced
2-4 tbsp chopped cilantro, or to taste
2 tbsp hot sauce (I use Frank’s Original)
Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

Only FOUR ingredients, y'all!!!

I forgot the celery PLEASE FORGIVE ME.

Add the salmon into a bowl, and use a fork to separate it a bit. Then, add your avocado and smoosh it all right in there.

Then add all remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Feel free to add whatever other mix-ins or spices tickle your fancy! I like letting it sit in the refrigerator for a bit, so all the flavors can ~*~blend~*~, but you could also just go to town on it. Roll it in nori, put it in a lettuce cup, wrap it, press it into a 1950s jello mold (don’t do that) – whatever you like!

Adding the hot sauce does not add to the visual appeal, unfortunately. This would explain the distinct lack of pictures accompanying this recipe. :| My recommendation is to visit the original recipe on The Healthy Foodie and pretend her gorgeous photos are my gorgeous photos.

Nutritional Info:

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Vanilla Cinnamon Chia Seed Pudding (Low carb, sugar free, gluten free, paleo, vegan)

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Do you see what has been artfully spread on a charming tablecloth in the picture above. 

THAT’S RIGHT.

CHIA SEEDS.

Sara always keeps her promises. (note: Sara is me.)

(addendum to note: this is still not actually the chia seed recipe my sister requested I’M SORRY I’M GONNA GET IT RIGHT EVENTUALLY)

Let me teach you the way of the chia seed. 

These are indeed the very same chia of the ch-ch-ch-chia pet fame. And they’re just fantastic. They’re these tiny little powerhouses of nutrition and versatility, and I haven’t even come close to unlocking their full potential yet as an ingredient. In fact: preliminary research hasn’t not shown that eating chia seeds on a regular basis makes you better than everyone else.* 

On their own, chia seeds taste pretty neutral, so they can work in both savory and sweet applications. Throw ’em on a salad, in a smoothie, your cereal, yogurt, even as an egg substitute for vegan-types!

Or you could make pudding with them.

It's a TABLEAU.

It’s a TABLEAU.

Among many other delightful qualities, chia seeds are loaded with fiber. And it’s thanks to this fiber that helps chia seeds absorb any liquid you mix it with and form a pudding-like gel. I learned this from the google and also real-life application, so I’m qualified to speak on this.

This pudding is yet another incredibly low maintenance recipe for all of those out there like myself who enjoy throwing things into a bowl and then walking away. This also isn’t overwhelmingly sweet, so that can also be adjusted according to preference. PLUS the options for different flavor combinations is endless! Throw in some chocolate, nut butters, pumpkin, coconut, whatever. Go wild. I won’t hold you back.

Because I am apparently only capable of making recipes containing cinnamon, vanilla, and almond in some capacity, I went ahead and made some vanilla cinnamon chia seed pudding with almond milk.

Vanilla Cinnamon Chia Seed Pudding

Original recipe from an edible mosaic

Yields: four 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients: 

2 cups unsweetened almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
6 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 packets stevia/choice of sweetener to taste (I use SweetLeaf Stevia)
4-8 drops liquid vanilla stevia, or to taste (…also SweetLeaf no they aren’t paying me BUT THEY SHOULD)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
teeny pinch of salt

Directions:

The lineup.

The lineup.

Add all ingredients into a bowl, and stir to combine.

Action shot!!!!!

Action shot!!!!!

I know. It’s going to seem like the cinnamon will never want to mix in. But you just have to believe. 

~*~BELIEVE~*~

~*~JUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF~*~

Good enough. Then, let the chia seeds work their mysterious and exotic magic and refrigerate until pudding thickens, at least 2 hours or overnight. Feel free to pop in and stir occasionally.

Then, place into fancy dishes (not optional) and be sure to sprinkle various ingredients all over your table so everyone knows that you are better than them for eating chia seeds.*

"I ate this, and I'm better than you" -you

“Statistics don’t not show that I am better than you for eating this ” -you

And enjoy!
*Source: Authority for the Creation of Deceptively Phrased Facts About Chia Seeds

Nutritional Info:

Calculated with stevia. Dat FIBER.
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