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 

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LOW CARB Chocolate Birthday Cake with (SUGAR-FREE!) Vanilla and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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I feel very strongly that you would be impressed by the amount of cake I can put away.

I guess it’s just one of those innate talents I was born with. Some people are naturally gifted mathematicians or artists, but I was graced with the singular ability to effortlessly inhale about half of an entire cake in one sitting. I don’t bring it up much since I don’t want to intimidate people or anything.

Hahahaha!!!! No, that will not be nearly enough.

Hahahaha!!!! No, that will not be nearly enough.

There is but one day a year that my special skill can truly reveal itself, and that is of course every day MY BIRTHDAY HOORAY. Which was actually months ago now and is shamefully when I ORIGINALLY meant to post this, but let’s not kid ourselves: every day is a day that I could just take out the ingredients for this cake and make it because I have hands and a functioning oven. BOOM. No justification needed.

I mean ages before my birthday was even a consideration to normal people, I was planning this cake. I even made a beta version.

I knew it needed to be richer than God, and include various buttercream delights because I almost don’t consider frosting frosting without butter. But then also: not made of carby things.

Yes, you heard right. Carby things. NOT made of it. This cake contains no grains, flour, or added sugars – it’s LOW CARB. This is a freakin’ birthday cake that you could actually eat every day and not feel guilty for. The BUTTERCREAM FROSTING (which comes in both vanilla and chocolate, thank you very much) is sugar-free, for god’s sake! Even the fats it does contain are the good ones! I don’t even feel an ounce of guilt for implying this could be called healthy. And it’s a birthday cake. Yes, I am typing this one-handed so I can also pat myself on the back at the same time.

Seriously, go check out the nutritional comparison with a regular cake. And try not to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of crap they can pack into one slice.

You will notice from the pictures that there appears to be only half a cake present. This is actually NOT because I had already annihilated that half before I managed to pick up the camera – I actually only made a half cake so I could justify baking a ton of other desserts that weekend and argue that I only had half a cake so this was fair. Future posts on those to come! WOO! So please, go make this low-carb, low-sugar, gluten-free, vegan-adaptable (so basically, SUPER GREAT FOR YOU) birthday cake and enjoy! 1/4th the cake at a time.

LOW CARB Chocolate Cake With (SUGAR-FREE!) Vanilla and Chocolate Buttercream

Recipe adapted from Maria Mind Body Health

Yields: two 9 ” cake layers (I halved the recipe and stacked one layer)

Ingredients: 
Cake:
1 1/4 cup sweetener (I used ZSweet)
1 3/4 cups blanched almond flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (I omitted this because the shortening I used already had salt)
2-3 egg whites (or two whole eggs)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
drops liquid stevia to taste (I used this one)
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, softened (I used Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks)
2 tsp vanilla extract
Frosting:
Recipe adapted from 
DaVinci Gourmet Coffee Syrups
1 1/2-2 cups powdered sweetener (I used Swerve Confectioners)
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons choice of milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
2 tablespoons Da Vinci Gourmet syrup of choice (I used sugar-free caramel). But if you don’t want to use this, I would substitute with a tsp or two any flavor extract of your choice!
1 teaspoon vanilla

For chocolate buttercream: add 2-3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, add milk as until desired consistency is reached. I also added some DaVinci sugar free french vanilla. Feel free to substitute this with a tsp or so vanilla extract if you’d like.

 Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease two 9 inch cake pans. I also always cut out a circle of parchment paper and place it on the bottom of the pan for extra safety.

In a medium bowl, stir together the sweetener, almond flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, almond milk, butter or oil and vanilla.  Mix that for 2-3 minutes with an electric mixer. Pour evenly into the two prepared pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. PLEASE NOTE: almond flour is very delicate right out of the oven, so let it cool for at least 15 minutes before flipping the pants out.

For the frosting, use an electric mixer to combine all of the ingredients until smooth. Frost cake once it’s cooled! And be sure to sample a lot of everything.

More or less what happened.

More or less what happened.

Our cast of cake components. I recommend mixing them up and baking:

yassss

yassss

The batter will be thick, almost like a brownie batter. Just trust me on this – you’re doing it right.

PASS THE BUTTER

PASS THE BUTTER

And the frosting, which should be approximately 50% of your cake, ideally.

Mix everything up and then BOOM. Cake.

I opted for a more postmodern cake label.

I opted for a more postmodern cake label.

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You know what to do.

Nutritional Info:

My cake calculated with two full layers and both frostings OF COURSE. Please also keep in mind this was all calculated with the specific products and ingredients I used as listed above – of course things will vary depending on what you put into yours!

chocolate cake with frosting NutritionLabel

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.
ChiaSeedPudding NutritionLabel

Take 1: Flourless Cinnamon Almond Butter Cookies

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I had one job. And that was to post a recipe containing chia seeds.

This recipe does not contain any chia seeds at all. And for that I would like to apologize to my sister, whose sole request was that I post a recipe with chia seeds in it. ONE JOB.

So THIS (the sentence you are reading RIGHT NOW) is my promise to post many chia seeded delights in the future. You heard it here first!!

At least I can say that this recipe was truly inspired. Inspired by me finding myself with three jars of almond butter. Two of them are Costco sized. Yes. You get it.

So what we got here is a crispy-soft, almond buttery, cinnamon-laced tea cookie with hints of vanilla. And in case that sounded too enticing, they are also very ugly. Just, kinda…homely lookin’ for a cookie. :| But let’s not focus on what they aren’t. These cookies are:

  • grain-free/flourless
  • gluten-free
  • low sugar/carb
  • full of fiber and healthy fats (do I sound like Women’s Health right now???)
  • very super easy and quick to make

So let’s go places:

Flourless Cinnamon Almond Butter Cookies

Recipe adapted from Pies and Plots
Yields: ~14 cookies

Ingredients: 

1 cup/8 oz. jar almond butter (I actually used slightly less since I had already eaten some uhhh)
2/3 cup sweetener  (I used ZSweet)
1 packet stevia (optional)
1 egg white
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
Walden Farms chocolate dip for topping (very optional. and don’t try and be clever and stir some into the batter like I did IT DOESN’T BAKE WELL)

Directions:

Our cast of characters.

Our cast of characters.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or nonstick spray.

Stir together all ingredients until fully combined.

Using a tablespoon, scoop batter onto prepared baking sheet. These are pretty soft due to the almond butter, so they begin to spread right away. The sooner into the oven the better!

Please note: these are not hamburger sliders they are a dessert and I'm sorry.

Please note: these are not hamburger sliders they are cookies and I’m sorry.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes until cookies have spread and set on the tops. Cookies will still be very soft and molten in the centers, but they harden  as they cool, so do not overbake. Like I did.

These cookies: apparently fresh off the grill.

These cookies: apparently fresh off the grill.

Hilarious. Also make sure you use a big enough cookie sheet. LEARN FROM MEEEEEE

I kept these in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week, and they stayed fancy fresh. I don’t see why you couldn’t freeze them as well.

Nutritional Info:

Calculated with ZSweet and stevia. Also reflects slightly less than 1 cup almond butter.
Almond Cookie NutritionLabel

I'm sorry these are not charmingly wrapped up in twine and brown paper with sprigs of pine nearby.

I’m sorry these are not charmingly wrapped up in twine and brown paper with sprigs of pine nearby.

Aeriel shot!!!Aerial shot!!!

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