EatSavvy Blog

A few simple ingredient substitutions take typically fat and calorie-rich Super Bowl snacks to new healthy heights.
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The boys in my house love football, and I love a good gathering, so the Super Bowl might just be the one day a year when our interests happily collide. Naturally, I also love everything about traditional game day recipes. There is no denying that football-friendly foods are complete crowd pleasers, but for those of us hoping to keep our New Year’s health goals in check by skipping the salty chips and fat-filled dips, eating our way into a food coma doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. So this year, I’m giving our game-watching grub a healthy makeover, and the recipes I’m serving are so savvy no one will know they’re consuming fewer calories.

  • For the vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian guests, guacamole is a heart-healthy dip that’s safe for the consumption of anyone practicing a special diet. Serve with assorted veggies or chips and everyone will be sure to dig in.
  • Set out bowls of olives and nuts around the perimeter of the game-watching room. I know some of my guests will appreciate the guilt-free snack options that are kept close at hand.
  • I plan on skipping the nachos and serving this whole wheat tortilla pie instead. When plated with sides of salsa and sour cream (or for those who are calorie-conscious replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt spiked with a little lime juice and salt) the meal will be just as satisfying as the popular bar snack.
  • White bean, spinach and artichoke dip is a savvy solution for those looking for something warm and gooey to offer their guests. Copious quantities of cheese are replaced with pureed white beans, making it flavourful, filling (hello, fibre!) and something you’ll feel good about serving… and eating. Also, 2016 is the year of the pulse, so how could we resist adding beans to something?
  • Another ‘dip’ you might want to consider is our feta salsa. Serve alongside tortilla chips, spoon onto crackers, or scoop into endive leaves for a lighter gluten-free option.
  • Skip the traditional bacon and cheddar beef burgers and instead make our famed chicken burger with avocado relish instead. If you’re hosting a party, consider shaping the burgers into a smaller slider size instead of a full patty.
  • Baked chia chicken fingers are low in fat but still offer that coveted crunch thanks to the seasonings, bread crumbs and chia seeds. Serve with a honey mustard dipping sauce (combine equal parts Dijon mustard and honey) for a party-worthy potluck snack.
  • Whole wheat brownies served with platters of fresh fruit are perfect for those who are craving something sweet. Cut the brownies into squares, or use a small football cookie cutter to give them a game-day makeover.
Jan Scott is a well-known Canadian cookbook author, food writer, and the creator of Family Bites, a popular blog devoted to family-focused recipes and easy-to-execute entertaining and party ideas. She’s been the food editor for SavvyMom.ca since 2011, and has had essays and articles published in a variety of print and online publications. Prior to making the transition to food writing, she worked for a private catering company for eight years. Her first book, Gatherings: Bringing People Together with Food was shortlisted for the 2015 Taste Canada Food Writing Awards in the Best General Cookbook category. Jan lives in Toronto, with her husband and their three sons.
Comments | Tagged under snacks, super bowl
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Jan Scott
January 27, 2016
Jan Scott
Roasted Maple Almond Butter
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This year I’ve really embraced the idea of making many of my own pantry staples. From simple sauces, dressing and marinades, to snack items like hummus and nut butters, I’m filling the fridge with easy-to-make basics that are less expensive and healthier than their store-bought counterparts.

The thing I’m most excited about is a roasted maple almond butter that’s been in regular rotation in my fridge this month. The second we run out, I whip up another batch, because I always have the ingredients on hand and it’s literally the easiest, but tastiest thing you might make these days. I found the following recipe online, lured to it by the words ‘roasted’ and ‘maple’ and have been smearing it on toast, warm pitas, sliced bananas and chunks of apples ever since.

I recognize that almonds are not exactly considered a frugal freezer item (yes, freezer… it’s the best place to store nuts to keep them from going rancid), but I buy mine in bulk, lowering the cost considerably. Plus, they’re high in protein, which, when compared to the cost of meat, doesn’t seem so pricey after all. It’s a nutritious snack items to offer the kids, and I gave some to the baby as a way of introducing nuts, because it’s less tacky and slightly thinner than peanut butter, and easier for him to consume.

If you decide to give the recipe a go, be sure to check out the notes included in the ‘Good to Know’ section of the page for best results. Now, are you making anything exciting these days? How do you feel about homemade nut butters? Feel free to share in the comments.

Roasted Maple Almond Butter

Adapted from Edible Perspective

You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt


Prep and Cook:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300° F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (DO NOT use foil or wax paper).
  2. Spread almonds on the prepared pan in an even layer and toss with the maple syrup to coat well.
  3. Bake for 15–20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the skins are golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. While almonds are still warm, place in your food processor with the cinnamon, vanilla, coconut oil, and salt.
  5. Turn on and process until you have smooth and creamy nut butter. This can take 10–15 minutes due to the maple syrup. Scrape the sides and bottom frequently to help move it along.
  6. Scrape the almond butter into a jar cool to room temperature before sealing. Keep for about 1 month in a cool pantry or in the fridge for 2-3 months.



Good to Know:

  • Almond butter will thicken when refrigerated—this is totally normal.
  • You will need a 12-cup food processor for this recipe. If you have a 7 or 9-cup machine, halve the recipe.
  • Make sure you process the almonds while they are still warm. If they are cool it will be difficult to break them down due to the maple syrup.
  • Begin processing almonds by pulsing them until they are completely broken down, and then let the motor run on full speed.
Jan Scott is a well-known Canadian cookbook author, food writer, and the creator of Family Bites, a popular blog devoted to family-focused recipes and easy-to-execute entertaining and party ideas. She’s been the food editor for SavvyMom.ca since 2011, and has had essays and articles published in a variety of print and online publications. Prior to making the transition to food writing, she worked for a private catering company for eight years. Her first book, Gatherings: Bringing People Together with Food was shortlisted for the 2015 Taste Canada Food Writing Awards in the Best General Cookbook category. Jan lives in Toronto, with her husband and their three sons.
Comments | Tagged under snacks, nuts, recipe
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