According to early estimates, approximately 100 million people will tune in Sunday night when the Pittsburgh Steelers play the Arizona Cardinals in this year’s Super Bowl.  With our favorite teams out of the running, we at the WGC are relatively neutral this time around.  I personally am looking forward to a really good football game, some awesome commercials, and this year’s halftime show featuring the ever superb Bruce Springsteen.  

Of course, I’m looking forward to some good food too!  It’s the Super Bowl!  Snacks and football go hand in hand in my house, and for this weekend’s big game, we’re planning to have lots of yummy things on hand.  Big surprise, but one of the things I enjoy most is finding new ways to incorporate whole grains into the things I serve to guests.  Although this year’s party will be a relatively small crowd, I’m already planning my game day menu and whole grains will be there.  Here are just a few of my ideas:

  • Whole grain pita chips with dip – especially guacamole, hummus, salsa, or this fantastic Sweet & Spicy Black Bean Dip (note: I omit the jarred jalapeno slices, preferring to use a whole fresh jalapeno for serious bite).  Did you know you can make your own pita chips at home in no time flat?  Check out this recipe and give it a try!  It’s a great way to save a little money and add your own flavors to the foods you serve.
  • Whole grain crackers and cheese – who doesn’t love crackers and cheese?  In our house, a favorite snack is to toast crackers and cheese in the oven for 5 minutes or so until the cheese is nicely melted.  Try a pepper jack or some herbed goat cheese, or go for cheddar and dot some different sauces like Tabasco or Worcestershire on top.  I like adding chopped red bell pepper on mine, just for the flavor and texture contrast.
  • Nachos – layer upon layer of cheese, jalapeno slices, cheese, black beans, shredded chicken, sour cream, more cheese… What can I say, I like cheesy nachos!  However you prefer them, with a lot or a little on top, be sure to make whole grain tortilla chips your base.
  • Popcorn — is a whole grain!  Need I say more?
  • Bulgur or wheat berries in your chili – adding some whole grains to your prize-winning chili will not only bulk it up and make it all the more hearty, but your leftovers will stretch a little bit further.  Scour the internet for recipes like this amazing Vegetarian Bulgur Chili, or flip through your whole grains cookbook for ideas.  Don’t have a whole grains cookbook?  We can help you with some suggestions!
  • Cornbread – because nothing goes with chili better than cornbread!  Most bags of corn meal you buy in the grocery store have a simple cornbread recipe right on the side.  Of course, you can always find a cornbread mix in the baking aisle if you think you might run short on time or ingredients.  Just be sure to look for whole grain cornmeal or mixes, because if it says degerminated, it’s not whole grain.  Whether or not you add whole grains to a stew or chili, serving it over or with a fresh-from-the-oven hunk of cornbread makes the whole dish feel complete.
  • Brownies made with whole wheat flour – after all the salty snacks, it’s important to give your sweet tooth a little love.  Whether you buy a brownie mix (scroll through our Baking Mixes for some options) or make them from scratch (check out this recipe I found!), this year’s late kickoff time means it’ll be time for dessert before you know it.

Don’t forget to visit our lists of Snacks and Treats that proudly bear the Whole Grain Stamp so you know you’re getting at least one half-serving (8 grams) of whole grains per serving of your favorite products.

Hooray for football!  (Kara)

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