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By Adam Glasser

Everyone knows one of the best things about the Super Bowl is the food, but many Americans don’t realize just how much is consumed during the game. Every year fans eat around 1.33 billion wings, spend $13 million on vegetable trays, and around $227 million on potato chips. [1]

This year for the Super Bowl, save some money and eat well with recipes that make great alternatives to store bought food.

Guacamole is the quintessential dip for any Super Bowl fan, and this year the Hass Avocado board estimates 104.9 million pounds of avocados will be consumed on Sunday. Guacamole is easy to make, delicious, and is a great source of fiber, monounsaturated fat, which helps lower your risk for diabetes, improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.[2] Alton Brown has a great guac recipe that only requires 20 minutes of active time to make. LocalHarvest is a wonderful resource for finding local produce for your dip, which tastes better, preserves genetic diversity, and contributes to the local economy.

A veggie tray made with local produce can make your table pop and add a fresh, healthy element to your Super Bowl spread. Try to shop for what looks best at the market in order to get the best tasting, in season, vegetables rather than out of season processed food. A homemade dip can really kick your platter up a notch, making it the star of the show. 

If you’re still drooling at the thought of wings, honey-sriracha wings put a fantastic twist on a classic favorite. Shop for pasture-raised, organic, local chicken to reduce your carbon footprint and make your wings healthier. Try the National Honey Board’s honey locator to find local honey, with floral sources unique to where you live. For all the vegetarians and vegans out there who want to try something new this Ssunday, check out this awesome vegan buffalo “wing” recipe.

Vegetarian Chili is another great meatless alternative that will leave you feeling satisfied, with less impact on the environment. Meat-lovers should look for grass-fed, local beef for their chilis.

Cupcakes work well for large groups, and there are a lot of great recipes out there. If you want a moist, yellow cupcake, Sally’s Baking Addiction has a great recipe that you can decorate with your favorite team’s logo. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, try these beet red velvet cupcakes, developed by pastry chef Pamela Moxley in Atlanta, for a unique twist on a well known favorite.

For the 21+ crowd, hot buttered rum punch makes a great warming treat for cold days. Seasonal cocktails can help you stay local, while still enjoying the treats winter has to offer. Try dried fruits and dark liquors to give your drinks a winter twist. Whiskey, cinnamon, and cranberries feature prominently in many winter cocktail recipes.

Don’t let cold weather prevent you from eating local food. The Super Bowl is the perfect occasion to try out some new recipes and introduce your guests to the benefits of Slow Food. Who knows, you may even inspire your friends to focus on local, fresh food, that is good, clean and fair for all.  

[1] http://abcnews.go.com/US/staggering-amounts-food-eaten-super-bowl-sunday/story?id=45217629

[2] http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/guacamole-healthy-1751.html