Playoff games are happening NOW and Super Bowl LI (that’s 51 if you’re a little rusty on your Roman numerals) is just around the corner on 5 February, 2017. I’ll be in France, so we’ll probably be eating foie gras and sipping Sauternes, but if we were going to be in the States, I assure you some serious game day eats would be on our table! If you have celiac disease like me, then you need to know How to Survive a Super Bowl Party when You’re Gluten-Free!
You don’t have to be an avid football fan to enjoy game day festivities and snacks. The Super Bowl is surpassed only by Thanksgiving in terms of the amount of food Americans consume. (Really!) Just take a look at these shocking stats about Super Bowl Sunday food consumption – 11.2 MILLION pounds of potato chips, really?!
For those of us who live gluten-free, traditional football fare can pose an issue – battered and fried everything, sneaky sauces on wings that may contain gluten, and the cross-contamination potential is like jogging in a mine field.
Of course, you know me… I never miss a party! ;) With a bit of creativity and some planning, there’s no need for you to, either.
You already know those standard answers when you ask how to handle a situation like going to a friend’s home for Game Day…
1. Eat before you go.
2. Take your own “special” food.
3. Skip the festivities altogether.
Well, good grief and heavens no! For me, those aren’t reasonable suggestions. Instead, how about some real, practical solutions to empower you in your gluten-free life, on game day and every day??
Let’s get the gluten-free party started with these tips and recipe suggestions!
(PS – If you want to make that cute football brownie pictured up top, simply make these gluten-free brownies, cut into football shapes, and top with chocolate glaze or healthy chocolate frosting, then use white frosting to pipe on football stitching.)
How to Survive a Super Bowl Party when You’re Gluten-Free
1. Go natural.
Focus on all-natural whole foods to boost nutrition, help you feel full and satisfied and of course, to keep meals and snacks gluten-free. Think of veggie trays, fruit bowls and seasonings that are naturally “safe”: lemon juice, salt, pepper and hot sauce.
Don’t forget plain, lean meats (steaks and ribs) and poultry (baked “drummettes” or chicken wings free from breading) as excellent choices for metabolism-boosting protein. Deviled eggs make a great non-meat protein snacking option.
Foods like those pictured above – baked plantains, baked herbed feta with tomato & mint, citrus salsa, avocado, boursin stuffed tomatoes and bacon wrapped olives – are all great examples of tasty naturally gf eats.
2. Snack smart.
Fast homemade salsa (pictured above) is a great example of a flavorful healthy snack option. Before you dip your chip in, remember the potential risk of cross-contamination and hidden gluten hazards when hitting the snack table.
For example, popcorn is naturally gluten free; however, some popcorn may be manufactured near gluten foods, which could lead to contamination. For a list of brands of gluten free non-GMO popcorn, check out this post, “Finding Balance on Our Gluten Free Diet with a Treat” (you’ll also get an awesome Gluten Free Caramel Corn Recipe, too, which would make a fun addition to your game day menu!)
Many mainstream brands of potato chips and tortilla chips are gluten-free. Always read labels carefully and when in doubt, call the manufacturer to be sure there is no risk of gluten contamination.
3. Talk it up.
Most people want to understand the facts behind why we need to eat gluten-free. If you’re invited to a party, tell the host you’d love to bring your signature dish to share with everyone. Ask if there are special dietary concerns for any other guests attending the party and share your understanding about what it’s like to be on a special diet. You may actually be a huge help to a host who isn’t familiar with serving individuals with food allergies.
Opening the door to discussion in this manner is positive, non-threatening and will likely be an opportunity for you to educate someone about living gluten (and other allergen) free.
Now that we know how to handle navigating the party, check out 20 Good for You Gluten-Free Game Day Foods and get in the kitchen!