Score with Homemade Healthy Snacks

With football season in full swing, heartier snacks seem to be the order of business. But store-bought snacks can blow the budget and mystery ingredients can blow a healthy diet. What’s a football fan to do? Make your own sweet and savory snacks with today’s fun recipes.

Peanut Butter Quesadillas

  • Two 10-inch flour tortillas
  • Two tablespoons of peanut butter
  • Jelly
  1. Spread one 10-inch flour tortilla with two tablespoons of peanut butter.
  2. Top with a second tortilla.
  3. In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, place quesadilla in skillet and heat two minutes on each side, until lightly browned.
  4. Cut into wedges, and dip in jelly to serve.

Variation: Place slices of banana on top of the peanut butter before topping with the second tortilla. Proceed as above, omitting the jelly dip.

Maple Fruit Dip

Want to get the people in your house to eat more fruit? Place this dipping sauce next to a big bowl of banana chunks, apple slices, strawberries or any other kind of fruit available—and watch it disappear!
  • 1/2 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat whipped topping
  • 4 teaspoons reduced-calorie maple pancake syrup
  • 1 dash ground cinnamon
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until use.
  3. Serve with fruit.

Yield: 1 cup.

Spicy Pretzels

  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 (1 ounce) package dry Ranch-style dressing mix
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 15-ounce package mini pretzels
  1. In a small bowl mix together cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, garlic salt, ranch-style dressing mix and vegetable oil.
  2. Place pretzels in a large, sealable plastic bag.
  3. Pour in mixture from bowl. Shake well.
  4. Allow pretzels to marinate in the mixture approximately two hours before serving.
  5. Shake occasionally to maintain coating

Yield: 10 servings

Beef Jerky

If you love beef jerky—the ultimate treat for family outings, sporting events, camping or hiking trips, and school lunches, too—I’m certain you’re not fond of the high price. At the typical supermarket it’s not exactly a cheap treat. Instead, make your own jerky for less than $3 a pound. You don’t need a fancy food dehydrator (although if you have one, get it out).
  • One pound of very lean beef—a cheap cut like chuck, round or London broil.
  • Jerky marinade (recipe follows)
  1. Start by trimming all visible fat from one pound of very lean beef—a cheap cut like chuck, round or London broil.
  2. Place in the freezer until firm and solid, but not rock hard.
  3. Using a sharp knife cut across the grain making sure the slices are as thin as you can possibly make them—about 1/8-inch thick.
  4. Place strips in a large plastic zip-type plastic bag or a large baking dish.
  5. Prepare one of the marinades below and pour the liquid over the strips.
  6. Close the bag tightly or cover the dish with plastic wrap.
  7. Refrigerate overnight or for at least eight hours. Knead the bag occasionally to distribute the marinade evenly, or turn the meat strips if you are using a dish.
  8. Preheat oven to 140 F.
  9. Remove meat from the marinade and place the strips on a cake rack over a cookie sheet in the oven. Make sure they are not touching so that air circulates around each strip.
  10. Dry in the closed oven until strips begin to splinter on the edges, from 18 to 24 hours or longer as necessary. Or, if you have a dehydrator, follow the manufacturer instructions.
  11. Cool completely before wrapping lightly with plastic wrap.

Jerky will keep in a tightly covered container for two to four weeks.

Traditional Beef Jerky Marinade

  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Mix all ingredients.
  2. Pour over meat strips to marinate.
  3. Proceed as above.

Sweet, Hot and Spicy Beef Jerky Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
  1. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the onion powder, garlic powder, and some cracked black pepper.
  2. Season the meat lightly, using only part of the mixture. Reserve the remaining spices.
  3. Place the seasoned meat into an airtight plastic container or bowl, and refrigerate.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together the brown sugar, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, liquid smoke flavoring and pineapple juice.
  5. Heat until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
  6. Pour over the meat and proceed as above.


Question: What’s your favorite football snack? Tell us here, and include the recipe if you can!


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2 replies
  1. Rejena says:

    We like “Bubba HorDourves”. I take the little smokies cocktail weinies and roll them in a crescent roll that I have cut into 3 triangles. Bake until golden brown. The guys love them!!

  2. Joy says:

    Pop corn is the family favorite snack. I invested in a special stove top popper ($15) that allows me to make fun flavors like kettle corn and cinnamon. Sadly, these don’t turn out well without the special pot, which allows you to stir it while the cooking so the recipe isn’t much help.


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