6 Recipes for Healthier Ballpark Staples
Ballpark food can be a huge swing and a miss when it comes to nutrition — but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a healthier version at home! The following six game day classics have been given a slightly healthy makeover, and you won’t strike out if you serve one when you have people over to catch the game this season.
1. California hot dog
To accompany its hot dog recipe, Eating Well had a few pointers for purchasing the best hot dogs. Look for hot dogs that have 150 calories or less per serving, contain no more than 3 grams of saturated fat, and contain under 370 milligrams of sodium. With your healthier hot dog found, you can then grill and garnish a this twist on the ballpark classic.
- 1 grilled hot dog
- 1 whole-wheat hot dog bun, toasted if desired
- 2 tablespoons diced avocado
- 1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
- 1 tablespoon alfalfa sprouts
- ¼ teaspoon curry powder, or to taste
Directions: Place hot dog in bun; top with avocado, onion and sprouts and sprinkle with curry powder.
2. Soft pretzels
Pretzels get the whole wheat makeover thanks to Good Cheap Eats. With two ways of making them — sweet or salty — this recipe will be a grand slam this baseball season. You’ll get twelve pretzels from the recipe.
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 8 cups water
- ¼ cup baking soda
- coarse salt
- melted butter & cinnamon sugar
Directions: Note: If you don’t have a bread machine, don’t despair. Just follow standard procedure for traditional bread dough. Warm the milk and water, add the other ingredients, knead, and rise until doubled in bulk. Continue with the original recipe instructions.
In the pan of a bread machine, assemble the dough ingredients in the order recommended. Set the machine on dough. When the cycle ends, remove the dough to a lightly oiled surface. Divide the dough into twelve equal portions.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll each portion into a long snake, about 18 inches long. Shape the snake into a horseshoe. Twist the sides of the horseshoe, about halfway up, around each other twice. Flip the ends over onto the U of the horseshoe. Press to seal. Continue until all the pretzels are shaped.
Meanwhile, bring the 8 cups water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add the baking soda and continue to boil. Drop the formed pretzels, one at a time into the soda bath. Boil for about 30 seconds and remove to the prepared parchment. Sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired.
Once all the pretzels have been “bathed,” bake them for 9 to 10 minutes or until golden. If you prefer sweet pretzels, brush the baked pretzels with melted butter and sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar before serving.
3. Onion rings
Immediately, at-home onion rings are healthier because for most people deep-frying is not an easy option. Instead, they will be baked, like these crunchy onion rings from How Sweet It Is, which yields two to four servings.
- 2 large vidalia onions
- 1 quart of buttermilk
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup medium ground cornmeal
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Directions: Twelve to 24 hours ahead of time, slice onions into half-inch thick rings. Season the onion rings with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper each. Place in a baking dish and pour buttermilk over top. Let soak for 12 to 24 hours.
When ready to bake, heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, whisk egg whites. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour and panko with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon paprika. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the wire rack with non-stick spray.
Remove each onion ring from the buttermilk and dip in egg whites. Immediately dip in the breadcrumb mixture and press to coat. If bread crumbs won’t adhere, dip in egg whites and try again. Lay each ring on the wire rack. When all rings are ready, give each a quick spritz with olive oil or non-stick spray. Bake for 15 minutes, then gently flip with tongs and spray again with olive oil or non-stick spray. Bake for 10 minutes more.
4. Corn dog muffin bites
Easy, quick, and appetizer-ready are the corn dog muffin bites from A Healthy Slice of Life. It isn’t exactly what you’d see at the ballpark, but baking is easier (and healthier) than dipping the dogs in batter, and frying them.
- 2½ cups cornbread mix
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1¼ cups water
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 5 hot dogs, cut into 1 inch pieces
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, mix cornbread mix, water, oil, cheese and egg together until well combined. Grease a mini-muffin pan.
Spoon cornbread mixture into each cup, filling each cup about half way. Place a piece of hot dog in the center of each muffin cup. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Enjoy!
5. Light barbecue chicken pizza
For an ultimate health twist, make Pinch of Yum‘s pizza with a cauliflower crust. It is definitely a lightened up take on a classic junk food, with a great mix of toppings too. A whole-wheat crust could be substituted for the cauliflower version, like this AllRecipes.com dough, you will probably have to adjust the ingredients when using a different dough.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
- ¾ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- thinly sliced red onions
- fresh cilantro
Directions: Chop the cauliflower into medium pieces. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the oil and heat until shiny. Place the cauliflower in the hot oil, stir to cover with oil, and place a lid on the skillet. Check skillet every few minutes to keep cauliflower from burning, but let it get a nice browned roasted outside. Continue to let cauliflower cook, covered, for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Let cool for a few minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In a blender or large food processor, place eggs, cornmeal, and seasoning. Place cauliflower in blender and puree until you have a semi-smooth, thick batter. Cover a pizza pan with parchment paper and pour batter into the center of the paper. Spread until you have about a ½ inch thick crust or thinner if desired.
Bake the crust for about 20 minutes, checking occasionally to keep from burning. I liked the crispy edges, so I recommend letting it brown a little bit more than a normal crust.
While crust is cooking, coat chicken with barbecue sauce. When the crust is cooked through and golden brown, remove and top with barbecue chicken, half the cheese, red onion, and the rest of the cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. Top with cilantro, slice, and serve.
The nachos from Health are loaded up with vegetables and protein-filled beans — 18 grams per serving! To find a healthier version of tortilla chips, look for ones with flax seed or quinoa in the ingredient list.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 (15.5-oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
- 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, finely chopped, plus leaves for garnish
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
- 1 rib celery, thinly sliced
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces multigrain tortilla chips
- 4 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, grated
- ½ avocado, diced
- Salsa (for serving)
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, mash the oil, 1 cup beans, chopped cilantro, and 2 tablespoons lime juice. In another bowl, toss the celery, onion, ¾ cup beans, and 1 tablespoon lime juice.
Spread chips on a baking sheet; cover with the cheese. Bake until cheese melts. Top the hot nachos with the bean mixtures, avocado, and salsa; garnish with cilantro leaves.