Fall brings cool weather, colorful leaves, and of course, football! What better way to celebrate this American pastime than by attending a tailgate? According to the Weber Grillwatch™ Survey, at least 57 percent of Americans have attended a tailgate in the past 12 months without even going into the game. This year, the Food+Beverage team has discovered a few new food and drink trends sure to win crowds over at any game day celebration.
Joe Drozda, author of “The Tailgater’s Handbook,” set to publish in 2014, revealed that tailgaters today seek healthier game day grub than ever before. For example, many are substituting spices and herbs for traditionally high-sodium condiments.
In honor of this insight, we’ve compiled a few “spicy,” tailgating options sure to score with health-minded crowds:
Garam Masala (an Indian spice):
Garam Masala is a blend of ground spices common in North Indian and other South Asian cuisines. Try using it on deviled eggs like this recipe from Bon Appetit. Being low-carb and tasty, this protein packed snack is small enough to easily travel with, whether traveling to the stadium or by a friend’s house. The garam masala will be sure to give the deviled eggs an atomic explosion of flavor.
Paprika is made from ground, dried fruits with a mixture of bell or chili peppers. With this grilled chicken skewers recipe from Taste.com you will save calories by swapping out sauce-covered wings for delicious grilled chicken skewers.
Cardamom comes from the ginger family and comes in two forms – green (often used for traditional sweetening) and black (distinctively used for its smoky flavor). MyGourmetConnection.com offers a great recipe that includes adding green cardamom to turkey meatballs, which in turn provides a lean alternative instead of bringing burgers to your tailgate.
Cayenne: Cayenne pepper is relatively high in vitamin A and also contains vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium and manganese. Infamously used for cooking spicy dishes, Taste of Home provides a white chili recipe that features the trend of using white meat instead of ground beef. The cayenne and temperature of the chili will have dedicated tailgaters warmed up in no time in the freezing, fall temperatures!
Mint: Also known as menthe, mint is extensively used as an aftertaste, flavor or garnish. With FoodNetwork.com’s fruit kabob’s recipe, pineapples and chunks of peaches can be grilled or served cold on a kabob stick using mint leaves to complement a sweet, menthol taste.
Additionally, watching the big game with a craft drink is gaining popularity this year. The Huffington Post Taste blog recently featured the best football cocktails of 2013 from Liquor.com. From a gourmet Bloody Mary to a Sherry Cobbler, you can try a new cocktail each week!
Game day tip: A healthy mix of protein and fiber will prevent you from overeating at the main event, likely saving you hundreds of calories for the day.
Sources: TasteOfHome.com, FoodNetwork.com, MyGourmetConnection.com, Taste.com.au and BonAppetit.com
Email the Hill+Knowlton Strategies' Food+Beverage team at FoodAndBeverage@hkstrategies.com.