Attend any of this season’s parties and you will undoubtedly find chili on the buffet table. It’s a fall favorite for many reasons—one of the main being the array of toppings that are served alongside it. While you might be cheering on linebackers as you enjoy your bowl, here are my favorite healthiest (and tastiest) chili toppings that won’t leave you feeling like one:
There is a reason that cheese is one of Americans’ favorite foods—it tastes great and makes the perfect combination when paired with chili. Topping your bowl with cheese boosts the nutrition by adding essential nutrients for good health, including calcium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A and zinc.
Lactose intolerant? Not to fear- hard, natural cheeses, like cheddar or Swiss, contain very little lactose, so you can enjoy the taste and health benefits of cheese without discomfort.
Ever wonder why Greek yogurt is so popular? It has a delicious tangy flavor and thick consistency, making it the perfect substitution for sour cream. Swapping Greek yogurt for sour cream not only decreases calories but doubles the protein! Additionally, research has shown that the probiotics found in yogurt can decrease the risk of catching a cold as well as the severity of colds—something that we all can appreciate this time of year!
Take this opportunity to boost the nutrition of your chili even more and add a fresh element with veggies to top it off. Some of my favorites are chopped red onion, fresh tomatoes, avocados, jicama and fresh herbs, like parsley and cilantro.
Start with your favorite chili recipe, add these toppings and you’ll be the hit of every party this season!
Lanier Dabruzzi, MS, RD, LD