Healthier nachos in four steps
Nachos are a popular dish to serve in early learning services, schools and at home. Children love building their own nacho bowl and eating it with their fingers!
With ingredients like corn chips, cheese and sour cream, traditional nachos can be high in energy (kilojoules), saturated fat and salt. By making simple swaps, you can easily put a healthy twist on this Mexican favourite. Here are four tips from the Fuelled4life team.
1. Start with a healthy base.
Instead of store-bought corn chips, try one of the following ideas:
- Baked pita crisps: Wholemeal pita pockets or wraps, cut into pieces and grilled until crisp.
- Crispy potato rounds: Thinly sliced potato or kumara rounds or wedges, baked until golden.
- Whole grains like brown rice or quinoa.
If cooking facilities are not available, compare the ingredient list and nutrition information panel of corn chips. Choose plain corn chips with the least number of ingredients and less saturated fat and sodium (salt).
2. Give your nacho sauce a nutrition boost.
- Pack-out your nacho sauce with lots of veggies (like grated carrot, courgette, corn or canned tomatoes).
- Add legumes (like kidney beans, black beans or chickpeas) to increase fibre content. This is an affordable way to make your sauce go further.
- When using meat, choose lean mince or drain the fat when cooking to cut back on saturated fat.
The beauty of nacho sauce is that it can be made in bulk and used in number of ways. Try savoury mince on toast or a wholemeal burrito.
3. Add colour and flavour with healthier toppings.
Swap standard sour cream and cheese with a selection of healthier toppings like:
- Chopped capsicum, tomato or homemade tomato salsa.
- Herbs, lemon / lime wedges.
- Reduced-fat cheese (e.g. Edam, Noble or reduced fat Tasty).
- Natural yoghurt, guacamole or reduced-fat sour cream.
4. Add a side of greens.
Serve a crisp salad alongside your nachos for even more nutritional goodness.
Check out the links above for individual recipes or try this delicious beef nachos with avocado salsa.
Thank you for your feedback.
The Fuelled4life team.