Football season is here at long last. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Bills fan, a Steelers fan — or even a Browns fan — Sunday football is important to you, and so are the snacks to go along with the game.

I’d like to suggest that, for one Sunday, you forget the chicken wings bathed in blue cheese or ranch dip and the pizza laden with cheese and pepperoni.

Just one week ... try a healthy alternative and see how you feel the next day.

There are plenty of healthier options like air-popped popcorn drizzled with dark chocolate or a handful of heart-healthy mixed nuts and pumpkin seeds. But we all love dips, so here is one that is not only healthy but tasty — and very easy to make.

CREAMY BEAN DIP

(Makes 1½ cups)

Ingredients

2/3 cup of 2% fat cottage cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

One 15.5 can of cannellini beans, rinsed well, drained and dried

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Kosher salt and ground pepper

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of sweet paprika

Chopped chives, for garnish

Directions

Mix the cottage cheese, thyme, beans, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Just before serving, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with paprika and chives. Serve with cucumber slices, celery sticks, and carrot sticks.

*Note: you can add a little hot sauce to the dip when pureeing the mixture, but cut back a little on salt.

(Candy Work is a certified physician assistant and registered dietician, practicing at Olean Medical Group in Olean since 2015.)

Jim Eckstrom is executive editor of the Olean Times Herald and Bradford Publishing Co. His email is jeckstrom@oleantimesherald.com.)

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