After two years of social distancing, the world has more or less returned to normal. Many people are eager to find new ways to socialize and connect with others, even if that just means a small circle of friends. And while there are of course many ways to do this, a game night is always a good option.
A poker night in particular is a great way for adults to catch up and bond, as it combines one of the most popular games in the world with an easy scenario for conversation. Moreover, playing poker develops mental skills – like resilience, emotional intelligence, and a positive outlook on life – that we could all use a bit more of after this given how bad things seem in the world, with rising prices coming so soon after a pandemic. Add it all up, and you get an activity you can enjoy, talk through with friends, and even draw some mental fortitude from. Not bad, right?
With all of that said though, you can’t host a proper poker night without snacks! Snacking between meals is a good thing — especially when our bodies are telling us to relieve our hunger or to satisfy cravings. To keep it healthy though, it’s important to choose snacks of good quality and nutritional value. In the context of a poker night, you’ll also want to serve guests clean foods that are easy to consume.
Here are four snack options to consider for a fun and healthy poker night:
Cut-up fruits and veggies
There aren’t many things healthier than fresh fruits and vegetables, even if the price of having fresh produce delivered is on the rise. Although a tasty platter requires a lot of prep work, your friends are bound to enjoy it, if you can afford to get the right ingredients. Grapes, sliced apples, and strawberries are ideal options because they can be eaten in one bite each and don’t stain when dropped (unlike juicy watermelon or citrus fruits). As for vegetables, baby carrots and celery sticks can be served easily alongside savory dips like hummus. Just make sure you present your platter with napkins and forks (or toothpicks) so it doesn’t get too messy and pull focus away from the felt.
Small sandwiches are the ultimate finger food. They’re easy to eat with one hand and no utensils, while leaving zero mess (unless you’re using tomatoes, sauces, or shredded lettuce). This is probably why sandwiches and card games have long been linked in history, from the 4th Earl of Sandwich to Reuben Kulakofsky –– both of whom are purported to have invented sandwiches because neither wanted to be disturbed while playing cards. If you’re still worried about greasy fingers, meanwhile, you can wrap the sandwiches in wax paper or napkins for easy consumption. You can also serve your sandwiches with bite-sized cookies, like Shrewd Food’s Oat and Berry Protein Cookies (which are great for digestive health!).
Popcorn, pretzels, or nuts
Crunchy, dry snacks are always popular at the poker table because they offer plenty of variety. You can invent your own nutritious trail mix with peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, and hazelnuts; just avoid adding too much salt or seasoning so the powders don’t stick to the cards. If you’re hosting friends with nut allergies, meanwhile (or just different preferences), classic munchies like popcorn and pretzels offer a healthier alternative to greasy potato chips, which you don’t want near your playing cards either. Simply throw everything into a bowl and pass it around. And if you’re looking for something more keto-friendly, the Shrewd Food Protein Puffs are perfect for satisfying any junk food cravings.
Candies are probably the easiest snacks on this list to put together. You can buy an assortment of them at any grocery store and put them in nice bowls, individually wrapped (like it’s Halloween). Avoid sticky fingers by skipping sweets that can melt or are covered in sugar. And remember too that there are also plenty of vegan and vegetarian options to choose from, like plant-based gummy candies. Traditional gummies are made with gelatin derived from cartilage, bones, hooves, or even the skin of pigs. Vegan gummies offer a suitable alternative by using pectin, a plant-based polysaccharide, as a gelling agent. Finally, any chocolate lovers in your group will also enjoy Shrewd Food Keto Dippers and Keto Krac Bars, which can definitely keep everyone energized throughout the poker night!