‘Cornbrats’ & deep-fried cheesecake?! Healthy state fair food alternatives
By Brittany Anas
Oh, my fair ladies (and gents) … watch out for the deep-fried Twinkies and sugared strawberry funnel cakes. Summertime fairs aren’t necessarily known for offering healthy fare. And, let’s be honest fried butter (yes, that’s a thing) coupled with roller coaster rides, is just torturous to your stomach.
If you’re on the festival circuit this summer where it seems everything is served on a stick or fried and dipped in chocolate, you’ll be happy to know that some of the state’s largest fairs are marketing their healthy options, too.
Here’s some healthy ideas for you festival foodies:
Iowa State Fair: It’s home to the world-famous 600-pound “butter cow,” which is, well, a cow elaborately carved out of butter. The Iowa State Fair has an “on-a-stick” option for just about everything you can imagine: Double Bacon Corn Dog on a stick. Chocolate-covered deep fried cheesecake on a stick. And a cornbrat (think bratwurst meets corndog). On a stick, of course. But stick eating can be healthy, too. For better alternatives, stop by The Salad Bowl booth for fruit-on-a-stick with a yogurt dipping sauce. They’ve also got “salad on-a-stick” with an iceberg lettuce wedge, carrots and tomato served kabob-style. (The Iowa State Fair runs Aug. 8-18)
Colorado State Fair: Elaborate sand castles, mutton bustin’ and a Hispanic art show all help make the state fair unique. While the food options aren’t up online just yet, the Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper put together a fun “Wacky guide to Colorado State Fair food.” One of the sections asked a local author, Ruby Ann Boxcar, to point us in the direction of the healthy-ish food. Her response: “That’s a three-way tie! Healthy options at this year’s fair are corn dogs (sticks ain’t got no calorie count), baby back ribs (babies are smaller) and Dippin’ Dots (Again, size matters so you can eat a whole lot more).” In all honesty, go for the turkey leg — just take off the skin. (The Colorado State Fair runs Aug. 23-Sept. 3)
California State Fair: This is our kinda’ fair. Among the festival food is a farmer’s market with healthy, locally-grown produce. Throughout the day, snack on some fresh and healthy options: Corn on the cob (light butter), chilled edamame or a veggie kabob. (The California State Fair runs July 12-28)
Bonus: The Minnesota State Fair is a big one. More than 1.5 million people visited it last year. Come July, the state fair will have a “food finder” online to help you find all the discounts and food options at the 2013 fair, which runs from Aug. 22 to Sept. 2.
Whether you’re fair-hopping this summer or planning a family vacation, check out ShopAtHome.com’s travel coupons to help you save money on your trips — including 11 percent cash back from Travelocity.
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