8 Healthy Snack Recipes for Basketball Madness

Fitness Tips

8 Healthy Snack Recipes for Basketball Madness

The madness is again upon us! With the brackets announced on Sunday and games starting today, legions of fans from one seeds down to the 16s are eagerly anticipating the season’s most exciting match-ups. And whether you bleed blue in Kentucky or roar for the red of Wisconsin, you’ll need some sustenance to get you through those anxious final possessions. To that end, we’ve scoured the interwebs for healthy snack recipes from each of the main bracket regions. Below are eight of our favorites. Sneak ‘em through the back door, post ‘em up to a tray and your taste buds will feel nothing but net. (What can we say? The madness brings out the corny basketball metaphors in us…)


Known for their love of cheese, fried foods and ranch dip on everything, Midwesterners throw an amazing tailgate. And while most pre-party foods aren't known for their health benefits, below are two options guaranteed to please your inner Jayhawk (or Terrapin, Spartan, or other team of choice).

Big game mix

“Mixes” can be created from a variety of other snacks; this is merely one version. Clocking in at 130 calories per serving, this one is pretty reasonable health wise – assuming, of course, that you don’t eat 10 servings.

Ranch dip and crunchy vegetables

ranch dip and veggies Photo courtesy of Flickr user Gary J. Wood


Ranch dip is not the healthiest condiment on the planet (despite it potentially being the yummiest), so make sure to favor the vegetables in your edible ratio.


Like the Midwest, the South isn't known for its health food – rather for its barbecue, grits and gravy – none of which help the cholesterol or waistline. There are, however, methods of making Southern staples in a healthier way for game day. Here are a pair of revisions that pack as much flavor as their originals, but less of the fat and calories.

Crispy oven-fried drumsticks

Oven-frying can give you the same awesome taste as deep-frying while being significantly healthier. Of course, neither is going to be as healthy as not eating anything fried – but how likely is that during the next few weeks?

Fried Green Tomatoes

fried green tomatoes Photo courtesy of Flickr user star5112


If you have to go fried, at least pair it with a vegetable, right? Also, this recipe exchanges the typical Crisco-lard heart bomb with healthy oil.


When we think East coast, we think delis, fresh seafood and amazing accents. The former two we can help you with, although you’re on your own for the latter.

Shrimp cocktail

There are many great things about shrimp cocktail: it’s easy to make, easy to serve and relatively healthy due to its majority of fresh ingredients. If you wanted to be really scrupulous, you could even replace the ketchup with some tomato paste and a dash of sugar.

Soft-baked pretzel

soft-baked pretzels Photo courtesy of Flickr user Ana Ulin


It doesn't get any more Eastern than a pretzel – well, except for possibly a bagel, but they’re a significantly less awesome basketball-watching snack.


Known for its “California” fare and sparking a lot of the healthy eating movements, West Coast cuisine is equal parts trendy and classic. They fuse just about everything fuse-able due to influences from Old World European, Asian and native flavors. Here’s just a small sample of some casual West Coast fare.

Lemon Parmesan popcorn

Popcorn is always a popular snack because you can eat as much or as little as you’d like. It’s a great community snack and is also easy to toss at the screen when your favorite player fails to snag the board. If you hate lemon and/or Parmesan, don’t worry – there are plenty of other options.

Kale chips

kale chips Photo courtesy of Flickr user Kari Sullivan


Does it get any more Californian than kale? Much healthier than the popular potato version, these kale chips will take you about 25 minutes to make, so start far in advance of tip-off! What are your favorite snacks to munch on during the chaos of March’s basketball games? Please share any awesome recipes in the comments! Featured image courtesy of Flickr user Steve Johnson.