No food or drink - Except when E.A.T. South is in the Library

Snacking at the library!

Snacking at the library!

We don’t leave the farm too often, and we jumped at the chance to teach a healthy snack class for the teen summer program at the Rufus Lewis branch of the library. We had lots of fun breaking the rules, eating in the library, and sharing snacks with new friends.  We tried not to leave a mess behind, but we probably left some cocoa powder in the carpet. Sorry!

Now teens can be a tough audience so we put some time into thinking about teens & snacks, and created a plan based on some hopefully teen-friendly criteria like:

  • Something salty

  • Something sweet

  • Something to drink

  • Vegetables/fruit snack - Cause, we grow food.

  • Something you could make out of items found in the pantry - limited need for shopping.

  • Flexible & Forgiving - It’s going to be good whether or not you follow the recipe or no recipe needed.

  • Affordable

Based on these ideas, here’s our teen snack menu:

  1. “Gourmet” homemade popcorn

  2. Energy balls

  3. Mini Veggie Kabobs 

  4. Grape soda

Now for the recipes…

“Gourmet” homemade popcorn

Making popcorn at the library!

Making popcorn at the library!

This is the one recipe that requires a stove. Sure, you can make popcorn in a microwave, but can you spell the chemicals that go into those microwave packs? And if you don’t have a microwave or a popcorn popper, you can still make it on the stove. The “gourmet” part is all about playing around with adding spices and flavors to the popcorn bowl.

Ingredients & Materials

  • Canola or other high heat oil

  • ⅓ cup popcorn

  • A heavy bottomed pan with lid

  • Stove

  • Seasonings - Instead of just plain salt, try taco seasoning, red pepper, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, seeds, pepper sauce. For sweet popcorn, what about pancake syrup and cinnamon? 


  1. Put enough oil in your pot to cover the bottom. Add 3 popcorn kernels to the cold oil. When these kernels pop, you’ll know the oil is hot enough to pop the rest. Put lid on pot.

  2. Put pot on stove on medium-high heat.

  3. Wait. When you hear those three popcorn kernels pop. Add ⅓ cup popcorn.

  4. Move the pot back and forth on the burner to keep the corn from burning. BE CAREFUL. Do not burn yourself.

  5. Listen for the corn to pop. Keep the pot moving. When the pops slow down, when you can count seconds between the pops, the popcorn is done. Remove from heat.

  6. Season and enjoy. You don’t need butter. The oil will help the seasonings stick. Try new flavor combinations and let us know what you think is best. 

Energy Balls

We used spoons, not fingers, to roll the energy balls.

We used spoons, not fingers, to roll the energy balls.

Energy balls use peanut butter (or other nut butters like almond or cashew butter) and sometimes honey to stick lots of delicious things together. Everything is optional. This is a recipe that you can just dump into a bowl and mix. You don’t really need to measure. Here’s how we made our Energy Balls:

  • Small jar of almond butter 

  • Honey 

  • Raisins

  • Vanilla

  • Rice Crispies

You could also add chocolate chips, pretzels, dates or any dried fruit, coconut, Chex or other crunchy cereal, maple syrup, cinnamon, seeds & nuts like almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

Optional - ingredients to roll your energy balls in:

  • Coconut

  • Sesame seeds

  • Cocoa powder


  1. Empty about half a jar of peanut or other nut butter into a bowl.

  2. Add a glop of honey (3 good squeezes of the honey bear, maybe 3-4 tablespoons, if you need to measure).

  3. Add as many raisins as you like as well as any other seeds, nuts or fruit.

  4. Dump in some Rice Crispies.

  5. Stir everything together. It should all stick together pretty well. If it is falling apart, add more nut butter or honey.

  6. Scoop out spoonfuls of mixture and roll into balls.

  7. Eat!

These will keep for a day or two in an airtight container.

You can also roll the balls in coconut, seeds, cocoa powder. Just pour the powder or seeds on a plate to make it easier to clean up and roll the balls in them.

Mini Veggie Kabobs or Salad on a Stick

Like the energy balls, these snacks can include whatever vegetables or fruit might be in the house or garden. We also added some cheese for protein, but it’s optional.


  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Basil

  • Cucumbers 

  • Squash (yes, you can eat squash raw!)

  • Mozzarella or other cheese

  • Toothpicks

    Cut all vegetables and cheese into small cubes. You can keep the cherry tomatoes whole. Use a toothpick to stack your veggies, basil and cheese. Eat in a big bite. 

Grape (or any fruit juice) Soda

Sugar sodas are to blame for all kinds of health problems, but if you’re used to drinking them, it can be hard to change the habit. Fruit juice sodas do contain fruit sugar but by mixing them with club soda or sparkling water, you can enjoy a sweet fizzy drink with a little less sugar.

  • 1 liter Club Soda

  • 1 bottle grape juice (try apple, pineapple or other juices, too)

  • A cup or glass

  • Ice

Fill glass ½ to ¾ full of club soda. Add juice to fill the rest of the cup. Try different amounts of juice & soda. See what you like!

Let us know what you think of our recipes! Share your favorites.

Caylor RolingComment