Localicious: Snack Attack – Calming After-School Cravings

School’s back and so are after-school appetites. Finding creative snacks that keep kids full until dinnertime can be a trick. Fortunately, northern California offers a wide variety of local products that not only simplify snack time, but allow for healthy options. 

Rice Cakes & Fresh Fruit

Rice cakes have been on the market for years, and for good reason. These low-calorie snacks simplify life and the after-school routine. Imagine slicing up apples and grabbing rice cakes from the cupboard as the kids tumble in from their school day. What could be a case of the “hangries” will quickly turn into happy kids. Rice cakes, especially brown rice cakes, are rich in fiber. They are a carbohydrate, which means eating them will give you the energy needed to power through until the next meal. 

Lundberg Family Farms operates out of Chico, California (lundberg.com). Manufacturing just about every rice product imaginable, Lundberg is best known for their wide variety of snack items. Their rice is farmed throughout about 16,000 acres; 10,000 of these are organic, while the other 6,000 acres are eco-farmed. They currently have more than 14 flavors of rice cakes, including two new flavors: Honey Nut and Salted Caramel. 

Fresh fruit can be found at your local farmer’s market—all north state areas have year-round or seasonal farmer’s markets. It’s common to find apples, oranges, strawberries and more during the month of September. 

Homemade Granola Bars 

Many granola bars are filled with processed ingredients and added sugars. Try making homemade granola bars and know exactly what your family is eating—such as “Peanut Butter Honey Banana Granola Bars”. These bars feature local raw honey and local ghee. 

Humans have been ingesting raw honey for centuries, and we now know some of its many health benefits include enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients.

Haley Olivarez of Chico Honey Co. (chicohoneyco.com) has a passion for spreading knowledge about this sweet treat. “Raw honey is a great ingredient to add to your daily diet for an abundance of reasons,” Haley says. “Not only is it a great substitute as a sweetener, but it also contains amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and local pollens that have been known to help alleviate allergies.” 

Also known as clarified butter, ghee is a healthy fat that is still building its reputation. Indya Gage, owner of Mama Sattva Ghee (mamasattva.com)
ensures that every batch is 100% organic, pasture-raised and cultured. 

Is ghee really better than butter? Indya says, “Ghee is amazing for you. Butter is great for you too. However, once the heavy, dense particles that are the lactose, casein, and protein solids in dairy have been removed from the butter, all that remains is the pure oil. The oil is light and warm with an uplifting energy to it and your body absorbs it very efficiently. The oil contains all of the essential fatty acids that you need for repairing any damaged cells, and for protecting the body.

“Ghee directly feeds nerve and brain tissue, reduces inflammation in the body, and cleanses and strengthens the liver. It also builds digestion and helps with absorption.

Ghee enhances natural intelligence in the body and the mind. Dr. David Frawley, an authority on Ayurvedic Science Medicine says, ‘Ghee enhances the flame of intelligence’.”

Beat the after-school blues while keeping your kids healthy and strong with: 

Peanut Butter Honey Banana Granola Bars

Makes 12 granola bars, depending on the size of the pan.


  • 2 cups gluten free oats
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 T Mama Sattva Ghee
  • 4 T Chico Honey Co. raw honey
  • 1/2 T vanilla extract
  • 1 T molasses
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 medium/large banana, very ripe


Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9×13 pan (for thin bars) or an 8×8 pan (for thicker bars) with coconut oil spray.

In a large bowl add all ingredients.

Using a stiff rubber or wooden spatula, begin mashing the banana into the granola mixture.

Stir everything together until thoroughly blended.

Spread batter into the pan.

Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before serving. 

Store extra bars in a sealed container in the refrigerator, using waxed paper to separate layers. 

These bars are also fun to send in lunches!

Localicious is a monthly column celebrating food in the North State. If you would like to suggest a food-related business or organization, email us at localicious@northstateparent.com.

Mandi Metzger
About Mandi Metzger

Mandi Metzger and her family enjoy sharing their “Sweetest Lemonade” perspective with others through real food recipes. When Mandi isn’t writing a new recipe, she can be found riding bikes or hiking with her three kids, ages 9, 5 and 2. Find more recipes at www.sweetestlemonade.com.

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