Students Get Help From Top Chefs to Design Healthy School Snack

The Rebel Ventures crew has worked with chefs at Fork and Drexel's Food Lab.

Rebel Crumbles/Official

Rebel Crumbles/Official

Students in Philly schools can now grab a free breakfast snack that was developed by one of their own — and some of Philly’s top chefs.

Rebel Ventures — a nonprofit, youth-powered social enterprise based in West Philly — is the brains behind the Rebel Crumble, the first school snack ever designed, produced, and marketed by local students, for local students.

Students debate Rebel Crumble packaging. / Rebel Ventures

Students debate Rebel Crumble packaging. / Rebel Ventures

This isn’t just any cake, either. The kitchen staff at Fork assisted Rebel Ventures in developing the prototype of the cake, which is packed with fruits, whole grains, and spices. It’s currently produced at a large scale by a co-packer and provided for free at breakfast to a total of 319 schools in the area.

The next step? Tweaking the recipe to enhance flavor and texture while cutting the sugar to make for a more nutritious snack that students will still love.

Rebel Ventures turned to the Food Lab at Drexel University’s Center for Hospitality & Sport Management for help.

“Our food science students are researching natural sugar substitutes that can help reduce the added sugar, but still keep the same great taste,” said Alexandra Zeitz, the Food Lab’s manager. “We are looking at sweet potato flour and fruits that are higher in sugar to add nutrition and sweetness.”

In addition to being served at area public schools and Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catholic schools, Rebel Crumbles are available for purchase at Mariposa Co-op in West Philly and at Gourmet Grocer in 1920 Commons and Bridge Cafe in Huntsman Hall on the University of Pennsylvania campus (Rebel Ventures was incubated by and is supported by Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships).

There are plans to expand the product’s availability to other stores, too.

“We are working to solidify a partnership with [local foods distributor] Common Market which will hopefully increase our retail presence,” said Rebel Ventures co-founder and teacher Jarrett Stein.

Rebel Ventures [Official]