Intuitive Eating: What Do You Hunger For?

What snack do you turn to between meals, after a workout, or following a physically demanding project (like running a race or putting in the garden!)? Snacking choices say a lot about what the body needs – to replace and rebalance nutrients, restore fluids and enable overworked parts to recover.


Rhubarb runners toasting with rhubarb elixirRhubarb runners toasting with rhubarb elixirThe subject of snacks interests me since I’ve taken the timely challenge to supply post-race treats for the Rhubarb Run 5K & 1-Miler on June 1 in Lanesboro, MN. My mission is to create a treat that’s easy, healthy, and also packs a humorous punch. Due to its connection with the Rhubarb Festival, this snack also has a couple creative considerations:

  • It accompanies a shot of pure local homemade rhubarb elixir.
  • It, too, must contain rhubarb!
  • Plus, an element of baked-in FUN – a surprising ingredient, shape, serving idea, or expression of humor. 


Wanting to serve a satisfying treat, I’ve been taking note of what revives me after I’ve taken on a physical challenge. Recently, I spent a weekend helping burn prairies on some big acreages in Fillmore County. When the smoke cleared, I was starving, but not for a normal dinnertime meal. For what? I was craving wheat bread (from fresh milled grain by the local Pastry Shoppe) slathered with peanut butter (the nothing-but-peanut-kind) and topped with home-canned pickled string beans that I’d been saving for a special occasion.


 Why that particular combination of bread, peanut butter and pickles? Though I’m no nutritional expert, here’s my best guess:


  • Complex carbs in the whole wheat bread, plus protein in the peanut butter team up to steadily replenish depleted fuel.
  • Vinegar in the pickles and the alkaline nature of the string beans may actually help make the body less acidic and prevent leaching of calcium from bones.
  • Homemade pickles may supply a key fat-soluble nutrient (Vitamin K2) that works with Vitamin D (produced in the skin as a result of sun exposure) to metabolize calcium and carry it to the right places in the body – avoiding coronary plaques and kidney stones, and keeping bones and connective tissue healthy and strong. (This is a complicated metabolic process, one that’s over my head and comes with lots of conflicting views from research and nutrition experts.)


Prairie burnPrairie burn


Whether I nailed the reasons for my craving or not, that sandwich seriously hit the spot. And now I need to come up with a snack to revive a group of runners who’ll need a simple, good and tasty boost.


Do you have a favorite recipe you turn to – or snack food that you nosh – when you need a quick pick-me-up? If you’re so inclined, you can even enter your recipe in the Rhubarb Festival’s big rhubarb recipe contest and tasting, the festival’s central event that follows the Rhubarb Run.


Here’s one idea I’m kicking around, but it has yet to be kitchen-tested or crowd-approved. Would you be game for a tangy Rhubarb scone? Would you sample a treat glazed with a sweet drizzle of nettle greens or would you avoid such a gastronomic surprise? I’ve given the recipe below.


Now, it’s your turn to comment about intuitive eating (foods that you sometimes crave) and recipes for a celebratory (post-race) snack that delivers a healthy boost, and also contains a measure of the funniest local vegetable around – rhubarb, of course. Please chime in below.


If you missed a previous post WHAT’S FOR BREAKFAST: Waking up to healthy foods, it brought a feast of comment from readers who shared their approaches to fueling up at the start of the day. Thank you, to all who helped stir the pot and share personal perspectives on good food.


Rhubarb-gooseberry whole wheat scones with stinging nettle-lime glazeRhubarb-gooseberry whole wheat scones with stinging nettle-lime glaze

Rhubarb-Gooseberry Whole Wheat Scones With (or Without) Stinging Nettle-Lime Glaze

Makes about 30 scones


Mix following dry ingredients:
3 c. whole wheat flour
2/3 c. cane sugar
1 t. salt
2 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. soda
1 c. sweetened-dried gooseberries/rhubarb bits
1 c. milk
1 T. vinegar 
1 t. almond extract
1 ½ sticks butter, melted.
Mix dry & moist ingredients.
Scoop with ice cream scoop onto parchment papered cookie sheet.
Bake at 400° F to tender brown (15-20 minutes).
Cool completely.
Combine and puree with handwhip:
1/3 c. frozen limeade concentrate
3 c. washed tender nettles leaves (optional ingredient)
½ c. mint leaves
1 lime, zest and juice
Add enough powdered sugar to make semi-firm glaze.
Frost scones with a spatula or pastry bag.



Kitty Baker grew up on a mixed ag farm, then in a small town, near Rochester, MN. She and husband Keith raised two daughters, living in Kansas City and Minneapolis. A professional writer, Kitty enjoys topics of lifestyle and food, especially since 1999, when they bought a farm, Root River Wilds, just north of Lanesboro, MN. The farm’s spectacularly varied acreage -- bluffs and woods, pastures and restored prairies cut with trails and wrapped in the oxbow of the North Branch of the Root River -- is rich with opportunities to discover and share ways to live abundantly. Her last article for SGT was: What's for Breakfast: Waking Up to Healthy Food.