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This blog is about gut flora, good bacteria, scientific research, and anti-inflammatory food. It’s a prescription for anyone who wishes to eat their way to a healthier life. It’s impossible to overdose on this course of treatment.

Recipes, Therese Elgquist

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Roasted Pumpkin with Kale and Lingonberries

In season, oven roasted vegetables are a brilliant idea because a) your oven does most of the work, and b) they work regardless of which season it is – just use the vegetables that are in season. And of course, c) roasted anything (especially vegetables) are delicious!

This roasted pumpkin works as a green side dish, or a the main served together with some durra and a dollop of creamy hummus.

Roasted Pumpkin with Kale and Lingonberries
(4 servings)

2 smaller muscat pumpkins
4 cups chopped kale (400g)
¾ cups pecan nuts
1 cup of lingonberries
1/2 tablespoon cold pressed canola oil

Dijon Dressing:
¼ cup dijon mustard
½ cup cold pressed canola oil
¼ cup water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
salt and black pepper

Put the oven at 120°C/250°F. Wash and cut the pumpkins into halves, scoop out the seeds using a spoon (save the seeds for roasting later!) and cut into pieces. Place the pumpkin in a baking dish and roast in the oven for 60-70 minutes. Remove the kales thick stem, chop the leaves into smaller pieces and massage with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle the kale and pecans over the pumpkin for the last 15 minutes of baking, the pumpkin should be soft.

Last but not least: Dijon dressing. Mix all ingredients, add salt and pepper to taste. Ring the dressing over the pumpkin and kale and garnish with lingonberries. Voilà!

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Recipes, Therese Elgquist

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Dried Apple Chips with Cinnamon and Cardamom

Today it’s finally Friday and we’re spending it with Therese Elgquist who is helping us with some delightful fruit treats (so simple, they basically make themselves in the oven). They fit for a weekend meal or as a snack – or why not in a homemade breakfast granola? Endless possibilities, as you can imagine.

Dried apple chips with cinnamon and cardamom
(the more apples, the more chips)

apples, preferably different varieties
lemon juice
ground cinnamon , cardamom and ginger

Heat the oven to 50°C/125°F. Cut the apples very thin widthwise, preferably with a mandolin. The thinner the slices, the faster they dry in the oven, but about 2-3 mm are usually a good measure. Dip the slices into lemon juice and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Dust with cinnamon, cardamom and ginger, and place in the oven.

Dry the apple slices in the oven overnight, for about 8-10 hours or until completely dry. Let the door stand slightly open so that the steam can escape out (fold a towel together and put it in the door if it won’t stay ajar). Store the apple chips in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Tip: buy a mandolin!
A mandolin is a great tool, and not just for when you want perfect apple slices for your apple chips but you can cut thin slices of beet, zucchini or fennel.  It’s great for making fun salads and nice for fancy garnishes. Just please keep a lookout for your adorable little fingers!

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Food Pharmacy

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Chile’s black warning labels impact their obesity trend

This week we’ve been talking about Chile and the fight against obesity. Chile has started to label useless foods with big black labels. In an attempt to curb obesity rates, Chile introduced a new labeling system three years ago in hopes of putting the brakes on rampant healthcare costs. Chile is the second fattest population in South America, 74% of Chileans are overweight or obese and as for the children in their population – 50% of children under 10 are overweight.

All foods that contain more than a certain amount of sugar, salt, saturated fat and calories are simply labeled with black deterrent warning labels which inform the consumer that the product they are considering buying is too salty, sweet, greasy, or contains too many calories.

Guido Girardi, a Chilean senator, made the following statement, “We have created an alliance with the science world. We wanted the researchers and doctors on our side to be able to persuade Parliament to support our project despite enormous pressure from the international food giants who are a veritable mafia”.

When the black warning labels entered the food shelves in 2016, healthcare costs for obesity-related diseases were over $800 million (equivalent to 2.5 percent of the Chilean healthcare budget).

You may be wondering why we at Food Pharmacy our informing you about Chile’s labeling habits. Well, since the warning labels came into effect, an evaluation last year showed that 68% of the Chileans have changed their purchasing habits. So this got us wondering… perhaps it’s not enough, in the many countries with ever rising obesity rates(US, Sweden, UK, Australia), to create labeling systems which only promote good food. Perhaps labels that deter the public from making harmful choices could further assist in steering them in the right direction?

 

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A Mango Stew To Be Grateful For

A few weeks ago we went to Nordstedts publishing house to interview a doctor named Dr. Rangan Chatterjee for our podcast. Dr. Chatterjee is one of the UK’s most talked-about family doctors and is the author of the book “The 4 pillar plan”. According to him there are four components of your life that must be in balance to find health balance in life: stress, food, movement and sleep. The goal is not to strive for perfection and do everything in a single category but instead about creating balance between all four and doing a little of each.

Dr. Chatterjee also says that even very small changes are enough to achieve results – he is singing our song! Here are a few of the many concepts he has introduced to the mainstream – daily rest, five different vegetables each day and a gratitude game at the dinner table, because research shows that feeling gratitude automatically increases our quality of life. The gratitude game is played as followed: you go around the table and ask each person 3 questions – what is something kind that you did today, what is something kind someone did for you today and what have you learned today.

What a lovely dinner topic! According to Dr. Chatterjee, the game has been rewarding for everyone, not least the parents. A few days later we decided to try it. We looked at one of our children and asked cautiously if he had done something for someone else today, after which he immediately replied, “no, I have been at home sick”. We said ok and then asked if someone else had done something kind for him, whereupon he replied, “No, you never got water when I asked for it”. Lastly, we asked if he had learned something during the day, he answered “no”.

When we laid our heads on the pillow that night, we thought that perhaps the gratitude game wasn’t something for us. But… fortunately we gave it a few more tries. And now, after almost a month, we have not only become more aware of everything we have to be grateful for but the level of conversation and the mood around the table have been positively influenced. We humans certainly have a tendency to focus on the negative, but thanks to Dr. Chatterjee we go from the table most days now with a chipper feeling.

And tonight when we come home and get the question “what is something kind that you did today?”, we will proudly say that we shared a recipe for the best mango stew to all of our readers.

Family Mango Stew
(4 servings)

1 yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece fresh ginger peeled
1 1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon cold pressed coconut oil
1 can crushed tomatoes
¼ cup tomato paste
¾ cup natural cashew nuts (preferably soaked)
1 can of coconut milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 mango (or 250 g frozen and thawed)
1 package solid natural tofu (about 270 g)
1 small package of plum och cherry tomatoes
a handful of baby spinach
1/2 package of fresh cilantro for garnish

Peel and chop onion and garlic. Heat the onion, ginger and turmeric in a pan with the coconut oil over low heat. Pour into a blender along with everything on the recipe list up to the mango. Pulse several times until combined (still slightly chunky).

Pour the sauce into a pot, and heat until it is warm. Cut the mango and tofu into pieces and add to the stew. Split the tomatoes and garnish along with the spinach and cilantro. Serve with boiled durra, quinoa or buckwheat.

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