Food Pharmacy

Last week’s news

It’s true, our pace has slowed down a bit, both here on the blog and in our private lives. From running around all autumn​ like two headless chickens, jumping between meetings, lectures, interviews, therapy couches, podcast studios, and hotel receptions, we have now arrived at the point where Lina’s biggest effort consists of strolling around in Marais shoes, while Mia is busy entertaining herself by peeling brussel sprouts (she pulled the shortest straw).

However, the world doesn’t stop spinning just because we happen to – and last week has brought us news to share:

a) Half of all Swedes are fat or obese. In an annual report of the Public Health Agency in Sweden (released last week), we read that we are eating too much and exercising too little, and that ​this is​ ”a growing public health problem”. The phenomenon of people​ eat​ing​ too few fruits and vegetables has increased, strangely enough. And the trend is that more people spend their free time in sedentary activity.

b) ”Ugly” food gets thrown away more. ​Seems great​, considering that about a third of all food grown globally is never eaten. In the Swedish SvD newspaper it has been estimated recently that almost all of the food we throw away is either fruit or vegetables, and that a common reason for this is that they are sometimes ”ugly” and don’t fit the ideal. You can read more about this here (unfortunately only in Swedish).

c) And along with that we’ve learned that Swedish households are the worst when it comes to throwing away food. The food waste among households is 45 times higher than that of restaurant kitchens or supermarkets. Makes us want to dedicate a podcast episode to this subject soon: how to shop right, freeze, and eat every part of the vegetable, and how to avoid throwing away food.

In addition to all this, we have been busy reading Christmas gift books and board game instructions.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy

Happy new year

Happy new year from your friends here at Food Pharmacy. Unfortunately, the only picture we could find was of us and our designer Anna. Any honest new year’s photo would include our beloved new additions to food pharmacy: trainee Sebastian, and his wife Katja, our editor/all around helper – but it will have to be next year’s project to take a picture of all five of us.

New Year’s Eve is always a little special – you get to summarize one year while making plans for another. Without going into too much  detail, 2017 was one of the toughest years ever for us in our private lives, and it is with real relief that we’re putting it behind us.

Luckily, we have a few things to smile about, like what an exciting year 2017 was for Food Pharmacy. We released our second book, which sold even better than the first. We gave lectures all around the country, expanded our team, signed a contract on our third (!) book, translated our first book into 15 languages, and started our Food Pharmacy podcast.

But it’s more fun to look into the future – and we are definitely looking forward to 2018! There are already many plans: next week, we’ll be partially unveiling a new look for the blog, and in mid-January we are starting a revolution, which we hope will spread widely and lead to change. But we’ve also left room for new and exciting and unplanned things, as well. Because in 2017 we learned: you never know what’s around the corner. And by keeping an open mind and learning how to play it cool, everything turns out ok in the end.

Last but not least:

Thank you to all our faithful readers. Thanks for all the pep talks, all the support, all the emails and comments. What an amazing source of inspiration you are! Without you all we would be nothing.

Happy new year, friends!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Recipes

Super-tasty gingerbread cookies without gluten, dairy products or added sugar. Because sometimes, the simplest is the absolute best.

After a couple of years as bloggers, we’ve discovered that there are quite a few perks that come with the job:

1) First of all, we have an excuse to cook and eat food whenever we want. Not bad at all.

2) We can go naked to work (on the days we don’t have photographers around).

3) We’re coming across new recipes all the time, some of which get to be keepers that we make again and again and again. Like these gingerbread cookies, for example. Extremely simple + yummy + you can make them in ten minutes, including rolling.

They may look a little bit like meatballs before rolling them in coconut, but what does it matter, when they are so tasty? Imagine goji berries, almonds, cashew nuts, dates and coconut oil, all mixed together. And then the gingerbread spices like icing on the cake. Perfect for baking with the kids!

Gingerbread-cookies
(just over 15)

1 cup almond or cashew nuts
1/4 cup goji berries
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
About 10 fresh dates
1-2 teaspoons gingerbread spices

Soak the goji berries quickly for about 10 minutes, rinse the water off and mix everything except the dates in a blender. Add the dates and mix again. Shape into small balls and roll in coconut. Done!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Recipes

Clementine salad with pomegranate and lime

Someone asked for our very best recipe for clementine salad with pomegranate and lime. And voilà, here it is!

1 Start by peeling a thousand clementines. Or at least ten.

2 Thaw 1/2 cup organic pomegranate kernels (saves you both stains and swearing, in case you are not a professional pomegranate opener).

3 Spread the clementine slices and pomegranate kernels over a plate.

4 Prepare 3 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1 lime and half a vanilla bean.

5 Squeeze the lime and put the lime juice, water, coconut sugar, and the half vanilla bean into a saucepan and boil quickly, until it reaches the thickness of a sauce. Let cool off.

6 Pour the sauce over the clementine salad and let it sit for at least one hour.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Recipes

Chocolate and coconut-dipped apricots

It’s still Christmas time, and the level of coziness needs to be set to maximum. To accomplish this, four key ingredients are required:

Unsulfured apricots! And:

Dark Chocolate! And:

Coconut flakes!

Melt the chocolate in a hot water bath, dip half the apricot in it and then directly in the coconut.

They are so insanely good. Thank you Helena who came up with this genius simple recipe.

Ok, here we​ g​o​!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Recipes

Raw rocky road – better than the original

Have you ever heard of something so yummy? Last minute, raw rocky road without too much sugar and marshmallows, but still with sticky caramel and salty peanuts. We could barely believe our eyes when our friend Charlotte posted this insanely good recipe on her blog. Goodness, our mouths are watering just thinking about it. This Christmas candy is made in 3 1/2 steps and we’ll try to walk you through it in a calm and educational way when really all we want to do is celebrate!

Step 1 – Nut mix

This is the simplest (and least sticky) step. Mix 1/2 cup peanuts, 1/2 cup goji berries and 1/2 cup coconut flakes (we actually choose roasted nuts and flakes but that’s cheating if you want to be totally raw) with 1-2 fresh salt. Easy enough so fart? Continue to step 2.

Step 2 – Caramel

Okay, this is probably the hardest step due to how impossible it is not to just eat half the batter. Add 100 grams of dates, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and a small pinch of salt in a blender and let it run until it turns into a sticky caramel. You need to be a little patient here because it takes a lot longer than you’re probably used to – just when you think you’re done, you should let it run a bit longer. When you have the caramel ready, put it in the fridge. Congratulations, you’re now ready for step 3.

Step 3 – Chocolate

Welcome to the final and crucial moment. Melt 1/2 cup coconut oil in a hot water bath together with 1/2 cup raw cocoa and 1/4 cup honey and taste it. If you want more sweetness, you can add some more honey or coconut sugar, but keep in mind that you’ll mix the caramel in soon, which also adds sweetness.

Step 3 1/2 – Assemble everything

Speaking of the caramel – remove it from the fridge now and divide it into smaller pieces. Add the caramel and the nut mix to the chocolate and spread it all over a baking sheet. Put this wonderful chocolate blend in the fridge and let it solidify. Brace yourself and wait a few hours – we promise you, it’s worth it. After a few hours, go get the chocolate and break it into large pieces.

Congratulations, you’ve now made the best Christmas candy in the world. Children, pretend you didn’t hear this, but they’re damn fine.

Merry Christmas!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Henrik Ennart

Spoil your intestinal flora for Christmas!

Christmas is here! The scent of cinnamon, saffron, and cardamom  wafts from the kitchen. Christmas is the holiday of bright, warm colors; red, green, yellow, and multitude of sparkling things. The sights and smells we surround ourselves with make us feel a bit like donning a warm knitted sweater and getting cosy in the corner of the couch with a cup of tea and a book.

But that’s an understatement, because what you’re really doing in the kitchen is more like knitting small microscopic sweaters for all of your 40 trillion intestinal bacteria, which, after all, need some Christmas love too. They’ve been working hard all year!

The strong flavors and warm colors of cinnamon sticks, ginger, mustard, and cloves are the perfect tools for your intestinal bacteria’s own little versions of Santa’s workshop, in which they produce the many healthy substances that your body needs; hormones that control your mood, neurotransmitters that help maintain a strong immune system through the cold season, and fatty acids that prevent inflammation.

It’s no wonder that we’re attracted to tasty herbs, fruits and vegetables with bright colors, since these are the ones that have the greatest impact on our bodies. Lab analysis has shown that all herbs can be included in a group of plants containing the greatest number of antioxidants. Our ancestors did not have any labs, but they figured it out anyhow, and for centuries they’ve used herbs as natural remedies.

Short Christmas-quiz: What’s most healthy: a light green or a red apple? Answer: a red apple.

The explanation is, of course, that the healthy polyphenols live inside color itself.

Test yourself in the store. Do you choose white cabbage or red cabbage? Iceberg lettuce or kale? Let the color guide you. The stronger the color the better. Much of the color is usually displayed on the external surface, or skin. So by all means eat the skins, and don’t peal off too many layers of onion. A large part of the nutrition will be lost that way. The skin also contains insoluble fibers that provide good energy to intestinal bacteria, while the pulp provides soluble fibers that will help to keep your stomach on the right track throughout Christmas, which can sometimes be a challenge. Usually, not everything on the table is healthy.

When you look at nature, you obviously see lots of green plants. The explanation for the green color is chlorophyll, and when it disappears in the fall, it turns into all those other sparkling colors, like red, orange, and yellow. The colors were waiting there all along, behind the green.

Autumn colors are dominated by yellow xanthophyll like lutein, orange beta carotene, and red antocyanine. When we suggest a diet involving vegetables, we should remember that it’s not only green vegetables that contain healthy nutrition. The various other colors of vegetable are all full of nutrition too.

But what about garlic then? It’s white, but good anyway, right? Yes – and the explanation for that lies in the fact that the light color is typical for onions. The substances, such as the flavonols quercetin and kaempferol, have a white or creamy color. If you choose red onions you’ll also get red antocyanine.

So, one good tip is: Eat all the colors of the rainbow! And don’t forget the gray scale.

Science journalist and writer Henrik Ennart is the author of the book Happy Food. Now and then, he writes here at Food Pharmacy.



Recipes

A delicious brussel sprout and kale salad with extra everything for Christmas

Hi. It’s us. And we just have to share this recipe for brussel sprouts. In honor of one of the  darkest days of the year, our power went out. But we got by with some candles and a lighter:

Start by peeling and shredding a bag (about 1lb or 1/2 kilogram) of brussel sprouts.

And do the same to about 1/2 lb of kale (remove the big stems and use the leaves).

Then shred an apple. Preferably a green and sourish one.

Then make a dressing using 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 garlic clove, a little salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon honey.

And last but not least, make this absolutely deliciously good ”parmesan” using 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 grated garlic cloves, and 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Oh mama, so good.

Then massage the kale with the olive oil dressing, add the rest and stir around for a little while so everything is mixed together. Oh yeah – throw some raisins in there too!

And right NOW, our last candle burned out.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy

Five Christmas Commandments for your intestinal flora

Christmas is just around the corner, and we’re getting more and more questions on the blog asking what we think of all the usual Christmas feasting. Should you eat everything, nothing, or some things? What are the worst dietary culprits? How do we sort through it all?

For us, personally, Christmas has become more and more healthy each year – we’ve gone from lapsing into food-comas while filling plates to the brim wiith meatballs and ribs, to being distinctly satisfied by fish, cabbage salads and nut-pâté. Below we’ve listed our top five holiday eating commandments, which, if followed, will ensure that your healthy gut bacteria can have a merry Christmas too.

1st Commandment. Focus on what to eat rather than what to exclude
It’s that easy. Prioritize salads and vegetables before the ham and sausage. Mix any three colors of vegetables as the antioxidants in the different colors enhance each other’s positive properties.

2nd Commandment. Eat slowly and chew carefully
A major problem in general, and especially at Christmas, is that we eat too much food (and it’s not only bad for our health but also makes us tired, which can be a bit boring for whoever is sitting next to you). The trick is to chew slowly. When we wolf food down it’s easy to overeat, because it takes a while before the sense of being full sets in. Many nutrients also require that we chew carefully in order for the body to absorb the nutrition.

3rd Commandment. Teach yourself and the kids to get cosy without all the sugar
Put a lot of nuts and fruits on the table, and replace milk chocolate with dark chocolate, which contains more cocoa than sugar. If you like metaphors, you might say that cocoa is nature’s very own happy-pill, since it contains two substances that are known for their ability to lift the spirits. Very fitting for Christmas Eve!

4th Commandment. Move around, often
Take the whole family out for a lovely walk after Christmas dinner. It helps lower blood sugar, and will make you feel sparkling and refreshed. If you’re feeling more ambitious than just that, you might even take a walk before Christmas dinner. This will improve your metabolism for the entire rest of the evening.

5th Commandment. Enjoy, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Because that is what matters the most
Wherever you are on your journey towards getting healthier, we would like to take this opportunity to remind  you of the final commandment of your intestinal flora: to simply enjoy. Christmas Eve, as you know, only happens once a year, so what and how much you eat on that one night will not matter much for your overall health. Merry Christmas!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Recipes

Homemade (and gift-worthy) Christmas candy

There’s one week left until Christmas, and with an impressive foresight (shocking, we know), we’re giving you a list of our best recipes for Christmas candy.

The clementine slices in the picture above are part of our latest experiments, and they’re so easy to prepare that you don’t even need a recipe. All you need is two organic clementines, which, after washing them, you slice thin and spread out onto a sheet of baking paper. Place them in the oven at the lowest temperature (120 degrees Fahrenheit or 50 degrees Celsius) and let them sit there overnight. The next day take out your dried clementines slices, melt dark chocolate in a hot water bath and let the slices take a quick dip. Let them dry on baking paper. Done!

And, here are our other two favorites. We’ll start from the bottom up to make it a little more exciting.

2nd place

The dedication reads: With their irresistible charm and simplicity, these Christmas trees have earned their place on the Christmas table.

Christmas candy-tips: Christmas trees made of watermelon

1st place

The dedication reads: Sweetened with a few dates, given a sticky texture using creamy tahini, and flavored with lovely december cinnamon. And also – not a nut in sight, so they’re good for most people. These granola-squares will definitely do the trick on the Christmas table.

N​ut-free​ gran​ola-squares​ ​with​ cinnamon

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.