Recipes, Therese Elgquist

Golden sorghum salad with butternut squash, massaged kale, mashed avocado and lingonberry vinegar

This thing with naming dishes. It’s a little tricky. We definitely want to give an idea of all the delicious ingredients, but we also don’t want you to fall asleep halfway through the headline. We’re keeping our fingers crossed and hoping that you’re still awake, because this is a really good sorghum salad. Nothing you’d want to try while wearing a blindfold on an average Tuesday, but perfect for a Friday, Saturday or Sunday (blindfold not mandatory).

Boil the sorghum with fresh turmeric to give it great color, taste and nutrition. Bake the butternut squash in the oven until it becomes soft and sweet. Use your hands to massage the kale with oil, vinegar, and salt to break down the hard cell walls and make it softer and more easily digested. Then add the creamy and nutty avocado on top of this winter salad and your gut will applaud loudly!

Golden sorghum-salad with pumpkin
4 servings

1 large butternut squash, or two small ones
1 cup sorghum
2 teaspoon fresh turmeric
200 grams kale
100 grams brussel sprouts
1 bundle fresh parsley + extra for garnish
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 large red winter apple
2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
sea salt

Nutty avocado mash
2 avocados
1/2 clementine
1/2 cup sweet almonds (or 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds for a nut-free version)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lingonberry vinegar
2 tablespoons lingonberry
2 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Sea salt

1. Heat the oven to 210 degrees Fahrenheit (or 100 degrees Celsius). Wash the butternut squash, split in half at the middle, remove the kernels, and cut into pieces. You don’t need to remove the shell; it’s your choice, depending on what you think tastes the best. Put some oil on the butternut squash and place it in the middle of the oven. Bake for about 50-60 minutes until the pieces are soft and sweet. The smaller the pieces = the shorter the time in the oven. Simple math!

2. Boil the sorghum according to the instructions on the package along with 2 teaspoons of grated fresh turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.

3. Remove the hard stalks of the kale, cut off the root parts of the brussel sprouts, and remove the biggest stems from the parsley. Rinse and chop the kale and parsley, then mix them together with the shredded brussel sprouts.

4. Add the olive oil, vinegar, and a pinch of salt. Stir well until the the kale mix becomes tender and shiny.

5. Slice the avocado into halves and remove the pit. Chop the almonds and squeeze some clementine juice over it. Mash everything together to a chunky blend, add some salt and pepper.

6. Cut the apple into slices.

7. Mix the kale, the sorghum and the butternut squash. Serve on four plates. Garnish the salad with some apple, avocado mash, and lingonberry vinegar. Last but not least, sprinkle some extra parsley over the golden salad.

Well, as you can see, it looks ridiculously good, and it is!

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.


15 quick non-sandwich snacks

Yesterday we were glued to the computer working, and snacking on fresh mango, a couple of chopped mint leaves, and freshly squeezed lime juice. And then it dawned on us – a while ago we asked for your quickest and most delicious non-sandwich snacks. And we got a ton of tips! You guys are awesome!

Here’s a small selection, go ahead and pick and choose:


“A sliced apple with cinnamon or peanut butter is great 🙂 Ideal if you have a sweet tooth!”


“If you’re an adult, a handful of nuts will do the trick.”


“A date with a spoon of tahini is a true saviour. Remove the stone and stuff it with tahini instead. Almost too sweet, I know, but much needed once in a while.”


“Mashed banana or coconut cream (preferably refrigerated) with cocoa – quick and filling chocolate pudding or mousse!”


“Frozen raspberries + chopped fruit of your choice + oat milk + almonds. Crunchy, delicious!”


“Nibble granola straight from the box!”


“Every now and then I make a batch of snack bars with nuts, dates, banana, and cocoa. Wrap individual servings in foil and put in the freezer. Just throw one into your bag in the morning!”


“I put a handful of nuts and and seeds in the blender, and mix with two dates and some cocoa. It crumbles, so I add some grated apple into the mix until it’s sticky. Scoop and roll into balls, dip in coconut flakes if you like.“


“Carrots and peanut butter is an unexpected, but delicious combo.”


“A cup of tea with oat milk.”


“Canned mackerel fillets in tomato sauce. The ones without additives. Have one in your bag at all times.”


“I carry a jar of chia seeds in my bag, if I need something fast. Mix with any liquid… water (boring, but in case of emergency), nice cold tea, juice, smoothie… Ideal for traveling!”


“I eat an unpeeled carrot.”


“Grated salad with apples and pomegranate, and lots of great nuts and dried fruits. Prepare and store in the fridge, it’s the best snack! (if possible, use a food processor) All you need is a fork and you’re good to go!”

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.


Luke Skywalker’s saffron buns with raisins

It’s Christmas again, which means you’re probably busy digging out the old Santa Claus costume from the garage and lighting candles everywhere – so we’re not gonna waste any of your precious time bragging about these saffron buns. This is a variation of Luke Skywalker’s cinnamon buns (found in our cookbook), in this case using raisins and nature’s very own gold: saffron.

Luke Skywalker’s saffron buns with raisins

1 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup oat flakes
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 pinch salt
8 fresh dates (pitted)
3-4 teaspoons water
1-2 packages saffron

1/2 cup almonds (preferably pre-soaked in water)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
8 fresh dates (pitted)
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons raisins

Roast the cashew nuts and oatmeal at no more than 212 degrees Fahrenheit (or 100 degrees Celsius) in the oven for about 10 minutes. Mix the bun-dough and roll out between two baking sheets. Mix the filling and spread out over the dough. Roll the dough (like a Swiss-roll) and cool quickly in the fridge or freezer, then cut the roll into tiny pieces. Add a few raisins as a topping.

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.


Three vegetarian dinners

Three working days, three different sets of circumstances, three vegetarian dinners. Last week turned out to be a pretty typical week for us.

We guess you know by now that we’re a couple of bohemians. Let’s put it like this, to buy all the groceries for the whole week in one go is not our cup of tea. We’re just not good at it, nor are we good at weekly meal plans. And that’s why we look like two question marks when we come home from work and open the fridge. What the heck do we make for dinner?

1 Lina’s Chinese food

This quick and easy veggie dish is our go-to at the moment. You need kelp noodles, cashews and whatever vegetables you have lying around. And some sesame oil and soy to spice things up. What’s so amazingly amazing about this dish is that it only gets better over night. We always make an extra two (or three, or four) servings and eat it a couple of days in a row. You’ll find the recipe here.

2 Dinner smoothie

This dinner kills the myth that all dinners must look the same. Here on our blog we welcome all shapes and sizes. Like a dinner smoothie. It’s perfect for when there’s no time or energy. The sky’s the limit when it comes to variations!

3 Food Pharmacy’s beet burger

TGIF (or Saturday or Sunday) and we have some extra time and energy to spare. That’s when we prepare our delicious beet burgers with finely grated beets, oat flakes and chia seeds. Loved by the whole family. We eat them with homemade coleslaw, mustard, tomatoes and lettuce. We know we shouldn’t tease you (that’s a lie right there), but you will have to wait for our cookbook to get the recipe (we’ll let you know when it’s available in English). Hey, does anyone have a napkin? We keep drooling over these goodies.

Surprise visit: Take-out

We know, some days you just don’t feel like it. That’s when we thank all the amazing take-outs out there. If you’re in Stockholm, you should definitely try Pepstop (Riddargatan). Their kelp noodle salad. OMG.

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, Therese Elgquist

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

This weekend, we finally had a little more time to ​spend​ in the kitchen. Not that it takes very long to make these small, nut-free snacks – 15 minutes in the blender and half an hour in the fridge while waiting for them to solidify. The next and last step is to enjoy eating them.

These quick little blended goodies work well as a snack, or something to bring ​on​ a day trip, or just for that Friday chill-session on the couch. And don’t forget that granola-squares contain gra-no-la, which means that they are perfect for chopping into small​​ pieces and sprinkling over yogurt.

The granola is sweetened with a few dates, given a sticky texture using creamy tahini (granola-knowledge: the dates help with texture too!), and flavored with lovely december cinnamon. And also – not a nut in sight, so they’re good for most people.

Nut-free granola-squares with cinnamon
16 pieces

1/2 cup pumpkin kernels
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
2 pinches sea salt
4 pitted dates
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon cold pressed coconut oil

Seed the dates and mix them with all the dry ingredients into a dough. Add tahini and coconut oil (and possibly 1 tablespoon of water if the dough feels too dry).

Squeeze the dough between two baking papers into a​ big​ square, about 1/2 inch thick. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Take ​it​ out of the fridge and cut into​ smaller​ squares, about 16 pieces. Sprinkle some cocoa on top. Serve well chilled.


Add 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs after blending for a mouth-watering chocolate touch!


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, Press

SVT Agenda

On Sunday we gathered excitedly around the tv to watch SVT Agenda. We knew it would be about intestinal flora, and whether the current interest in this subject is just a passing fad or something that’s here to stay (spoiler alert: it’s here to stay). What we didn’t know, however, was that we would be part of the program.

So, as long as we’re talking about it, we figured we might as well share some bad-quality screenshots for your enjoyment:

There was a clip from this past spring, when we were invited to appear on the Swedish tv-show ”Malou after ten.” And appear we did, complete with banana sweatshirt ​and all.

Ok, enough about us. Let’s instead focus on the fact that our new guest blogger, science journalist Henrik Ennart, was interviewed during the program. And, sitting there directly to his left, we found our friend Anna, who runs one of our favorite restaurants in Stockholm, Pom & Flora,  together with her husband Rasmus. Hi Henrik! Hi Anna!

And hello Tim Spektor! We don’t​ ​know you but we read everything you write. By the way, can you give us your address so that we can send you our book as soon as it’s published in English (early January)? Thanks in advance and hugs!

If you know Swedish, see the full section here.

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

Happy Food

We get butterflies in our stomach when we fall in love, it’s like a knife in the gut when we’re treated unfairly, and it’s with our gut-feeling that we make instinctive decisions. What people throughout history have intuitively understood has now, in recent years, finally begun to gain a scientific explanation. 

This new research is what Me and Niklas Ekstedt, discuss in our book Happy Food. We’ve interviewed researchers around the world and read hundreds of scientific reports. We believe that there is important research taking place in the vanguard, and that it’s important to deepen our knowledge about it. The picture that is emerging is already showing that the links between the intestines and the brain are stronger than we could have ever imagined.

Your intestinal bacteria altogether weigh about 1.4 kilograms (3 lbs), roughly the same as your brain. There are unfathomable numbers of them – about 40 trillion according to new calculations – and they are present in the billions in every gram of mucus that covers the walls of your colon.

These trillions of inhabitants, currently residing in your very private intestinal basement, are in direct contact with the brain. They communicate via nerve cells that surround the intestine. These nerve cells are as numerous as those found in the entire spinal cord, and they are connected to the large vagus nerve, one of the largest nerves in the body – which is in turn part of our autonomic nervous system, the one we can’t consciously control ourselves.

However, there are other communication pathways in what researchers are calling the ”Gut-brain axis,” and in those cases it’s about both the hormonal system and the immune system.

Every type of neurotransmitter that your brain uses can be made by your intestinal bacteria in their microscopic workshops, including key players for our emotional life, like dopamine and norepinephrine. 95 percent of the body’s production of the ”happiness hormone” serotonin is created in the intestine.

Even the ancient Greeks knew that the stomach and the psyche were connected. Nevertheless, our healthcare system continues to promote the belief that the brain is an autonomous entity, leading a completely independent life separate from the rest of the body.

Through years of patient research, a conclusion has emerged: If we treat our intestinal bacteria well, they can help us to become more stress-resistant, clear-headed, happy, and harmonious. The food we eat also seems to play a role when it comes to depression and other psychological diseases.

This summer, I attended a science conference in Bethesda, outside of Washington D.C, in the US. There, researchers from all over the world were studying the link between the intestine and the brain. Their message was clear:

• We now know that there is a correlation between the quality of food we consume and how we feel.

• It’s time to proceed with more research and more expansive studies that will enable us to better understand the connection and to develop treatments.

Western junk food, with its excess of sugar and refined fats, as well as its lack of fibers and healthy micronutrients, has long been linked to global epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Now, we see one research group after another reporting data indicating that even the epidemic of poor mental health has been linked to the same underlying causes.

Of course, there are many different reasons as to why we may feel depressed, and food can’t solve all problems on its own. But when we get sick or anxious, many parts of the body are affected, the intestinal flora being one of them. When our bacterial system is in a state of imbalance, our immune system is weakened. It can easily become a downward spiral in which we feel worse and worse. Often, the cause may be in the intestine.

In fact, time after time, the common denominator turns out to be our intestinal flora. For example, in early animal experiments, researchers have observed that feces transplanted into mice from depressed people caused the animals to show depressive behavior. When the mice feces were passed on to other mice, the depressed mood followed.

Other tests have shown that outgoing, social mice that received feces transferred from shy, more inward mice developed a behavior with autistic features.

Another example that stands out: In an early stage of a human study, researchers have found that individual intestinal bacteria – in this case, one called faecalibacterium prausnitzii – seems to coincide with the occurrence and even the degree of bipolar disorder.

We’re not yet in a situation where individual diseases can be treated by adding, removing, or in any other way manipulating a bacterial bloom that has come into imbalance. But we’re heading that way at a breathtaking pace! In Sweden, people who have had their intestinal flora damaged due to severe bowel infections, now receive treatment involving transplanted feces.

The researchers I met in Bethesda have formed an international organization called ISNPR (International Society for Nutrion and Psychiatric Research). Their chairman, the Australian researcher Felice Jacka, expressed her conviction during our interview that good and healthy food is an important complement to the current treatment methods for depressed people.

She also stressed that more research is needed, but at the same time, there is no real reason to wait, especially not when we’re in a situation that involves so many people suffering from depression without proper treatment methods. ”We already know that there is a connection between food and mental health. What we need now is to develop diagnostics tests and treatment methods. ”

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

Food Pharmacy, Press

New study: Vegetarian diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease

It’s late November, and we’re here at Landvetter Airport, close to Gothenburg. We’re about to head home to Stockholm, having just given a lecture on intestinal flora for 130 employees at Volvo.

When we’re out giving talks about diet and health, we get many questions about a variety of diseases. There are questions about everything from diabetes and cancer, to Alzheimer’s and IBS. But to date we haven’t received a single question on cardiovascular disease. However, cardiovascular disease remains the most common cause of death in Sweden. Although fewer people are currently dying from it (due to both major progress in research and better acute care for heart disease), the Heart-Lung Foundation’s yearly Heart Report still shows that more and more people are currently living with serious risk factors for cardiovascular disease. And the culprit seems to be our lifestyle.

A few years ago, we interviewed chief physician David Stenholtz. David told us that there are many lifestyle-related diseases that can be eliminated almost exclusively with diet, including cardiovascular disease. This we noted diligently, and yet inside our heads the question remained: Can it really be that simple – that the food we eat can help prevent what has become the most common cause of death in Sweden?

Recently, at the American Heart Association’s annual congress, a study was presented showing that for people who switched to a vegetarian diet, the risk was significantly reduced for cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis in just four weeks. The study group included 31 obese people, each with high blood-fat levels, all of whom were put on a vegetarian diet. At both the start and the conclusion of the study, blood-fat levels were measured against the numbers that are most common for those suffering from heart disease, and the results showed that all blood fats (especially Lp (a), cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, triglycerides, apolipoprotein B and A-1, LDL-particles, small-density LDL-C, HDL2-C and apolipoprotein A-1) were decreased by between 15-30%.

Time for boarding. We sat down on row 26 and agreed on that if it’s that easy to prevent cardiovascular disease through maintaining a healthy diet, we should spread the news, the best way we can.

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, Therese Elgquist

Saffron-bun porridge with carrots and saffron

It’s Monday, and it’s finally time for us to 1) present Food Pharmacy’s new blog chef Therese Elgquist, and 2) share her first recipe here on the blog. We’re talking saffron-bun porridge, and yes you are absolutely welcome to start drooling.

Therese, as you may already know, is the genius behind many of the recipes in our cookbook. She describes herself as a food nerd, food creator, cookbook-author, and food artist who loves to cook, eat, talk and style food.

Therese makes vegetarian, nutritious, exciting food with a variety of flavors, textures and colors. Her style of cooking is mostly a process in which, after a careful process of choosing very specific raw ingredients, she can focus on something she thinks is especially good. And then she combines that something with three (or four, or five – yes, you get it) other ingredients that she also really likes. The results are usually very good. And cooking doesn’t have to be much harder then that.

We see this as the beginning of an inspiring and delicious trove of recipes listed here on the blog, which can function like a best friend to our good intestinal bacteria, and can be something that gets those creative juices flowing in the kitchen. Also, since December just started, it feels more than a little apropos to kick it off with one of our favorite porridges, one that is chock-full of Christmas vibes. It’s a little like eating saffron buns for breakfast: creamy, filling, soothing and beautiful to look at. And of course the recipe can be doubled or tripled or quadrupled without problems.

Being the persistent nutritionists we are, we constantly strive to find new ways to get as many greens as possible into each meal. For this particular porridge we grated a carrot and added it right at the end!

Saffron bun porridge with carrots and saffron
(1 serving)

1/2 cup oatmeal
1 small carrot, grated
1 pinch saffron
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk (or more water)
 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Red apple
Organic raisins
Roasted buckwheat * or seeds
Fresh mint (optional, but makes the porridge feel extra luxurious!)

Boil the water, coconut milk and saffron. Remove from heat and add the oatmeal. Let it absorb the moisture for at least 30 minutes (and go out for a morning jog, drink a cup of tea, pack a bag?).

Scrub clean and grate the carrot (please keep the peel, it contains plenty of nutrition). Put the pan back on the stove, raise the temperature a little, and let it simmer for a few minutes. Take it off the stove again, add the carrot and chia seeds, and allow to absorb for a few more minutes. Serve in a bowl topped with sliced ​​apple, raisins, buckwheat and mint if you’re in the mood. Light a candle, eat, enjoy and hum a Christmas carol for best results!

This is how you roast buckwheat:
Put 1 cup of buckwheat in a strainer. Boil water and pour over the buckwheat, then rinse off with cold water. Allow to drain, place the buckwheat on an oven plate and roast in the oven at 210 degrees Fahrenheit until they get crispy and golden. It takes about 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Stir occasionally. Keep the buckwheat in a sealed can.

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.


Lentil stew with sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and curry

Hey! My name is Ludvig and I’m 9 years old. A few days ago, my mom Mia made something that I really didn’t want for dinner. It didn’t look good and the food was sort of sticky. I sat down at the table and tasted it. It felt disgusting that I even ate it, but then I realized how good it was and ate all of it. I recommend for all kids to try it. It’s healthy and good. Ok, that’s all! Bye to all the nice fans out there!

P.S. Adults should also try it. Mom can write the recipe below.

(4 servings)

1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 cup red lentils
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon curry (or 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon cumin)
1 sweet potato
1/4 cauliflower head
1 big carrot
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
baby spinach (optional)

Chop the onion and heat it on low-temperature in coconut oil, preferably with the curry, for a few minutes. Rinse the lentils, dice the potatoes, divide the cauliflower head into smaller bouquets and chop the carrot. Put everything in the saucepan with the crushed tomatoes, the water, and the spices. Boil at low temperature until the vegetables soften and some of the liquid has boiled away. It should take about 20 minutes. Turn down the heat and add fresh baby spinach just before serving, and let the kids choose the thing to eat it with (we ate it with wheat grains).

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.