Brunkål is a classic Christmas dish in southern Sweden.
The main ingredient is white cabbage and the name Brunkål (meaning brown cabbage) comes from the normally long cooking time which makes the cabbage brownish in colour.
My slightly healthier version gets it colour from traditional Nordic Christmas spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger and less from frying, as I only let it softened in a pan for about 6-7 minutes.
– 1/2 head of white cabbage
– 1/3 of a leek
– 1-2 table spoons fresh ginger, grated
– 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
– 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix or mix nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves
– 1 teaspoon maple syrup
– tamari to taste
– heat up a pan and let the coconut oil melt
– add the cut upp cabbage and the leek, let it softened for 6 min
– add the grated ginger and the pumpkin spice mix and maple syrup, after 2 min serve
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In Sweden we don’t prepare for lent with pancakes, instead we indulge in something even more fatty, a semla, or two.
This very semla was the last one from Scandinavian Kitchen.
The lovely boys from the scandi cafe’ have sold a whopping 1300 today!
I popped in before my nutrition course which is just around the corner, and it felt slightly bad to stare at a wheat bun stuffed with cream and marzipan whilst learning about phytochemicals and how to sprout seeds, so I shoved it in my bag, hence the squashed appearance.
I tried to pimp it up with some extra icing sugar when I got home, not sure it helped.
Now I’m going to enjoy my semla.
But thank heavens it was the last one, semlor is dangerous stuff the swedish King Adolf Fredrik died in 1771 after having eaten to many semlor.
53% of Sweden is covered in dark dense woodland, needless to say the Swedish national soul is very connected to the forest.
When I I’m back in my home country I mostly hang out in the city.
Stockholm’s were my friends and family live but the pull of the magic woods is always present.
I found it very healing to take a hike in the rough and ready forest (it’s not as manicured and kept as the woods you find in the UK).
I also love the fact that you now can buy yourself a pice of wood-essence (in the form of bark bread) and eat it!
Forest on a plate.
The old way of using the inner bark of the pine tree as flour dates back to the vikings and nowadays this has become a bit of a delicacy. In the olden days there was a saying in Sweden “so poor they have to eat bark bread” now you need a bulging purse to buy the stuff, it’s incredibly expensive to produce.
The bark is harvested in early spring when it’s easy to remove and has a very high levels of nutrients like Vitamin C, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron and flavonoids.
Bark bread is not super easy to get hold of, but I managed to bag a packet of hard bread which miraculously survived baggage handling at Heathrow.
More from the nordic woods tomorrow 🙂
We stayed at Nobis Hotel in Stockholm this summer, a contemporary hotel slap bang right on Norrmalmstorg. You don’t get more central than that, walking distance to absolutely everywhere, so no need for practical shoes!
Also next door to Acne..
Rooms are small but practical. Staff are really friendly and VERY good at getting tables for 11 people at a “completely full” restaurant.
An iron and ironingboard was swiftly delivered to our room on request, and the dress I had altered and delivered was hanging in our wardrobe when we arrived, top marks!
And another 10 points for free WiFi! Hopefully more hotels will follow suit.
Another highlight was the cocktails in the early evening sunshine, especially the left one in the picture above. The “Victoria” (named after the crown princess) came full of crushed cloud berries so almost a health drink!
Stockholm has not been on the forefront of cocktail making, you would be hard-pressed to even get a rubbish Cosmo, but the mixologists at Nobis have upped the ante, big time!
Here is a video of our small but perfectly formed room.