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A world devoured… Month 1, and its Sweden to the stage.

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Devour the world…

10 countries 10 tasty months

Ever wondered why other countries are so much Healthier than your own?

There are of course many different factors to consider here, but you cant deny that there’s a lot to be said about the food we eat.

Recently I read a few articles about the countries which are said to have the healthiest diets and was interested to find that much of the cuisine enjoyed by those special few actually sounds really tasty.

This got me thinking…

Hey I like tasty food, and I could stand to eat more healthily

What if I were to eat the food from each of these countries for 1 month?

Drawing some kind of top 10 list and focussing on each country for a month.

That’s 10 months of healthy eating not to mention the experience gained from cooking so many different national dishes.

So hang on, am I going on some kind of diet?!

err we’ll call it an experiment…

Well that’s exactly what I’m going to do and I hope you’ll Join me

Month 1 – Sweden

Despite the fact that traditionally Sweden does not enjoy the range of fruits and vegetables widely available in some of the other countries featured Sweden does well With an average life expectancy of 81%

The native diet is lean with low-salt and low-fat levels. Swedish food has a simplistic quality, but is by no means bland. Dishes are bold and extremely tasty with great quality ingredients, championing the philosophy that it is quality and not quantity which wins the day. Ingredients like Dill, berries, mackerel, and dark unrefined breads take centre stage.

Rye and pumpernickel breads are awash with loads of fiber; and berries are extremely nutritious with high levels of antioxidants. The calcium in dairy can help the body burn fat; and oily fish is great for the heart, containing lots of Omega.

Day 1

and I think we’ll start with an old favourite to ease everyone in gently

Meatballs with thyme, summer cabbage and lingonsylt

Serves 4

Ingredients:

700g of minced pork 
1 small onion, finely chopped 
3 tablespoons of thyme leaves, finely chopped 
2 eggs 
75g fresh breadcrumbs 
2 tablespoons plain wheat flour 
100ml sparkling water 
salt and pepper 
700g new baby potatoes 
olive oil 
about 40g butter 
1 pointed cabbage, quartered lengthways

Cowberry compote:

1kg fresh or frozen lingon (cowberries) or cranberries
200ml water
600g sugar

Mix the minced meats, onion, thyme and eggs together and beat well. Stir in the breadcrumbs and flour and beat again. Mix in the sparkling water and season. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Cut the potatoes in half lengthways. Put them in an ovenproof dish and mix them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 1 hour.

Shape the meat mixture into small balls. Heat 10g of the butter and olive oil together in a frying pan and cook the meatballs until golden brown. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and put in the oven for 10 minutes. Melt the remaining butter in a frying pan and fry the cabbage for a couple of minutes on each side. Sprinkle with pepper.

To make cowberry compote, combine the fruit and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 8 minutes. Pour the hot compote into a sterilised preserving jar. As soon as it is cold it is ready to eat, but stored in the refrigerator it will last for up to 3 months

An alternative to the Cowberry compote if you simply don’t have the time could be the traditional creamy sauce that usually accompanies meatballs. However since we’re trying to be healthy here I imagine a rich Pork or beef gravy would suffice.

Meatball sauce

Ingredients:

1/8 pint cream
1/4 pint beef stock
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, to taste
1 tablespoon white flour
1 tablespoon water
salt
white pepper

After cooking the meatballs in the pan as described in the previous recipe:

Swirl out the pan with boiling beef stock.
Add the cream.
Add the flour mixed with approx 1 tablepoons of water.
Add the seasonings.
Simmer until the sauce thickens.
Serve with Swedish meatballs.

Adding half the cream or not adding it at all is also a good option.

Thanks for reading folks and I hope that you’ll join me tomorrow were I will be reflecting on this first venture into healthy eating. Feedback is appreciated, and I welcome any ideas for the next step in this project

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