Photo: Linn Thorstensson
You guys!! I’ve been meaning to start this series of guest post for a while now because I read a copious amount of food blogs (srsly on bloglovin I have over 200+ unread posts…) and I there are so many great ones out there that I don’t want you to miss out on! Today I’m extra happy because I get to introduce a recipe by a person I’ve been following for a loong time! She was actually one of the first persons I started to follow on instagram when I got my @cashewkitchen account in the spring of 2013.
So in this post you will get to know Linn from Straightforward Nutrition a little bit better, and at the end of the interview you’ll find the recipe for her Millet & Linseed Porridge with nut butter and dates <3 I was SO happy when I realized she was gonna share a millet recipe with us because that is my no.1 fav grain right now! I’m also, just like Linn, a breakfast person through and through, so this recipe will definitely be tested in my kitchen in a near future. Like tomorrow. Or this night when I can’t sleep cause the only thing I can think of is sweet & gooey porridge breakfast ; )
Another great thing is that I will also be sharing a recipe over at Linn’s blog this weekend! Stay tuned for that. If you like this idea of guest posts every now and then, please let me know in the comments and I’ll continue to book guests :) Any negative feedback is of course always welcome too! I want both you guys and me to be excited about the content of this space you know.
Ok let’s do this! Oh btw, the interview is in English, hope that’s ok with everybody.
Hi Linn! Can you tell us something about yourself and your work?
I’m a Swedish girl (well I suppose woman really as I’m in my early 30s…) who currently lives in co. Cork, Ireland. I moved here when I was 20 and even though the thought of moving back to the mother land has occurred, (more than once) it has not happened. I’ve lived here my whole adult life and I love the amazing landscape, the friendly people and the relaxed atmosphere. After so many years abroad I suppose I have built my life here, but I love visiting Sweden and spend time with my family at home. Especially in the summer!
I’m a qualified Nutritional Therapist and when I don’t cook, blog or spend time in nature, I see clients in my clinic in Cork or via Skype online. In Nutritional Therapy we aim to understand what is going on for our clients on a biochemical level, using extensive questioning and sometimes testing. From there, I develop a highly individual treatment protocol taking in to consideration my client’s starting point, current lifestyle and any test result we may have. Food and recipes are developed to suit that one particular client and support is given over the next few weeks or months as to implement the changes recommended.
It can be totally mind-blowing sometimes the positive results you get. Even with small subtle changes. I also work with people’s mindset around food, empowering them to take control over their own health and the choices they make.
I’ve just release my first online programme Happy Healthy Me, helping people ditch dieting, to create a healthy balanced lifestyle centred on the use of whole foods, but also increase awareness, mindfulness and make choices which makes you feel good whilst letting go of guilt and food worries.
I don’t believe in diets, because the concept of dieting doesn’t work. To make long lasting changes to how and what we eat we need to first change our mindset and start making choices based on caring and nourishing instead of depriving and punish ourselves.
How would you describe your food philosophy?
The name of my business and website describes it pretty well I think. To me eating well should be simple, wholesome, taste great and be nourishing on all levels. I love recipes with just a couple of basic ingredients, as close to nature as possible.
My food philosophy is about abundance. I try to keep it varied, eating what makes me feel good and usually when I eat something processed which I thought I fancied, it mostly serves as a reminder to why I don’t eat those “foods” that often.
Eh yes. Story of my life. That ”food hangover” is the worst. Weird though that we never learn!
Photo: Linn Thorstensson
Why did you initially start the blog Straightforward Nutrition?
The name of my business actually comes from the initial URL which was randomly generated when I set to create my very first brochure website about five years ago… Somehow it stuck and I do feel it represents the core of my business quiet well. Simple, honest, good nutrition.
About 2 years ago I decided that I wanted to change my website to be able to better share the types of recipe and food I cook for myself and what I recommend my clients. I love cooking, experimenting with recipes and photographing so it made sense to redesign my website to reflect all of that. I really love food blogging!
What do you wish to convey to your readers through your blog?
That eating and cooking healthy food is actually easy, tastes good and will make you feel amazing too. Just look at all that colour! Making food visually appealing is so important. I hope my readers and clients learn to take time to appreciate all aspects of their food. The art of creating it, how it looks, the taste and most of all the satisfaction of doing something good for yourself, by feeding your body well.
How does your process from idea to finished recipe and blog post look like?
This is a hard question to answer really. I get great ideas for recipes all the time. Often when I cook for myself I don’t use recipes at all. I just assemble meals…
It can be challenging to find the time to shoot a recipe when I happen to have the fresh ingredients which I want to use, to hand. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes not. Sundays are usually my cooking/photographing/blogging day.
If I can, I like to do the whole process in one day. But I also do days where I shoot several recipes in one go. And then I use each recipe to tie in with some current topic I feel like blogging about.
I suppose my blog posts are a mixture of me sharing something from my life, some nutritional info, and the actual recipe with photos.
Which 5 ingredients will I find in your pantry?
I can tell you there’s a lot more than five… I’m a food shopping junkie. Even though I live in the countryside I’m only 15 min from town and can get almost everything I want there. I just love shopping unusual kinds of ingredient and also have some innate fear of “running out”.
Thing you’ll always find is dates and figs, red lentils, chickpeas, honey and nuts and nut butter. Oh and dark chocolate. But really, it’s more like ½ a health food store in there…
Sounds like a foodie’s paradise <3<3<3 Do you have an all-time favorite recipe you keep coming back to? :)
My mother was a vegetarian so I would have eaten beans and lentil growing up. I love them and feel really well on them. So anything I can make with red lentil or chickpeas are firm favourites. I have noticed that over the past couple of years I eat more in season than ever before. At the moment it is a lot of cabbage (purple mainly) and root veg as well as porridge, and citrus fruits. During the summer months I tend to eat a lot more raw food or lightly cooked stirfries.
Tell us something about the recipe you are sharing today! Why this particular recipe?
I chose this recipe to share with you all today as I feel it reflects quite well my personal preferences but also how food can be used as medicine.
I’m a breakfast person through and through and can happily eat porridge, avocado toast or smoothies any time of the day. And I love sweet breakfasts, dates and nut butter… So this is perfect.
It’s a quick and simple recipe using the less used gluten free grain millet. This dish is the perfect breakfast to set you up for the day using several foods with properties to balance your blood sugars from the word go which translates into sustained energy levels, less (or no) sugar cravings, healthy hormone balancing fats and a good dose of B-vitamins. So if stress, PMS or mood swings sounds familiar, this recipe could work wonders for a more harmonious you.
Millet is one of those underused gluten free grains. It’s a good source of plant based protein, B-vitamins (for the nervous system) and minerals such as magnesium and iron (vitals components of health for women of fertile age).
Linseeds contains lignans, a phytoestrogen as well as high levels of essential fatty acids and fibre. All important components to keep our hormones happy.
Cinnamon adds a balance to the sweetness of the dates as well as mellowing the distinct flavour of millet. Cinnamon contains healing properties of its own. It can help keeping blood sugar levels stable as well as being a digestive aid.
Dates are nature’s candy. Because you are eating a whole fruit you do not just get the natural sugar. It comes packaged together with fibre and important minerals such as magnesium, potassium and iron.
If you’re like me and enjoy dessert for breakfast, you are probably going to like this. Knowing it will keep your hormones happy too is a win-win in my book!
Photo: Linn Thorstensson
Millet & Linseed Porridge
Makes 2 ½ cup porridge mix (dry weight)
2 cups hulled millet, whole grain
½ cup brown linseeds
For 2 servings of cooked porridge:
8 tbsp of porridge mix
1 tbsp coconut oil, raw & organic
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla powder or vanilla extract
400 ml plant milk of choice
4 Medjool dates or 8 small pitted ones
2 tbsp nutbutter – almond or hazelnut is particularly nice
A little extra plant milk, if necessary
Start by making your porridge mix. Place millet and linseed in a high speed blender and blend until you have a grainy mixture. You don’t want to make it into a flour so continue to pulse your blender until you have a grainy texture. Store your millet-linseed mix in a Kilner Jar in the fridge to protect the oils in the linseeds from going rancid.
To make the porridge; melt the coconut oil in a small sauce pan. Once the oil is fully melted add in the ground cinnamon and gently “fry off” until fragrant. About a min or so. Than add your millet-linseed mixture and toss well in the cinnamon/coconut oil. Make sure your grains get evenly coated. Add vanilla extract or vanilla powder and combine it with the rest of the ingredients.
Gradually add your plant milk while you keep stirring to prevent sticking. Cook on a low to medium heat, gently bringing your porridge to a simmer. As the porridge start to cook and thicken add in more of the milk. Once you have added in all the milk keep stirring your sauce pan to prevent it from sticking or burning. After about 10-15 min your porridge should be cooked. It will be thick but smooth, with no hard grains remaining once it’s ready.
Serve in small bowls with a couple of chopped dates and some nut butter. Add a little extra plant milk if you wish.
The serving size is small. Don’t be fooled though. Because of all the healthy fat it is very filling and should keep you going for a good while.
How did you like this guest post? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to surf in to Linn’s food blog Straightforward Nutrition! Sooo many inspiring and healthy recipes!
Recipe and photos courtesy of Linn Thorstensson of Straightforward Nutrition.1