Achingly hip interiors, insouciant fashion and deliciously dark Nordic noir. Is there anything those Scandi cool kids don’t do with aplomb? Apparently not. Now, thanks to hygge, they can add the art of wellbeing to their expanding list of accolades. Hygge is hot here right now (there are no less than nine books coming out on the subject in the next couple of months) but has been a Danish staple for over a hundred years. Loosely pronounced /hue-gah/ it translates as the pleasure you get from being cosy, comfortable and nurtured. It’s a state of mind rather than a physical thing; that warm feeling you get when you’re totally in the moment, taking time out from life to be good to yourself. Think long baths, merino throws, good lighting and hearty food.
Thanks to 26 Grains and a legion of modern cooks, porridge has had a bit of a makeover since its gruel-like origins and is now a healthy diet staple. It’s low on the GI index, so it releases energy slowly. It’s cheap. And it’s a wonderfully nutritious blank canvas on which to celebrate whatever’s in season. On cold mornings, nothing says cosy more than a bowl of sweet, warm porridge buoyed up with aromatic winter spices. For something so simple – essentially just oats and milk, although you can try different grains to dial up the taste and texture – the possibilities with porridge are endless. Think of the ‘recipe’ below as a base from which you can add your own twists.
These rawsome little mouthfuls are perfect on-the-go snacks. Makes about 12.
Coconut based curries warm the body and soul; this one has luxurious layers of texture and flavour. Don’t feel obliged to rush out and buy all the spices listed, just use as many as you have in your cupboards. The addition of spinach at the end lends the dish a vibrant green colour, together with a solid dose of immunity boosting iron and vitamins C, K, A and E.