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Processed vegetables at Kolåsens Fjällhotell
Kolåsens Fjällhotell in Järpen, Jämtland, is a hotel with a mountain garden and restaurant where local ingredients are being acidified, salted, dried and smoked. The hotel is participating in the Plant based by Sweden initiative.
Photo credit: Agnes Maltesdotter/Visit Sweden

Plant based by Sweden – guiding you to planet-friendly and delicious dining experiences

Green food is delicious and good – for you and the planet. A new initiative, “Plant based by Sweden”, highlights not only the dining experiences but also the enthusiastic foodies at the forefront of this culinary shift.

Sweden’s sustainable gastronomy scene continues to evolve, with an ever-growing range of dining experiences to discover – not least in the field of plant based food. This is perhaps not surprising, since a diet rich in greens is beneficial for both our health and the environment. According to several studies, including “Cleaner Living: Plant -friendly is planet-friendly”, by the Harvard Medical School, benefits include an uplift in mood and wellbeing, while inflammation in the body is reduced. The growing of greens is believed to have less of an environmental impact than livestock farming due to fewer greenhouse gas emissions and a more productive use of the land area under cultivation. From a cooking point of view, plant based food is full of nuanced flavour, colour and texture – and there is a wealth of recipes and preparation methods to explore.

Therese Elgquist

Therese Elgquist, also known as "Plant based by Thess", with a plate full of vegetables.

Photo: Agnes Maltesdotter/Visit Sweden

Plant based by Sweden – inspiring films and a digital guide to eating green

Plant based by Sweden is an initiative setting out to highlight the green cuisine as well as the forward-thinking chefs, food creators and food producers at its forefront. The initiative consists of films (eight YouTube episodes including recipes) and a digital guide (“Plant based food guide”).

A collaborative affair, Plant based by Sweden is a partnership between Visit Sweden and Therese Elgquist – an eminent food creator and cookbook author simply known as Thess by her growing fan base. The eco-minded foodie’s creative, easily accessible take on plant based food has made waves in recent years, thanks to her knack for creating innovative and delicious recipes that are easy and fun to cook at home. Her enthusiasm for sustainable, vegetable-packed dining – which she describes as “the world’s most modern form of cookery” – is contagious. Elgquist’s blog www.plantbasedbythess.com and Instagram handle – @plantbasedbythess – are brimming with recipes and inspiration as well as tips on where to find Sweden’s best cafés, restaurants and bakeries offering a good choice of plant based food. As she puts it herself, the blog is a delicious adventure where “veggies are cool, legumes are sexy and the possibilities are endless”.

Plant based by Sweden on YouTube takes you throughout the country’s green food scene

Each film episode features a unique concept, which all share a passion for innovative cuisine that respects the environment and promotes a plant-rich diet via organic, local produce – even the foraged variety, of which there is plenty in Mother Nature’s Swedish pantry. Centring on much more than colourful, flavoursome food and drink, you’re also in for a treat in terms of experience when visiting one of these spots, with many nestling in idyllic, natural surroundings. Two examples from the program series are Växthuset and Lilla Bjers.

In the Swedish capital of Stockholm, Växthuset is giving plant based food a modern spin. The ever-changing menu is developed according to the ingredients available at any given time. Dishes are cooked with panache using produce from nearby food artisans. To minimise waste and preserve these fine ingredients, Växthuset works actively with traditional preservation techniques, such as pickling and fermenting. To complement the food you can sample a range of vegan beverages, such as national and biodynamic wines, beer, spirits and alcohol-free options.

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Chef Emil Dahlberg at Växthuset

Emil Dahlberg leads the creative kitchen at Växthuset in Stockholm, which serves 3 and 5-course menus based entirely on plant-based ingredients.

Photo: Agnes Maltesdotter/Visit Sweden

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Chef Emil Dahlberg at Växthuset

Photo: Agnes Maltesdotter/Visit Sweden

Restaurant Växthuset in Stockholm

Photo: Agnes Maltesdotter/Visit Sweden

Margareta and Göran Hoas at Lilla Bjers

Photo: Agnes Maltesdotter/Visit Sweden

Lilla Bjers, Gotland

Photo: Agnes Maltesdotter/Visit Sweden

On the idyllic island of Gotland, off the southeast coast of Sweden, the organic farm Lilla Bjers’ Green Table concept is housed in an on-site greenhouse, in which many of the ingredients that land on your plate have been cultivated. The unique flavours of Gotland – think wild garlic and saffron – are used to give each vegetable-packed recipe a twist. During summer, Lilla Bjers invites you to take a guided tour of the farm to sample carrots and other vitamin-fuelled treats.

This is but a small sample of culinary hotspots taking plant based cuisine to new innovative heights, making the most of Sweden’s rich harvest of sustainable ingredients.

Head to Thess’ blog to discover the “Plant based food guide”, a regularly updated guide to new, compelling places offering modern takes on plant based edibles and unforgettable experiences.