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7 Scandinavian Kitchen Hacks

Make life easier, happier and healthier with these clever kitchen tips.

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Scandinavian classic kitchen with wooden and white details, minimalistic interior design, 3d illustrationPhoto: Shutterstock/ArchiVIZ
Photo: Shutterstock/ArchiVIZ

Scandinavian winters are notoriously dark, but the Scandinavian spirit is famously cheerful. How do they do that? Well, first, they know a thing or two about the comforts of a well-appointed kitchen and the wonderful things you can cook up there (you can practically smell these Scandinavian Cinnamon Rolls). They also have a few tricks up their sleeve that you can use to make the most of your own kitchen:

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scandinavianPhoto: via Amazon.com/IKEA
Photo: via Amazon.com/IKEA

1. Dry Dishes In Your Cabinet

Why waste counter space on a drying rack when your dishes can dry right in their own cabinet? The in-cabinet dish-drying system is one of Finland’s most useful kitchen items. (Purchase one for yourself, here.) Just make sure to keep your cabinets open until your dishes are fully-dry, and place glasses on the top rack so they don’t end up with visible water-drop spots.

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Steaming traditional oriental Chinese kopitiam style dark coffee in vintage mug and saucer with coffee beans. Fractal on the cup is generic print. Soft focus with dramatic light on wooden backgroundPhoto: Shutterstock/szefei
Photo: Shutterstock/szefei

2. Put an Egg in Your Coffee

Norwegians (and Swedes) know the secret to taking the bitter-edge off your morning cuppa: a raw egg. “When you pour boiling water over an egg and coffee grounds, the protein in the egg binds to the part of the grounds that causes bitterness,” according to Greatist. “Just be sure to strain the mixture—otherwise you’ll be left with scrambled egg-like clumps in your cup of joe.”

Here’s the scientifically-proven right time to drink your coffee.

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Homemade cinnamon rolls on the wooden backgroundPhoto: Shutterstock/SunKids
Photo: Shutterstock/SunKids

3. Limit Your Desserts to One Day a Week

Many Swedish families limit their consumption of sweets to once per week. Take a page out of the Scandinavian book by trying one of these low-sugar dessert recipes in place of your favorite sugar bombs. You’ll be surprised at how satisfying the trimmed-down versions are.

 

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English breakfast with scrambled eggs, avocado slices and roasted bacon. Selective focusPhoto: Shutterstock/Ina Ts
Photo: Shutterstock/Ina Ts

4. Go Halvsies With Your Sandwich

When you order a sandwich in Sweden, it typically comes on a single slice of bread. This concept of open-faced sandwiches dates back to the 1400s, when thick slabs of bread were used in place of plates. If you follow that to the letter, you’re going to save a lot of time dish-washing. You’ll also limit your carbs and maximize the flavor of your sandwich filling. Try this open-faced sandwich on for size. Or how about this open-faced omelet?

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Delicious meat and vegetables grilling on open grill, bbq. Steak and vegetables char-grilled over flame, garnished with slices of peppers, corn, carrots, and fresh twigs rosemary. Cooking in JosperPhoto: Shutterstock/Smile Studio
Photo: Shutterstock/Smile Studio

5. Put Your Grill to Work

Stockholm celebrity chef Bjorn Frantzen gets the most flavor out of his grilled specialties by cooking over an open fire. He uses Swedish birchwood but is open to other options. “It’s totally primal,” he tells the Robb Report. “You’re looking back to where it all started—to the cavemen and women gathered around the open fire.” That’s why he structured his latest restaurant so that 25% if the food can be cooked over an open fire. Here’s an open-fire bread recipe, of which we believe Frantzen would approve.

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Orange kitchen set in modern stylePhoto: Shutterstock/Gubin Yury
Photo: Shutterstock/Gubin Yury

6. Streamline Your Kitchen

The Swedes gave us Ikea and its clean lines and inherent simplicity, and keeping it simple is a Scandinavian kitchen value. Swedish star chef, Niklas Ekstedt, who, like Bjorn Frantzen is really big on open-fire cooking, follows the rule of simplicity in his own kitchen. “I have a sink, a chopping board, a few knives and a small stove,” he tells the Guardian. Ekstedt prefers simple cast iron cookware, and his go-to staple is…the humble potato. Take a page out of Ekstedt’s book and try one of these potato-based recipes for spud lovers everywhere.

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Toasted baguette with cream cheese, raspberry jam, raspberry and mint on a wooden board close-upPhoto: Shutterstock/Yulia Davidovich
Photo: Shutterstock/Yulia Davidovich

7. Experiment With Cheese and Jam

Two things you’re sure to see in Scandinavian kitchens: cheese and lingonberry jam. You’re also likely to see them served together, as in on the same open-faced sandwich. That’s because cheese-and-jam is a thing in Scandinavia. It also makes perfect sweet-and-savory sense. If you don’t believe it, just try these Brie Appetizers with jam AND bacon.

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly in The Huffington Post as well as a variety of other publications since 2008 on such topics as life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. She is also a writer of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.

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