Food Trend: Danish Smørrebrød…

Danish smørrebrød pinterest style post

Food Trend: Danish Smørrebrød…

In North America, we live in a bread-centric world. Our pizzas feature ultra-thick crusts topped with sugary sauces slathered on top… A popular breakfast features a plain bagel (equivalent to 3-4 pieces of bread!) spread with jam or butter (or both)… Our sandwiches consist of 80% bread and 20% fillings (most of which also contain added sugars, chemicals, and processed foods). If you really “dig into it” (pun intended), processed breads in North America aren’t really THAT tasty… In fact, most people will enjoy the richness of REAL, higher fat, lower carb foods more than nutrient-lacking breads and pastries. In this post, Chef Dawn and Chef Kenzie will dive into a common Danish food trend (Smørrebrød) to see if they have a better “sandwich” strategy…

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Food Trend: Danish Smørrebrød…

When you order a sandwich in America, you typically expect to see a few inches of bread on both sides of an assortment of fillings… If you were to look at a sandwich, you’d probably guess about 70-75% of it is bread, and the remaining 25-30% is filling. Although this is quite a normal sandwich “formula” in North America, it seems like it veers from the typical recommendations from a nutritional (and flavor) standpoint. 

From a nutritional point of view, we want about 25% of our plate to be filled with carbohydrates. If bread is our chosen carbohydrate, it is recommended to only make up approximately 25% of our plate. Not to mention, it should also be a high quality, whole grain (high fiber) variety to promote gut health and satiety. So, if a typical sandwich features about 70-75% bread, we’re already far off of our nutritional goal for the meal. 

On the other hand, from a flavor perspective, there are four “secret” ingredients to pay attention to in any meal. These include: fat, salt, acid, and heat. Bread (in addition to most carbohydrates) do not have these elements. Instead, these elements are often found in dressings and toppings (ie: lemon, olive oil, balsamic, feta, pickles, cream cheese, etc.). Therefore, from a flavor perspective, 70-75% bread in a meal isn’t doing us many favors either…

So, how can you boost the nutrition AND flavor of your favorite sandwiches? 

We turned to the Danes for some answers…

The Danish Smørrebrød

Denmark cuisine is recognized for one of its most famous food trends: The Danish Smørrebrød. A Smørrebrød is a variation of an open faced sandwich. However, in this case, the bread is fairly thin, the toppings are piled high, and there is plenty of fat, protein, vegetables, and flavor to go around. 

The moderate amount of bread allows for the flavors from the other ingredients to shine through while providing your body with more nutrients to feel satisfied and comfortably full after eating. 

The balance of nutrients within a Smørrebrød is much closer to the recommended “plate method” of ¼ plate carbs, ¼ plate protein, ½ plate non-starchy vegetables, and a few “thumb sizes” of added fats. Paired with a side salad, this could be a great, nutrient-dense meal that includes a high-fiber bread. 

Side Note: Whole grain sourdough bread is a P3 food. We recommend experimenting with P2 foods prior to P3 foods to learn how your body responds.  When choosing breads, we recommend whole grain sourdough or rye varieties as those tend to be less processed, higher in fiber, and lower on the glycemic index. For a P1 variation, you may like using our GF Waffle Recipe as your “bread-like” base in your homemade Smørrebrød meal.

Bringing This Food Trend to Your Home: The Smørrebrød

If you’re intrigued by the idea, we have a few quick recipe ideas to get you started. 

Egg Salad with Shrimp and Microgreens (P1 ratios)

  • 2 eggs + 1 tbsp mayo (mash/mix together and season with salt and pepper)
  • 3-4 pcs medium-sized shrimp, chopped
  • 1 thin slice (0.5 inch) whole grain sourdough bread
  • Side dish (yogurt and berries): 1/2 cup blueberries with 1/2 cup 5% plain Greek yogurt

Roast Beef with Sauteed Onions and Cream Cheese (P1 ratios)

  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 4 ounces roast beef
  • 1/4 onion sautéed in 1 tsp oil
  • 1 thin slice (0.5 inch) whole grain sourdough bread
  • Side dish (salad): your favourite salad greens and vegetables mixed with 1 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil and a squeeze of lemon

Chicken/Tuna Salad with Sautéed Veg (P1 ratios)

  • Chicken/tuna salad prepared with 4 oz chicken breast OR 1 can of tuna (drained), 2 tbsp mayo, squeeze of lemon, and salt/pepper to taste
  • Sautéed vegetables (we recommend mushrooms, onions, and asparagus) in 1 tsp oil
  • 1 thin slice (0.5 inch) whole grain sourdough bread
  • Side dish: 1 medium apple sprinkled with cinnamon, if desired

Comment below which flavor you would try first!

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