Blending traditional Bali meals with contemporary healthy food concepts
The traditional way
The Indonesian cuisine is renowned for its tasty and sometimes very spicy dishes. They are cooked following a long tradition using all the excellent food ingredients, herbs, and spices the archipelago offers. From a long time ago, these ingredients can be considered healthy because they came straight from the land, and there was no significant pollution in land, water, and air.
That does not mean Indonesian people always eat healthily. The majority follows a poor nutritional diet consisting of rice and minor contributions of vegetables and meat (mostly chicken). Beef, pork, and goat are far too expensive for the majority. The Muslim population (90% of all Indonesians) avoids eating pork meat; for the Balinese, it is a delicacy (especially suckling pig, which is only served at certain ceremonies and in unique Babi Guling restaurants). When they consume fish, it is primarily tiny fish (Ikan tri), sardines, or mackerel. These are all wild-caught, which is good.
For the rest, the Balinese people are fond of sweet cakes and other sugary things that can cause, as we know now, significant health problems.
Most Balinese people are unaware of unhealthy eating and do not care about healthy eating. They also like to eat at fast-food restaurants if they can afford it. And they are fond of sweets and sugary things.
And there is also little to no awareness of the health risk that toxins found on land, in water, and the air can affect people’s health.
We have chosen to be an example in proving that traditional Balinese food can be prepared and served as Healthy Balinese Food.
Our focus on health and nutrition
A few years ago, we at Gunung Paradis Retreat decided to become an example for our guests and social environment and focus more on the health- and nutritional value of the meals and drinks we offer without losing the typically Indonesian/Balinese taste. Our focus evolved to turning our menu into a health-promoting directory so we defined what Healthy Balinese Food concepts, in our opinion, must be.
To increase the variety, we added some more general Asian/Western-oriented dishes based on the same principles.
We are not at the ultimate level we want to be yet, but we are on the right track and dare to share our meals without any doubt with our guests.
Healthy Balinese Food principles that guide us
- Variety in meals and ingredients
- Avoid toxic ingredients as much as possible (MSG or VeTsin, as it is called here, but that is just one example of a longer list)
- Avoid the use of refined sugar for sweetening (and if necessary, limit it to natural sweeteners)
- Focus on ingredients that have specific superfood properties
- Buy and use always fresh organic produce as much as possible
- Avoid so-called processed food and – ingredients
- Cook only in and with coconut oil and/or real butter
- Use toxin-free water in the kitchen (we are so lucky to have our private water well with the purest natural Earth water possible)
The result summarized
We are a “ boutique retreat” with a limited number of accommodations, but still, we have an extensive menu list that can fulfill the needs of any guest we have the pleasure to serve. But for some of it, we need to know your preferences at least a few days before you arrive:
- Superfood smoothies
- Kefir (natural probiotics milk drink)
- Pure mountain spring water
- Lovely Indonesian dishes made from fresh (organic*) ingredients
- Wild-caught fish dishes from the sea surrounding Bali
- Unique vegetarian or vegan dishes
- We are constantly looking to add relatively unknown local vegetables
- Gluten-free bread, pancakes, and -pasta