An increasing number of people are turning to raw food diets in order to achieve optimum health, while many others recognise the wellness benefits of consuming raw foods for at least part of the time. At InterContinental Bali Resort, we are pleased to incorporate a range of raw food dishes into the menus of both Jimbaran Gardens and Bella Cucina. Our aim is to provide guests with the option of fresh, local, sun-ripened fruits and vegetables, and delicious unprocessed foods, which provide the body with the best nourishment that nature has to offer. While the raw food selections are available for any of our guests to enjoy, the menus have also been designed to complement InterContinental Bali Resort’s yoga and wellness programmes.
The principle of raw food is simply a return to food in its wild or unrefined state – the food we were meant to eat. Raw foodism is a diet of primarily unheated food, fermented food, or food that has been cooked to a temperature of less than 46 degrees C. Below this temperature, the nutrients are not destroyed. Raw food is alive and full of enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Besides being uncooked, it is also unprocessed and often organic. A raw food regime embraces fresh, whole, living, plant-based foods: typically raw fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, and raw grains, seeds, nuts and legume sprouts, which are consumed in their natural state. Non-vegan and non-vegetarian raw foods include raw fish, unpasteurised dairy products such as raw milk, raw meat, raw eggs, and raw honey. Applying heat to foods provides no nutritional benefit, but raw foods supply premium nutrition, and are brimming with the vital life force that our bodies need for highly efficient digestion, for a well-functioning immune system, for energy and stamina, weight loss, beauty, mental clarity and focus, emotional balance and spiritual connection.
An important key to excellent health is excellent digestion. The human body requires enzymes to digest food. Sprouted nuts, seeds, and grains are living foods, which are easier to digest because the availability of the enzymes is increased, enhancing the vitality and the power of the food by making all of the nutrients readily available and easier to assimilate.
Raw foods also have a big impact on the acid and alkaline balance in our bodies. Diseases develop more easily within the body when acidity rises, which in turn challenges the immune system. The body can become overly acidic due to environmental pollutants, stress, processed and refined foods, lack of nutrients, and mineral-deficient water. Cooked foods create even more acidity in the body, but on the other hand, raw foods neutralise acid and help alkalise the body. When the body is in an alkaline state, it is better able both to absorb nutrients and to expel toxins more efficiently. By integrating a proper raw diet with other healthful living practices, we are less likely to develop weight control problems or chronic or short-term illnesses. No man-made vitamin tablet or other supplement can compare with nature’s handiwork.
At Bella Cucina, our Chef’s focus is on nutritious satisfaction – physically and mentally. Above all, he aspires to create scrumptious delights that are a pleasure to eat, such as ‘Zucchini Lasagna’ filled with hazelnut cheese and raw plum tomato marinara; as well as ‘Caesar Salad Raw Food Style’ comprising Bedugul romaine lettuce heart tossed with raw Caesar dressing, cashew flakes and nori seaweed; and ‘Raw Vegetable Fettuccini Marinara’ with mixed crunchy Bedugul carrot, zucchini, asparagus, cherry tomatoes and raw pine nut cream sauce.
Our Chef is also getting back to nature at Jimbaran Gardens by utilising fresh, colourful ingredients created around the art and science of feeling great. Dishes here include the ‘Warm Coconut Noodle Wrap’ stuffed with shimeji mushrooms and champignons, scented with ginger and served with cilantro teriyaki sauce. Alternatively, the naturally nourishing ‘Nuts and Seed Raw Pizza’ is layered with raw tomato coulis, cashew cheese, avocado, and raw Bedugul baby vegetable shavings; while the ‘Warm Pumpkin Noodle Roll’ introduces caponata, baby spinach and raw capsicum dressing. A deliciously different dessert, available at both restaurants, is the ‘Raw Chocolate Mousse,’ which is served with mango and mint compote at Jimbaran Gardens, or with balsamic marinated Bedugul strawberries on an almond biscuit at Bella Cucina.