Raw food is all the rage these days, especially in the holistic heart of Ubud, and we find Living Food Lab right alongside Hubud (a collaborative working space and business network.) Surrounded by a pretty garden with colourful bean bags on one side, and glistening rice fields on the other, the airy bamboo building creates a casual, comfortable setting for light and nutritious food.
An experiment in conscious eating, Living Food Lab also celebrates the notion of food as an art form, and meals are beautifully served on wicker plates lined with ornamentally-cut banana leafs. With the exception of chick peas, beans and quinoa (options in the salad bar,) everything on the menu is raw, and sourced locally to ensure absolute freshness. The use of a dehydrator slowly and gently heats food to 43 degrees, which keeps all the nutrients and enzymes intact, and creates crispy flax seed crackers, kale chips and tostadas.
Early risers can hit the breakfast bar and start the day with an organic cold pressed FREAK coffee, and load up at the granola station packed with seeds, nuts, oats, fruit, coconut or cashew milk. Lunch choices include a daily specials board and a salad bar, filled with all manner of sprouts, vegetables, legumes, greens and a good choice of dressings, such as beet vinaigrette, citrus avocado, pesto, and tahini with a kick. Organic cashews, sourced from the fabulous East Bali Cashew Company, located in the north of the island make a highly versatile raw food ingredient and can be churned into tasty cheese, whipped into a smooth filling for cheesecakes and pies, and crushed into a crunchy base.
We have a Corn Tostada, with a crispy corn and sesame cracker topped with a sunflower seed pate, spicy marinated vegetables, cashew cheddar and cashew sour cream. Generous amounts of cilantro, cumin and lime create an authentic Mexican flavour. The towering Zoom Burger has dark zucchini and mushroom crackers layered with sundried tomato paste, tomatoes and cashew mason – which tastes like a crunchy parmesan cracker.
Raw food really comes into its own in the dessert arena, granting the sweet taste you crave, minus the guilt factor, and the deli counter is filled with all kinds of enticing delights, from Bliss Balls, to Silky Truffles, to Mulberry Cheesecake and richly smooth Chocolate salted Caramel Cups. I devour an entire slice of fragrant Strawberry Cheesecake and feel wonderfully light (and not at all remorseful) afterwards.
Living Food Lab started at the Green School, where kids, teachers, and visitors on daily tours can stop by for a healthy bite. Known as the ‘greenest school on earth,’ this is probably also the only school in world with a raw food café, and you can join introductory raw food courses on Saturday mornings at 9am.
Living Food Lab
Jalan Monkey Forest 88x Monkey Forest Road,