To cook, or not to cook. That was our question. And we decided to do both.
Hacienda del Sol prides itself in being an all-welcoming wellness environment, and as such, we are continually revising and re-vamping our programs and offerings to best serve our new and returning guests. Our food is one major draw for not only those in search of a healthy alternative to traditional buffet style all-inclusive resorts, but also a big reason that many of our clients dream of our recipes and returning to our oasis long after leaving.
Long known as a vegetarian foodie’s haven, Hacienda has been ahead of the curve as far as raw cuisine goes, having had countless raw chefs grace our kitchen over the years, creating and curating many magnificent dishes. In 2013, we made the shift from offering our meals in a family style manner, and premiered our a la carte menu, allowing guests to choose their own custom cuisine (see our blog post about that here). At this point, the options for breakfast lunch and dinner were primarily raw, and most vegan, with the exception of a handful of non-raw flavour enhancing ingredients we chose to use (think low sodium soy sauce, balsamic, dry toasted cashews, high quality local honey).
Our menu was a hit! Prioritizing raw foods for their energy & vitality giving ingredients and proven capability to clean and heal the body was, and still is our mission. However, it is also our mandate to offer flexibility and adapt our offerings to best suit different bodies, tolerances, needs and desires. And so we decided to add to our menu this past season, incorporating a few cooked items for those seeking the some grounding, warming foods, as well as a few new egg-based dishes. All this, while still maintaining our level of superb standards of health, using the freshest & mostly organic ingredients. Perhaps one of the most exciting additions for the omnivores out there, is our occasional dinner of fresh caught local fresh fish! We know that if one chooses to eat fresh from the sea, our local fishermen will always bring them best!
In short, we know that everybody, and every body can stand to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables! Keeping food un-cooked can maintain certain vitamins and minerals, and also ensures optimal enzymatic presence. While heating food may cause the loss of some of these valuable nutrients, like vitamin C, there are some vegetables which offer useful health benefits when they are lightly cooked. And some nutrients are more sensitive to heat than others, and some, like fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, are virtually unaffected. The short of it? Variety is key!
Tips to find your perfect balance in daily nutrition:
- Buy local! Some nutrients can be lost during transportation and storage.
- Go organic when possible. Refer to the list of most pesticide laden foods here.
- Prepare your foods just before serving; especially juices and smoothies.
- Choose cooking methods which use minimal or no water in order to maintain water soluble nutrients.
- Most of all, keep your diet balanced! Incorporating both raw foods with cooked foods is a great strategy to keep your body fuelled and fierce! Aim for 80% raw on most days to reap the benefits.
While raw foodism is becoming more and more mainstream, there is still a long way to go to get the majority of the population eating more fresh fruits and vegetables! That is why we choose to teach primarily raw food techniques in our Conscious Culinary classes here at Hacienda, and it is our mission to educate, or plant-ucate the world about how incredible plant-based raw & vegan-friendly cuisine can be, for our bodies, our minds, and our planet!