In a city that is known more for greasy dosas and craft brews, it’s hard to believe that the new culinary trend is clean eating. Let us take a moment for that to settle in as our tumbler of filter coffee cools.
The city’s new love for photogenic smoothie bowls and cold pressed juices and millet muffins and other Goopisms can be largely pegged on Instagram posts and wellness newsletters and hot yoga dudes who make juicing seem like more fun than a Saturday night at the bar. Unless you’re doing wheat grass shots and stocking up on Yoni jade eggs.
Juicing: (Cold) Pressed For Time
Juicing helps flush the system of toxins while filling you up with natural vitamins from the fruits. Arriving just before the smoothie craze and staying long enough to make you invest in a juicer, cold-pressed juices are all the rage. The belief is that regular juicing doesn’t retain all the nutrients, thanks to the heated up motor. Cold pressed juices extract all the goodness, with no heat involved.
You can make your own clean eating definition, without subscribing to every fad
While the city’s favourite juice bar, Juice Junction does not serve cold presses, it does hydrate effectively and they’ll keep the sugar and ice off too if you ask nicely.
For the real deal, sign up for a subscription supply of juices from Raw Pressery, or Rejoov.
Millet & More: Save This For A Grainy Day
Lifestyle food stores like Healthy Happy Me in Indiranagar run by marathoner Namu Kinni and cyclist Misha Gill have added a certain glamour to buying groceries. The retail only the cleanest super foods – from spirulina and moringa, to batches of homemade organic hummus and peanut butter. They regularly conduct cooking workshops and clean eating classes to reach out to a wider audience.
Nidhi, the founder of JustBe, an organic cafe in Sadashivnagar, says she doesn’t have a single bottle of oil in her kitchen
Parisara Organic in Malleswaram, Kaulige on Brigade Road and Buffalo Buck in Jayanagar assert the benefits of local millets and other non-processed foods. Encouraged by their popularity, most organic outlets in the city have now started online inventories and home delivery.
Locavores: Give A Farm & A Leg
Bangalore’s clean eating trend is quickly moving from stores and into cafés and restaurants as well. Go Native in Jayanagar, plated their first meal in February this year with the idea of serving farm to table meals. The freshest fruit and vegetables are brought in everyday from Kanakapura and Tumkur and these form the ingredients of Chef Dhayalan Paul’s dishes.
Pizzas with cashew cheese and puddings with chia and dark chocolate? We can live with this version of healthy!
Another café that insists on adding health to every bite is JustBe in Sadashivnagar. Founder Nidhi Nahata says she doesn’t have a single bottle of oil in her kitchen. With a vegan menu and walls peppered with inspiring quotes, we believe her. She asserts that food does more than provide nutrition. “Food should be able to heal you, what you eat decides what ailments will plague you, which is why we keep away from all things processed and unnatural in our kitchen,” says Nidhi. But here, healthy also means delicious, and arrives in the form of pizzas with cashew cheese and puddings with chia and dark chocolate. We can live with this version of healthy.
It’s the kind of food you’ll want to return to over and over again and you can too, because it won’t affect your waistline
The cosy Little Green Café on Museum Road is another café that adds a touch of gourmet magic to organic, clean food. Owner Bikash Parek tells us that diners have become very receptive to the clean eating concept because people are a lot more aware and conscious now of what they eat even as they step out. A meal at Chef Himanshu Dimri’s Forage Fit Foods in Indiranagar won’t leave you feeling uncomfortably full, allowing you to spring out in lightness. Most dishes here are gluten free and with zero preservatives. It’s the kind of food you’ll want to return to over and over again and you can too, because it won’t affect your waistline.
But Before You Jump Onto the Bandwagon…
Clean eating naysayers however, advise that even in our clean-eating-chakra-balancing lifestyles, logic should not go out the window. There is a case to be made against eliminating complete food groups from your diet, like fully cutting out gluten or dairy or refined sugar. “People are led to believe that refined sugar is the ultimate evil, a poison that will sabotage their health. Yet, they are happy to consume a “green” or “protein” smoothie that contains as much sugar as a can of fizzy drink without a whiff of guilt.”
You can make your own clean eating definition, without subscribing to every fad, by finding a sensible nutritionist who can give you sound advice and most importantly, by finding something that makes you feel good.
So finish that beer in front of you sans the guilt. Tomorrow there will be a new yoga studio in your neighbourhood that will take care of your belly.
This story was contributed by the team at brownpaperbag.in, a culture and lifestyle portal in Mumbai, Delhi & Bangalore.