Takeaways from today:
Lontar Nectar is a natural sweetener from a palm tree (coconut tree) in Indonesia and used to sweeten some chocolate.
Will we see this new sweetener emerge on the market and in our foods more?
At the Bali airport, I found “Pod” chocolate. It’s made in Bali. They say they support local communities with carefully sourced ingredients that travel a short distance from farm to factory. Eating local and seasonal foods is the healthiest choice we can make, plus it’s way better for the environment too. Pod also use “lontar nectar” as the sweetener! I was so intrigued I had never heard of it before. So I did some research.
Lontar nectar is a type of palm leaf. The lontar palm produces many things including coconuts, the leaves are used to make hats and even walls in homes, but it is said that perhaps the lontar’s greatest gift, however, is nirah a sweet and juice-like effluence, the staple “food” of many Rotinese even today.
“This nirah or “juice” of the lontar is slightly milky, sweet if fresh, and very filling. Call it nectar for humans. Surprisingly, you can drink volumes of it and have enough energy to carry you through the day. This quality, and the obvious carbohydrate value associated with such consumption, merits nirah– a drink, oddly– as a staple food. When drunk fresh, the taste is light, fresh, cool, sweet, and satisfying. Nothing else like it on Earth.”
Unlike maple syrup which is taken from the sap of the tree, Lontar nectar Nirah is taken from the top. An “expert tapper” will climb to the top of the tree and collect that nectar.
This is a great website that explains Lontar Nectar and shows pictures of how it is harvested step-by-step. It’s so great how many natural sweeteners are available to us that are delicious and much healthier than white sugar and corn syrup. http://www.manalagi.com/jamesplace/indonesia/lontar/index.html
Breakfast: My last breakfast today in Bali! So I went to The Shady Shack. I definitely ate here the most out of all the places in Canggu, with Crate being #2. They have SO much on the menu to choose from.
I got the Cacao Latte with almond milk and wow! Absolutely divine! No sweetener as the almond milk lightens up the bitterness.
I also got the Chickpea Avocado Toast. Their sourdough is really delicious. Sourdough bread certainly is easier to digest than wheat bread. A great choice to make if you are wanting to incorporate bread into your diet.
I also got the Cacao Dream smoothie with banana, dates, Cacao, ginseng, cashew milk, and maca.
Lunch: A green juice! Went to Alive organic supermarket and got a green juice and some potato chips for the plane. Organic potato chips will keep me satisfied and not tempted to eat “plane food”.
Dinner: Was at the airport. I went to “The Last Wave”, sounded appropriate for my last meal in Bali. I had the Nasi Goreng! My last Nasi Goreng for a while, I’ll have to make a recipe for it in NYC. I had the vegan Nasi Goreng. Nasi Goreng is Indonesian rice and vegetables, and chicken and egg for the meat eaters. I haven’t eaten chicken and egg, or beef in 2 weeks. Waiting until back in the USA and can access organic meat. I did have lamb as seafood in Bali however.
Dessert: I had Pod chocolate, a local Bali made chocolate that is sweetened with lontar nectar wow! I did some research on lontar nectar because I had never heard of it before!