The main flavors in Balinese dishes are shallots, garlic, chili, coconut, palm sugar, lemongrass, ginger and turmeric. In a day when we took a cooking class from a local family, we made coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut crème and roasted coconut – needless to say, I was in heaven and my love for coconut only grew. In the class we made 7 traditional dishes, each sweet and savory in their own unique way, but nothing drove my tastebuds crazy like the coconut chicken curry. It’s on the top of my list to make when I get home. The other new addiction is black sticky rice pudding with coconut cream for dessert — its so light, full of flavor and undoubtedly unique. The process to make it was quite tedious but well worth the effort!

The town where I spent just over 2 weeks, Ubud, is the mecca of raw, local, organic food. We frequented Kafe, Bali Budda, the café at the Yoga Garden and Melting Wok to soak up the amazing local fare. Unlike any dining experience in my life, this town knows how to do it right – and you can see the effects radiating in the beautiful faces of locals and expats. Eat good, feel good, radiate good. It’s really that simple!

I was so excited to try fresh cacao from the plant (SO cool!), coffee fruit, see vanilla grow, taste a leaf from a cinnamon tree and try a variety of different bananas!