During our recent Balinese sojourn we stayed in Penestanan, an area just on the outskirts of Ubud. Our house wasn’t accessible by car – to reach the area from the main road below we had to climb a long flight flight of stairs shadowed by tropical plants. Once up the top everything was interconnected by concrete walkways that were bordered on one side by a shallow flowing stream, and on the other side by houses, or greenery, or long drops into fern-studded ravines. The area also had its own little assortment of shops, cafes, and fruit stalls.
On our first day in Bali, after the long lines at customs and the drive from the airport, we arrived in Ubud just before nightfall. W was tired and S and I were fucking starving. Only a few minutes walk from our place, we discovered the Yellow Flower Cafe, having its weekly Balinese buffet. The food was all kinds of delicious – laden with tempeh, peanuts, green beans, toasted coconut.
Needless to say, the Yellow Flower Cafe became a regular haunt for us during our stay. It was relatively small, with outdoor seating and a lovely wooden rocking horse out the front. The food was simple and healthy, all ethically (and where possible) locally sourced. In fact, it was one of the few places where S could drink kopi luwak, knowing that the beans had been collected in the traditional way with no harm done to the civet cats.
Of all the food we ate there, what they dubbed an Energy Smoothie pretty much topped my list. A mixture of cashew nuts, raw cacao beans, sunflower seeds, dates, and banana, it was oh so good. So good, in fact, that recreating it when we got back home was high on my list. And so here it is! It may not look all that pretty but trust me when I say that it tastes damn good. The Yellow Flower Cafe served it so thick you needed to eat it with a spoon. I’ve done the same here, but if you prefer to be able to drink it, just add a splash more cold water (or some kind of nut milk).
Make this. You’ll thank me for it later.
Cashew & Cacao Bean Smoothie
100 grams raw cashew nuts
¼ cup raw cacao beans
6 medjool dates, pitted
2 tbsps sunflower seeds
2 small (or 1 large) bananas, frozen
4 -5 ice blocks
300ml ice water
Cover the cashews in cold water and soak for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. In the morning drain and rinse the cashews and add to your blender along with 100ml of the water. Blend until they form a smooth paste.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and mix on a high speed until everything is smooth.