We haven’t actually talked about being dairy free on the blog yet, so it’s probably time to start talking because it was a very important part of the restaurant concept . As you may already know, all of our food and drink items are dairy free, with the small exception in our Tulum restaurant where we offer an organic cow’s milk option to have with the coffee selection.
It was a bit of a surprise to some that we made the restaurant menu grain free (alongside gluten, dairy and refined sugar free), but to many it turned out to be a godsend. It could have proven controversial as we had also adopted a plant based eating foundation (to which you can add ethically sourced animal products), so when you remove grains and pulses, where do plant based eaters get there grounding and more carb based foods from. But it was an important point for us and something we strongly believed in and a challenge we were willing to meet. Thankfully, it’s proven worthwhile, according to a lot of our guests at least.
There is no denying that wellness is a serious business right now. There seems to have been a mass movement in the collective consciousness towards delving deeper into health and wellbeing. Old beliefs and paradigms are shifting and it looks like people are wanting more. More health, more balance, more joy, more meaning, more life…
Daniella Hunter has seized on a zeitgeist. With more and more growing demand for gluten, grain, and dairy free food on the rise globally — and with the gluten-free market alone projected to be valued at $2 billion by 2019 — Hunter is definitely on to something...
“I began experimenting with plantain flour at The Real Coconut in Tulum when developing a pancake recipe for the restaurant's breakfast menu, which then led to loads of other baked goodies, including cookies. The cookies have been so beloved by guests, and plantain flour is incredible from both a nutritional and environmental standpoint, that I had to find a way to bring them to the U.S.,” offers Daniella Hunter of The Real Coconut.
Due to increasingly unrealistic and unsustainable demands for cheap meat and dairy, something had to give. In order to supply a portion of the market with cheap meat, certain agricultural institutions started to modify the feeding and rearing practices of animals to make them more effective meat and dairy producers. Some animals are now fed on a processed feed which is high in grain, especially corn and soya, as it means that the cows can be fattened up quickly and cheaply. Grain breaks down into glucose which causes the animal to quickly gain weight. For dairy cows it also means that they have sufficient nutrients to keep producing milk throughout the Winter months when grass is lacking.
Coconut oil was an essential part of the discussion while we were dreaming up the concept and menu in the initial stages of The Real Coconut. Back in the days where the plan was a simple one: a cosy beach front cafe where you could get healthy, tasty nibbles for all the family. Little did we know it would become so much more and we see now how coconut oil was such a vital part of its success.