Last week I had the chance to sit down with EkoButiken’s manager, chef and health expert Ingela Carlberg and from the instant I walked into her café and boutique I immediately felt at home. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting and Ingela is vibrant, welcoming and full of energy. I went in wanting to find out more about the café, boutique and the concept of ‘raw food’ and I came out with so much more. Ingela is really a Jill of all trades; she is a nurse, a massage therapist, health and dietary consultant, entrepreneur, coach, doula and chef. However, she is so much more than her CV - she is brave, she is fierce, she is energetic and she brings all of this into her business. EkoButiken is so much more than a lovely shop and café, it is a meeting place for food, people and the environment! Her dishes are stunning and taste amazing, in my opinion!
Ingela came to this boutique with the intention of setting up a health center along side the existing café. Currently, she has the café set up right in the middle of her boutique, where you can buy anything from organic soda, candy and tea to feminine health products and chia seeds. She chooses the highest quality things she can find. She now has a vision of setting up a country store where people can order and pick up fresh, organic local food. She is not only concentrating on food grown locally but food that she can grow directly on-site herself - ‘near food and here food’ as Ingela says!
The first part of Ingela’s vision has been realized. She serves a selection of raw, vegan and vegetarian items everyday. Her background as a nurse and nutrition advisor lead her to trying different types of food. She stresses the importance of ’living food‘, which is what raw food is. Raw food is not heated past 42 degrees celcius and often not heated at all, as the enzymes will be destroyed. However, she also says that it necessary to have warm food so you do not have to strictly eat a raw food diet in order to feel well. What’s important is the cycle of your food, that it is a living cycle and not full of processes that change the food and take away it’s life, so to speak.
I have eaten at EkoButiken many times, love the food and was dying to take my husband who is a harsh critic. I was floored about how impressed he was. We went for lunch on a Saturday afternoon to celebrate my birthday and both had absolutely wonderful meals, a combination of both raw and warm food. To start with, we were both served a vibrant salad with shredded red beats, sprouts, carrots, and cabbage. Alongside the salad were raw food crackers served with an avocado spread and a very flavourful Brazil nut pesto dip. For our main course, I ordered lovely kale and mushroom crêpes with parmesan cream. It was delicious and all the flavors combined and melted in my mouth. My husband ordered a carrot, coconut cream and ginger soup with a feta cream and olive sandwich on the side. The soup was amazing, bursting with flavor and very hearty and filling. My husband was gracious enough to let me try his soup - it was my birthday after all! We ate our delicious lunch in this cozy and inviting setting, looking out over the changing leaves and had our own interesting conversation about food, life and books. We finished our lunch with tea and as the birthday girl I indulged in a rich and delicious slice of raw tiramisu—not only delicious but full of healthy ingredients!
Ingela offers a range of classes, including a raw food cooking class in November, as well as classes on a range of subjects including how your digestive system works. Her vision carefully includes sustainability in our everyday lives as well as taking into account the importance of a good quality of life—not only by the food we put into our bodies but with the people we interact with on a daily basis.
Ingela also offers catering, you can always call and ask if you can arrange a breakfast meeting before opening hours or call on a Saturday and see if she can stay open past 3 in the afternoon. She will eventually be offering evening hours as well.
Watch this space for more exciting things to come!