Time Out Dubai knows all about healthy eating in Dubai. Here we profile some of the best dishes at Dubai's best restaurants for healthy food
Do you know what fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols are? No? Don't worry, neither do we, but the Fodmap, as it might be better known to you, is tipped to be one of the diet trends of 2016.
The Fodmap diet basically suggests that certain sugar types may not be well digestible by all stomachs and there could be many people with an intolerance to specific sugars. Reducing the intake of them could make you healthier and be part of an effective weight-loss regime.
These are claims we’ve heard before. Gluten-free, paleo, vegan, no carbs, no sugar, no fat, probiotic. Whatever the name and no matter the suitability for each individual, there has been much, seemingly contradictory, reporting of what is considered healthy in recent years.
The problem for health-conscious diners can be knowing what to eat. Butter, for so long a condemned dairy product, we are now informed by scientists, is okay. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, should be pushed away like gone-off meat at a barbecue. Unless you have a nutritionist friend to take around with you and advise you on what to order, it can be tough to choose without going crackers.
It is a testament to the diet-friendly commitment of this vegetarian café that even though the dish is just a sizzling plate of vegetables, it still comes with a salad garnish. There is a lot of natural goodness packed into the broccoli, beans, mushrooms and spring onions, and a tomato sauce adds some zing.
The salad bar at the Souk Al Bahar café was enough to help it pick up trophies at our annual restaurant awards before we ever considered the Dubai Fountain views. Skip an over-rated and unhealthy brunch and come here to fill up on a combo of four salads. Your table will groan under the weight of sun-dried tomatoes, Mediterranean-style roasted vegetables, Levantine dips and fresh and nourishing pulses.
Imagine how much better the world would be if all the guns were replaced by pumpkins. Call us idealistic dreamers if you will, but that's what happens when you feed your mind with healthy, organic foods, and we've been moved while gobbling down bowlfuls of the stuff mixed up with quinoa, beetroot, baby spinach and feta cheese. Some pine nuts are chucked in to give it some crunch.
You don’t get much greener and committed to serving up healthy, organic food than this Jumeirah Beach Road gem. The menu depends on what can be sourced from nearby farms, but there is a small selection of standards such as superfood smoothies and sandwiches every day. Try the veggie sarnie with zucchini, tomato, spinach, eggplant and tomato, with a tahini sauce.
A doctor once told us that mango is the king of all fruits. Rich in vitamin C, high in iron and with enough vitamin A to help keep eyes healthy. Since that day, we've used the science as an excuse to stuff entire fistfuls of it into our mouths at any opportunity. Served within the healthy and active lifestyle hangout that is The Surf Café Dubai, it makes us want to ride the waves flashing toned tums.
This New York-style eatery doesn't hold back on the style-front and makes a big deal of the organic ingredients used. But it is the artisan ravioli that is worth investigating. There aren't enough beetroot dishes in the city and the antioxidant and vitamin-rich root is a genuine superfood for both flavour and mineral content. Get your fill from this dish.
Healthy is a relative term and requires a balancing act of ingredients and meals throughout the day to achieve. Finding a healthy option on a menu more readily associated with steaks, creamy sauces and rich desserts can be tricky. La Petite Maison is a multiple Time Out Dubai award winner (it won Best French and Restaurant of the Year at our Restaurant Awards last year) and is home to some of Dubai's finest food. Eat light and healthy with a fresh and organic burrata plate. A drizzle of olive oil and locally grown tomatoes are basically the sole ingredients alongside the calcium-rich cheese.
One thing you can never say about this Australian-inspired café (and Time Out Dubai award winner) is that it is ever boring. Even the simplest of dishes are profoundly tasty. Here we have fresh greens, avocado, radish and snow peas dressed with herbs, shoots and seeds. You can throw some chicken in too. This is a dish that does good things to your taste buds as well as your insides.
The simple salad used to be the healthy choice on menus, but as diet-cheats realised they could eat fistfuls of cheese, steak and creamy sauces as long as a dish contained the word salad, it became more circumspect. Out in the green wonderlands of Al Barari, however, this halloumi (one of the healthier cheeses thanks to the goat's milk) and couscous is a refreshing and simple meal. Served with a sumac vinaigrette it packs in flavour at the expense of calories.
We can confirm with total confidence that this Marina Plaza snack stop has nothing but goodness in it. Whereabouts in the organic quinoa, lentils, kale, tomatoes, broccoli, nuts and blueberries do you expect to find a problem? Certainly not in the accompanying pomegranate dressing.
Broadsheet newspapers and food bores have been glorifying the benefits of the Amazonian acai berry for a few years, and Dubai now has a café dedicated to serving what many believe to be the most super of foods. The acai bowl is a thick, almost porridge-like, smoothie made from a blend of the berry. On top of this purple gloop you can add as much granola, chia seeds, blueberries, pomegranate and strawberry as you can carry.
The close affiliation to a yoga studio and wellness centre mean there are often gym clothes-clad diners literally (thanks to a handy menu) counting calories here. The nutrient-rich broccoli and mildly spiced tofu are served with a small and light lentil stew and wholewheat roti.
A chocolate milkshake made without sugar or dairy makes it onto our list by pure inventiveness. Galeries Lafayette’s vegan café’s cacao smoothie is packed with nutrients and gets extra flavour from the blended dates, vanilla and freshly made almond milk. Stop in here instead of visiting the food court.
We're not exactly sure who Sol is, but we assume he has some sort of vegetable obsession. How else to explain the more than 70 ingredients and thousands of combinations available at the DIY salad bar. Maximise health by only including superfoods such as pomegranate, avocado, artichoke, kale and spinach.
Silvena Rowe's signature restaurant talks a good game when it comes to health food. The menu clearly points out dishes of a variety of diets with raw, paleo, gluten-free and vegan among the options. While meat is proudly hormone, biotics and GMO free, go extra healthy and choose the chunky quinoa and sweet potato cakes with added chia seeds.
The British celebrity chef has become something of a poster boy for healthy eating in recent years. While the ethos doesn't fully translate to his Dubai casual restaurants, this superfood salad ticks many healthy boxes. Avocado, fennel, asparagus, and a variety of grains, shoots and seeds tossed on top, topped with a low-fat cottage cheese and cannellini bean hummus, it is a wholesome alternative to the pizzas, pastas and sharing platters also on offer.
Those who follow a gluten-free diet have more options than ever in Dubai, but this supermarket and café has been a saviour for many for years. Canteen options change regularly and the staff know their (presumably organic) onions. Start your day in a healthy way with an egg-white spinach omelette and you will feel the difference. A spot of feta cheese won't harm you and it is served with a decent gluten-free bread.
There is a rotating menu of dishes at this Palm Jumeirah café with many claiming organic roots, but it's the breakfasts that stand out. Ditch a fatty fry-up and choose the tofu scramble to start your day, instead. It comes with sunflower bread – a great source of Vitamin E – and we suggest a side order of spinach to top up your Vitamin K.
This nutritious salad has red kidney beans, chickpeas and cannellini beans to give some bite and a blast of protein. The flavour is provided by sun-dried tomatoes and a lime honey vinaigrette to show you don't need creamy sauces and scorched meat to get a flavoursome bite.
Your average hipster knows a thing or two about food, so a café like this haunt near the World Trade Centre needs to keep things interesting to keep them coming back. This salad is the thing to do that. There are goji berries, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, as well as shanklish cheese, rocket and chickpeas. The combinaton of colours, textures and flavours is a winner.