Have we really become World Citizens or…?

I left my beloved Netherlands aka “ons koud kikkerland” over 5 years ago to live a flexible and fulfilling family life working from anywhere in the world.

When I explore nature and cultures of different countries and civilisations I also adjust as much as my and my families bodies allow us to the local food. I believe that by doing so, by eating local ‘in season fruits and vegetables’ we stay in touch with nature, support local farming and thus local economy.

However, there are those moments………

The Nostalgic ones….

The special occasions, like our famous Dutch Celebration SINTERKLAAS.

Sorry I’m a sucker for this one!

On the 5th of December a saint called Sinterklaas celebrates his birthday by giving gifts to kids. Yep, this is where Coca-Cola got the idea of Santa Claus. He arrives with his helper ‘Pieten’ on a steamer full of presents and ‘Kruidnoten’ from Spain.

And of course this moment comes with traditional food. For Sinterklaas it’s the “Kruidnoten”. They are like a mini version ginger cookies, but with less ginger and more cinnamon.

I faced a CHALLENGE this year! Normally bags of “Kruidnoten” would arrive from The Netherlands and at some point I even found a bakery making them in Jakarta, so I got them flown in from there.

However, since the summer of 2016 we had to start Gluten-Free family cooking. Yep, major challenge Gluten-Free for kids! And this just comes hand in hand, with challenges, but mostly with joy.

Why joy?

Because we go to places and talk with people we would have never imagined meeting before.

I currently have my home-base in Bali. You wonder Gluten-Free on Bali, is this possible? Yes it is!

I got to know Mike and Made, the Founders of Made’s Banana Flour Co. And what an awesome journey it has been since. When I stepped into Made’s Banana Flour Company Backer on Jalan Batu Belong in Canggu I entered:

Gluten-Free Pastry Heaven……..!!!!!!!!

This Bali Gluten-Free Bakery constantly works on their recipes, decreasing the amount of natural sugar and create Vegan versions. Does it get any better than this?


Turns out he makes kid birthday cakes and………..

Don’t ask me why, but I start telling Mike about our Dutch Sinterklaas and our “Kruidennoten” and what does he say: “bring the recipe and I will try to make them Vegan and Gluten-Free for you”.


One day later we got to taste them.

We gave them a Big Thumbs up.

And thus SINTERKLAAS and his helpers arrived in Bali and we could enjoy the festivities even more than other years, not having bloated tummies, a heavy feeling and rashes the next day.

And what about this: Mike asked us to work on other Dutch Delicacies with him. So Bali prepare: Gluten-Free Vegan ‘Stroopwafels’ arriving soon!

I think I can say I inherited the Explorer’s Gen the Dutch are well known for. However I like to keep some traditions alive, so maybe I should go by “Dutch” World Citizen.

To all travellers out there enjoy your version of your home countries traditions. Keep those special memories alive and pass traditions on to your family where ever you are.

As always: Food is the Gateway to an Energetic and Fulfilling Life!

Inge Hart – Balanced Foodologist