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Glad that others enjoy our cuisine – delighted to be listed in Yoga Journal’s Foodie Retreats round up. One of three yoga retreats listed worldwide.

Food is a vital part of any yoga retreat or holiday and at Yoga Rocks we love food and take seriously it’s origin, journey and preparation. Tasty meals, that are both nutritious and wholesome, revitalise the body and are one of the highlights of your stay here.

Coconut and Kidney Bean Chilli
We source over 90% of our fruit and veg from Crete (organic where possible), have a personal relationship with many of its producers and are blessed to be on an abundant island with an amazing range of seasonal produce.

In many places eating seasonally means eating restrictively – not so at Yoga Rocks. Here we enjoy the extra taste and nutrition of seasonal local produce as well as immense variety. Cretan produce is famed through out Greece as tastier and healthier for very good reason. Even ancient chronicles attest to the incredible taste of food on Crete relative to the rest of the Mediterranean.

For breakfast you can expect to help yourself to yoghurt, granola, sourdough bread and jam, all made at Yoga Rocks. The yoghurt is made from local sheep’s milk. Fresh Cretan fruit as well as dried fruit, very local honey and tasty nuts are also in unlimited supply. You can squeeze your own orange juice, make yourself a variety of herbal, green and black teas and fresh coffee throughout the day as well as at breakfast.

For lunch and dinner our chefs treat you to a varied buffet of culinary delights. To give you an idea of what you can expect here’s an average week’s menu from the retreat. It will change consistently through the season and you can expect more than just what is written below for each day. There is normally a selection of dips and sprouts available. Equally there is no set menu, every week is different.

Boureki – Filo Pastry Pie with Courgettes, Mizithra (fresh Cretan cheese) and Mint
Beetroot and Walnut Dip
Rocket Salad
Tomato Salad

Spicy Lentil Soup
Freshly Baked Spelt Bread
Parsley and Avocado Tabouli
Thyme Stuffed Mushrooms
Greek Salad

Briam – Roasted Potato, Aubergine and Tomato Greek Style
Mountain Greens with Olive Oil and Lemon
Raw Carrot and Beetroot Slaw
Selection of Sprouts
Local Olives

Feta Stuffed Peppers
Quinoa with Parsley and Basil Oil
Roasted Courgettes
Mixed Leaf Salad

Mexican Spicy Beans
Brown Basmati Rice
Fresh Corn
Radicchio  Salad
Home-made Chilli Sauce

Various Spelt Pizzas
Greek Salad
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Mini Falafel Burgers
Green Lentil Moussaka
Vlita – Greek Mountain Grown Greens
Lime and Mint Coleslaw
Stuffed Courgette Flowers

Yellow Thai Curry
Ginger and Cucumber Salad
Mung Bean Sprouts

Kidney Bean and Mushroom Burgers
Spiced Roast Potatoes
Home-made Tomato Chutney
Mixed Leaf Salad

Yellow Dhal
Aubergine Curry
Vegetable Samosas
Raitas and Chutneys

vegan chocolate walnut cake
Yigantes (Greek Butterbeans) with Garlic and Mustard
Spanakopita – Greek Spinach Pie
Greek Salad
Tomato and Avocado Salad
Fava – Greek Dip

Dinner: Taverna!
We close the week with a trip to a traditional taverna.
A much loved evening out, a chance to taste local cuisine
and experience a Cretan night out.

Quinoa and Rocket Super salad

If you’re still reading you must love food as much as us so here’s some more info on the food you’ll enjoy on a yoga holiday here…

Cretan Produce:
Famed throughout Greece for it’s tasty ingredients things really do taste better on Crete 🙂

The island of Crete with high plateaus, mountain valleys and low fertile plains provides an amazing variety of produce. From all the traditional Northern European fare, like apples and pears cultivated in fresh mountain valleys, to fruits like bananas and kiwis not normally grown on this continent.

Good produce grown well and picked recently is full of flavour. Transporting it for days (weeks in the case of non European origin food) in cooled containers diminishes taste and vitamins – if they were there in the first place as it may have been picked too early to avoid bruising during transport! Traditional local cuisine embraces the freshness and  flavours of the produce rather than masking them – we try as much as possible to emulate this.

The ingredients speak for themselves – good tasty food is simple on Crete. Eating some yogurt made with milk from the sheep walking freely on the mountain behind the retreat, with honey gathered from bees feasting on the thyme that covers the hills nearby, topped with walnuts from a village above Spili (20km away) whilst sat in the sunshine overlooking the sea is a breakfast that is hard to match.

The only tinned produce we use is coconut milk and we prepare all meals from scratch.

Cretan high quality ingredients for yoga retreat vegetarian food

Our Water:
The water comes from a spring on the mountain behind the retreat and is as delicious water gets in our experience. No buying plastic bottles of water, or getting into bed having forgotten to do so! Quality non-chlorinated water runs through every tap.

Traditional Diet:
The traditional Cretans in a 30 year study were shown to be the healthiest around – the diet playing no small part of that. Of course, the outdoor life, less stress and cultural factors will also play a part. We luckily are in a position to emulate their diet and well as their stress free and energetic lifestyle on a yoga retreat here.

Locals gather, collect and sometimes grow a wide range of local greens – many are not eaten outside of the island though some are highly prized in Athenian markets. When possible we enjoy the tasty and nutritious curiosities here as well as regularly using the local grown greens or ‘horta’ as they are collectively known. Cretans have always added lemon juice to their greens – nutritionists now tell us the vitamin C in the lemon juice is vital for extracting iron and other minerals from them. The more you look into the traditional Cretan dietary idea the more it seems to tie uncannily with the most modern ideas of good eating.

Our Olive Oil:

Locally grown olives from Vasilis and Kate are used for our oil at Yoga Rocks
Kate and Vasilis, keen environmentalists, personally look after as well as gather the olives from Vasilis’s family grove. A lot of care and attention goes into every step and particularly the final stages where Vasilis is pained not to leave the olives on the ground a minute more than necessary before pressing them! We have been using their oil for years now and we love it! It’s recently available in the UK and elsewhere as Mesto Artisan Olive Oil. Just the type of food relationship we try to encourage – buying from nice local folk who care about their produce and treat it well.

Exceptional Diets:
Please contact us if you have any special dietary requirements. We can normally happily look after you here you without you missing out on the treats. We regularly have vegans, lactose intolerant,  nut allergies, celiacs as well as gluten avoiders – if in doubt please ask and we’ll let you know if it’s possible.

Cretan sheep milk homemade yoghurt at yoga retreat