An eve with ‘Deliciously Ella’ (& the BEST sweet potato brownies)

This week I was lucky enough to meet Ella Woodward, known to many as Deliciously Ella, at the Manchester stop of her book-tour for her newest book ‘Deliciously Ella Every Day’. Throughout the eve Ella spoke about her lifestyle, her recipes and her journey to becoming Deliciously Ella, and ended the night by signing everyone’s copy of her amazing new food-bible during a meet & greet. She was so relatable, inspiring and the entire audience was in awe of her healthy, glowing attitude to food. It was clear to see that there were so many people, myself included, that could relate to her initial food-struggles prior to making the decision to completely change her diet, and eventually her life. 

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Eating disorders are sneaky, they evolve in such a way that you may not even recognise yourself changing. There are so many reasons as to why people develop an unhealthy relationship with food and/or exercise, whether it stems from a health condition or self-image insecurities. We’re all human, and one of the little things that we have control over in our lives is what we eat and how active we are. Sometimes we lose our balance, but we can and do recover, and it’s people like Ella who set an incredible example of this. During her interview, she spoke about being ill and feeling like she wanted to ‘hibernate’ from family and friends and all of the people in the outside world that couldn’t possibly understand what she was going through. Her battle with eating was triggered by a medical condition and she talked about her good days and bad days, and how the bad days felt like a total marathon – something I can truly relate to. Changing her diet to completely natural, non-processed and nourishing foods saved her, and posting her journey online has had a huge impact on not just her life, but the lives of all the loyal followers she has acquired on this amazing journey. Your change may not be as extreme as Ella’s, but knowledge is power and thinking/learning more about the foods that you’re consuming on a daily basis is a great place to start for a healthier and happier you.

By the time I got home I had already flicked through and picked out what I was going to attempt to make this week! But I couldn’t resist revisiting her first book and finally trying the recipe that Deliciously Ella is known best for – Sweet potato brownies. These totally dairy and gluten free, vegan treats are the most amazing creation. Sweet, fudgie, and indulgent but guilt-free! I’ll post the recipe from her website below, although I did make a few modifications, it’s my kitchen after all! A touch of vanilla, a little dusting of cacao and a sprinkle of desiccated coconut made them my own, and even the housemates are in love with the end result – these won’t last long in our kitchen! This is one of the best examples of a vegan alternative sweet-treat, and an amazing way to sneak more veg into your diet!

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Deliciously Ella’s Sweet Potato Brownies: (Makes 10 brownies)

“– 2 medium to large sweet potatoes (600g)

– 2/3 of a cup of ground almonds (80g)

– 1/2 a cup of buckwheat or brown rice flour (100g)

– 14 medjool dates

– 4 tablespoons of raw cacao

– 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup

– a pinch of salt

Start by pre-heating the oven to 180C, then peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into chunks and place into a steamer for about  twenty minutes, until they become really soft.

Once they are perfectly soft and beginning to fall apart remove them and add them to a food processor with the pitted dates – this will form one of the sweetest, creamiest, most delicious mixes ever!

Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl, before mixing in the sweet potato date combination. Stir well.

Place into a lined baking dish and cook for about twenty minutes, until you can pierce the brownie cake with a fork bringing it out dry. Remove the tray and allow it to cool for about ten minutes – this is really important as it needs this time to stick together! Remove the brownies from the tray, leaving it another few minutes before cutting them into squares – then dig in and enjoy!”

There are countless inspiring social-media accounts like Ella’s, that remind us of her philosophy to “count goodness not calories”. But as well as drooling over their delicious & healthy creations, have a go at making your own! It doesn’t have to be hard or expensive – a good place to start is to try staying clear of processed ingredients. I post most of my foodie endeavors on my instagram, and nothing makes me happier than testing out my latest creations on family and friends! This week i’ve been so motivated by the pictures (i’ve added some below) and messages from friends trying out my recipes, their versions look so great and it makes me crazily happy that I am a part of their journey to feeling as amazing as they deserve to.

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It’s finally the last of my exams tomorrow – big celebrations are in order! But for now it’s back to revision, brownies for dinner? I think so.

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