Deliciously Ella: Sweet Potato Brownies and Cinnamon Pecan Granola
Ella Woodward, more commonly known as Deliciously Ella, has fast become a goddess of the foodie world. Over the past few months in every magazine I’ve opened Ella’s beautiful face has been staring right back at me. Article after article, recipe after recipe; she’s come out of the woodwork (can’t help but slip that pun in…) and has quickly become a health and nutrition icon. Not only is she a blogger with over a million followers, but she’s also a best-selling author and columnist for The Telegraph. Hat’s off to you Ella!! After reading so much about her I knew I needed to get my hands on her award-winning book, eponymously titled ‘Deliciously Ella’. To start, I didn’t expect there to be so much written detail. Most cook books dive straight into the recipes, but each individual section of the book (that which is divided into grains, nuts and seeds, legumes and pulses, vegetables, fruit, smoothies and juices) is carefully introduced, the differing key ingredients explored and demystified. Ella lets the reader in on her loving relationship with food; she highlights her favourite, go-to ingredients and give us all the info we need so that we can become equally as familiar.
I also wasn’t expecting to read such a moving story about the difficult medical hurdles which Ella has had to face and overcome. I’d previously read a couple of articles which hinted about Ella’s dietary decisions, but I didn’t realise the seriousness which underpins her raw, vegan diet. This poignant story rung out quite clearly for me; my sister has over the last few years suffered quite badly from MS. But like Ella, she has controlled her diet in such a way so that she controls her symptoms. There is no doubt that healthy, organic, nutritious food has a restorative affect on the body and immune system. Although I love trying out vegan, raw, vegetarian, gluten-free (whatever goes…) foods, I don’t know if I could strictly limit myself to such a diet, like Ella, my sister and many others. For I do not have such an incentive, but it does not stop me from appreciating such lifestyles. My body, and mind, successfully runs off a balanced diet… gluten, egg, meat included…and will continually do so until otherwise.
I’d read a lot about Ella’s Sweet Potato Brownies even before I bought the book. If you put the phrase in Google about ten different links will crop up, each referring to this recipe. In fact, when I went to my local health food shop to get the ingredients, the shop owner knew from my basket that I was making Ella’s brownies; “Are you following Ella?” she asked. Even in the smallest shop, in a tiny town, in the middle of Yorkshire, Ella’s famous brownies were recognised. I couldn’t help but giggle. I also thought I’d try out her recipe for Cinnamon Pecan Granola. One: because Granola is the breakfast food of gods. Two: because it combines a handful of basic, store-cupboard ingredients. Winner!
DELICIOUSLY ELLA’S SWEET POTATO BROWNIES:
makes 9-12 brownies
- 600g of sweet potato
- 14 Medjool dates, pitted
- 80g of ground almonds
- 100g of brown rice flour (or buckwheat flour)
- 4 tbsp of raw cacao powder
- 3 tbsp of maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180C, 160C for a fan oven.
- Peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into chunks and steam them until soft and tender.
- Once they are softened and can be pierced with a knife, remove them from the pan and add them to a food processor with the pitted dates. Blend until a creamy mixture forms.
- Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl, combining the sweet, datey mixture. Mix well.
- Place the brownie mix into a lined baking dish and cook for about 20-30 minutes, until you can pierce the brownie with a fork and remove it cleanly.
- Leave the brownie to cool for about ten minutes before attempted to slice and eat…or eat it straight from the dish, hot and sticky.
DELICIOUSLY ELLA’S CINNAMON PECAN GRANOLA:
makes to great big jars
- 180g of pecans
- 100g of almonds
- 240g of oats
- 175g of pumpkin seeds
- 175g of flaxseeds
- 3 tbsp of coconut oil
- 3 tbsp of maple syrup
- 3 tsp of cinnamon
- 200g of raisins
- Preaheat the oven to 200C, 180c for a fan oven.
- Place the pecans and almonds in a food processor and pulse gently to break up the nuts a little. Then place them in a large mixing bowl will all the other dry ingredients, except for the raisins and the cinnamon.
- Next, melt the coconut oil with the maple syrup and cinnamon. Once melted, stir the nectar amongst the nutty oat mixture and combine well.
- Place this mixture into a lined, deep tray and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. You need to seriously keep an eye on them though, and mix the mixture several times so that the top does not burn. I did not take this instruction so literally, thus some of my pecans were on the burnt, bitter side. School boy error.
- Once the granola is cooked, store in a glass jar. Scatter over yoghurt, smother in almond milk, or just eat it on its own as a cheeky snack.