Deliciously Ella is my new food obsession. I discovered her blog a couple of months ago and loved her tasty but healthy recipes. Her gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, plant-based vegan recipes have been read by millions of people across the world, and her amazing new book is a bestseller in both the UK and USA.
A former sugar-addict, Ella turned to this kind of eating in an attempt to help combat her Postural Tachycardia Syndrome. This rare condition breaks down the immune system, meaning Ella could barely walk, was in chronic pain, had blackouts, heart-palpitations and constant headaches. Gradually, as she changed her diet, her condition improved, her symptoms lessoned and her energy came back. She explains all this in her book and it’s quite amazing to read.
I’m slowly working my way through the book. A number of the recipes are similar to things I already cook, using grains, vegetables, nuts and fruits in unusual ways, but there’s plenty I can’t wait to try out. What I love about this book is that all the ingredients are easy to get hold of and ‘normal’. Some healthy recipes I see contain all manner of unusual ingredients, but everything I’ve made so far, I’ve been able to get hold of from my local supermarket and health food shop.
I made Deliciously Ella’s Berry Cheesecake – one of the most popular recipes on her blog, and which features in her book – this week and it was so gorgeous I wanted to share it here. It consists entirely of fruit, nuts and maple syrup! No sugar, no butter, no biscuits. No, it doesn’t taste exactly like a cheesecake, but it’s lovely. It takes a while to make, as you need to freeze various ingredients beforehand, but other than that, it’s a simple dish, as everything just gets chucked in the food processor. A great sweet treat for anyone trying to eat healthier, this also looks fantastic too.
Makes 12-15 slices
For the base
500g Medjool dates
For the middle layer
2 over-ripe bananas
400g cashew nuts
150ml maple syrup
100ml fresh apple juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the top layer
200g fresh blueberries
1 Medjool dates
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. You need to start preparations for this three hours before you start making the rest of it. Slice the three bananas and freeze for at least three hours, along with the blueberries (don’t use frozen ones as the water content is too high). Also, soak the cashew nuts for at least three hours in a bowl of water.
2. The base:
Add the pitted Medjool dates and blend until a sticky mix forms.
3. The middle:
Take the base layer out of the freezer, and pour three-quarters of this mix over it. Put back into the freezer. Keep the final quarter of the mix in the processor as you’ll use it for the top layer.
4. The top:
5. Place the cake back into the freezer to set for 2-3 hours before serving. Remove from the freezer about 10-15 minutes before serving so it can warm up.
Learn from my experience: don’t make the mistake of leaving it in the freezer for too long. You want it to set, not freeze! Mine needed slightly longer to unthaw as I got distracted by my children and left it in too long.
Any other fans of Deliciously Ella? Come say hello over on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or tweet me on @cardiffmummy
You can see more of my tried and tested family recipes here.