Deliciously Ella – Recipe Book Review

20160206_Deliciously_Ella_Energy_Bites_0024For my birthday last year a good friend bought us tickets to see Ella Woodward talk at the Kew Gardens Write on Kew festival. It was a week of literary talks hosted at Kew Gardens and Ella Woodward, of Deliciously Ella blog fame was one of them.

We didn’t really know what to expect of the talk, was it going to be a clean eating preach? Was it going to be insights into creating a successful blog? In the end it was a bit of both with a lot of questions and interaction with the (mostly female) crowd.

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My biggest take away from the talk was Ella’s response to a question from the crowd about how to make this lifestyle change. I think she said something like how would you recommend making the transition into clean eating? The answer from Ella was not what I expected, but something that really resonated with my friend and I and something we talked about on our walk to the train station afterwards.

She said take a number of small steps towards the big change you want to make. That at the end of the year it’s better to be look back and say I made these changes for good. Rather than I attempted an extreme diet and failed after two weeks and feel like you have made no progress. Of course she is not the first person to say this, nor was the concept new to me, but something crystallised for me from that talk and it is something I have kept in my mind ever since. I am using the small steps philosophy to help me carry out my new year’s resolutions.

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The other thing I took away from the talk was her recipe book. I was already familiar with her recipes from her blog, which I still follow, but now I have this lovely, homely recipe book to pore over too. I eat a pretty healthy diet, but where I always slip up is snacking. So I’m using Ella’s book to make some small changes to my baking and snacking habits this year.


Of course, the first thing I tried was the baked porridge. I have porridge every morning cooked as quickly as possible on the stovetop. Very little care is given to the seasoning and soaking of the oats, so it was nice to slow things down for this recipe. The baked banana and berries in here made it extra special too.


I use the Cinnamon + Pecan Granola recipe regularly too. I make the big batch and then have it daily on my porridge. I leave out the oats from the mixture though so I don’t double up. I always seem to slightly overcook it though. You really need to keep a constant eye on the nuts while cooking as they quickly turn black. Opps! I still eat them though, I don’t mind the extra flavour. I do hope I can get it right next time though for a nice toasting rather than charred flavour.

I made some delicious banana-y Flapjacks for a pre / post gym snack a couple of weeks ago which worked really well. After finally finding some medjool dates recently I thought I would try the Energy Bites recipe as my next ‘healthy’ snack. These are raw nutty chocolatey delights and work really well with the coconut coating. They totally fooled my boyfriend too. He thought they were the very unhealthy snowballs, but wasn’t too disappointed after he tasted them.


What small changes are you making this year? Have you tried out clean eating or in my case, clean baking? Let me know if you have any other recipes to recommend.



15. Go to see an inspirational speaker

_MG_0001I spent last Sunday at the Women of the World festival in the Southbank Centre. It was the final day of the festival and there were a whole host of events to choose from. I wish I had done a bit more planning before turning up to find out exactly who was speaking and what was available.

The festival founded by Jude Kelly, the artistic director of the Southbank Centre, is in its 5th year. It comprises talks, performances, networking, mentoring and market place stalls in the many venues of the Southbank Centre over a week, usually around International Women’s Day, which this year was on March 8th.

I was joined by two lovely friends who had agreed to explore with me for the day, thank you ladies. As we ummed and ahhed about which event to attend first we stumbled upon this Lips, an all women pop choir. Their enthusiasm was infectious and soon I was grooving along to Destiny’s Child’s Bill, Bills, Bills. Loved them!

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Lips Choir – Photo from WOW at Southbank Centre Facebook Page, credit Belinda Lawley

We then headed upstairs to a talk titled I.T. Girls which turned out to be the highlight of the day. I.T Girls we are not, but this talk definitely inspired the three of us to sit up and take more notice of what’s going on in this huge and important industry that lacks female voices and ideas and therefore content. You can watch the full session on YouTube and see the highlights on the WOW Facebook page.

The panel was chaired by Jude Kelly and included Nicola Mendelsohn, vice president of Europe Middle East and Africa Facebook, Clare Sutcliffe, founder of Code Club, Mariéme Jamme, founder of Africa Gathering and Sarah Brown, president of Theirworld, who I thought was an amazing and inspiring woman. Only now doing more research on her I realise she is the UK’s former prime minister’s wife. Whaaat? Everyone else in the room probably knew her and her work already, but not me.

These impressive panelists talked about the challenges in enticing women into working, studying and participating in technology at all levels and age groups and the huge importance of overcoming these challenges so that women don’t miss out on shaping a big part of the future. It was a message that resonated with me completely. I am a girl that doesn’t really understand or make full use of her phone, that doesn’t engage with games or apps, and generally doesn’t take advantage of technology readily available too her as it looks like hard work. I leave a lot of the I.T. in my world up to my boyfriend, a lazy habit that will not do me any favours in the long run. It was a definite eye-opener and showed me that I need to be more mindful of my attitude in future.

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Photo from WOW at Southbank Centre Facebook page, credit Victor Frankowsk

After lunch we attended a workshop run by Funny Women founder Lynne Parker aimed at using humour to improve confidence and story telling. Some amazing volunteers put their hands up to participate and told stories of their lives. It really does show you that a story about your own everyday life, something you might dismiss in your head as boring, never comes across that way to an audience trying to get to know you.

We then moved on to the ubiquitous event of women’s festivals, the sex talk, titled Let’s talk about sex, baby. There was a panel of four authors, filmmakers and founder of a sex toy shop, chaired by Rachel Morris, sex  columnist at Cosmopolitan magazine. We had expected a lively and risqué debate about sex, women and all things that go along with it, and in some ways it was, but it was also a lot of intellectualising which, for us, wasn’t very accessible.

_MG_0004 I didn’t just see an inspirational speaker, I saw many. Attending this day opened me up to different and interesting views and ideas I may never have come across otherwise and all from women. Women of all ages, ethnicity, sexualities, religions and abilities, with so many different life experiences and talents. It was an impressive mix and made for an interesting day.