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Happy Thursday everyone! So I am not sure how to start this post. Shall I start by telling you how this post came out... I mentioned in a previous post that my lifestyle changed when I watched hungry for change. And I started to look out for healthy recipes inspiration, where no refined sugar would be used. I must admit I never followed the Deliciously Ella blog. I heard of her (through Grazia probably) but did not know who she was. She happens to be a gluten-free vegan who was really sick and got better through a total change of diet (this is a very short version of a long story).
She changed her lifestyle, and got much better - no refined sugar. This book was for me!
So I got the book out of the library. In the end I tried 13 recipes from Deliciously Ella over a period of a month. I posted some of the pictures on IG as I went along. It was a case of deciding whether I would buy the book or not. So here is my review...
Well it started very well. My first test was the hazelnut spread (a no refined sugar version of nutella) and it was delicious. Everyone was eating it at home (without any questioning). I felt great to have a healthier version of a chocolate spread for the boys. Then came the butternut squash curry, and again it was great. I was about to go onto amazon and buy it...
But I needed to test more recipes .... and this is when it started to go wrong. And when I say wrong, I mean seriously wrong. The baked beans were my biggest failure, followed closely by the easy avocado chocolate mousse (you should have seen the face of Baby MiH).
At the same time I started noticing that I was putting on weight a bit. This is not a diet book - but the editing may make you think that you could be healthy and .. thin. It was not my experience. Anyway, as I said it is not a diet book, so I cannot hold this against the book.
However I started to really dive into it by then, and try to use it. Did someone actually edit this book? Seriously. Let's say you want to find the easy avocado chocolate mousse (probably not considering how bad it is but this is an example), well it is under avocado and not chocolate mousse, euh why? There are some pasta recipes, and it is not indicated in the recipes that she is using brown rice pasta, you have to look in the introduction remarks, why? I can take pretty-ish pictures of recipes but my versions looked nothing like the pictures in the book - in fact some pictures could not be replicated by the recipe because some of the elements in the pictures were not in the recipe.
And shall we talk about the mugs, OMG, who measure their ingredients by mugs, and what size of mugs are we talking about here?? This is not 'awesome' - if someone is going to edit her next books, please, please, please remove 'awesome', it is really annoying!! Finally refer to page xx is just not a helpful reference. As you can see I did read the book, and got quite angry...
The editing issue is quite funny, albeit really annoying. But more seriously, there are real issues with portion size - I am not sure 600g of dry pasta is what 4 people eat (or should eat). As a general rule, I halved all the recipes instructions to go back to normal portion sizes.
But the biggest thing for me is that yes there are some great recipes in there (although I could find them for free on the web, should I looked a bit more) but some really bad ones as well - and you can see from the ingredients list that it was going to be bad. And it involves quite pricey ingredients, and I could not afford to throw more food away.
I am not sure a high sugar and high (healthy) fat is the right healthy path for me - but everyone is different and it clearly worked for Ella. It feels that the editor has rushed the publication of a book to ride on a new diet, and put a lot of PR behind it, rather than test all the recipes thoroughly and spend just a bit of time to finish the recipes. I know Ella has a lot of followers, I have not tested any of her blog's recipe, maybe it is worth sticking to them?
This is a condensed version of my experience. You should read some of the reviews on amazon it is pretty funny and much harsher than my review. As you can imagine this is one book I will not buy, however I am going to keep a couple of recipes with me: the hazelnut spread, the butternut squash curry and the pesto. Also I need to thank her for introducing to dates and almond butter (the best treat ever!) and also to my food processor, who knew it was such a versatile kitchen tool! Get it from your library, and bring it back.
Has anyone tried the recipes? What did you think?