Ella Woodward—AKA Deliciously Ella—is a name you might know from Instagram. The healthy London food phenom makes blending smoothies and whipping up wholesome, nutritious meals look like a piece of cake—but she also knows how to make actual cake that’s totally delicious and loaded with veggies.
Woodward, 23, became a household name when she started her healthy living blog and Instagram a few years ago—and now she has a new cookbook, Deliciously Ella, dedicated to making eating well even more delicious, including desserts that use avocado in place of bad-for-you oils, and sweet potatoes instead of tons of sugar. They’re genius swaps that taste amazing.
“I’m always just looking for ways to make a classic dish a little healthier,” says Woodward, whose roommates seriously benefit from her non-stop recipe testing. “Lots of veggies are so sweet, too, which is great for naturally sweetening your dessert.”
Be prepared for these recipes to rock your world. We bet your friends (and coworkers and roommates) won’t even notice…but they might thank you later. —Molly Gallagher
(All photos: Clare Winfield)
Makes 10–12 brownies
2 medium–large sweet potatoes (about 10 ounces each)
14 Medjool dates, pitted
¾ cup, plus 2 Tbsps ground almonds (about 3 ounces)
¾ cup, plus 1 Tbsp buckwheat or brown rice flour (about 3½ ounces)
4 Tbsp raw cacao powder
3 Tbsp maple syrup
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into chunks and place into a steamer for about 20 minutes, until they become really soft.
Once they are perfectly soft and beginning to fall apart, add them to a food processor with the dates. Blend until a smooth, creamy mix forms.
Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl before mixing in the sweet potato and date combination. Stir well.
Place the mix into a parchment paper-lined baking dish and cook for 20–30 minutes, until you can pierce the brownie cake with a fork and bring it out dry. Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. This is really important, as the brownies need this time to stick together!
Slice the avocados in half, peel their skin away and remove their pits. Then place the flesh into a food processor.
Add all the remaining ingredients to the food processor with a splash of water and the maple syrup, if using, then blend until smooth. Divide the mixture among 4 ramekins or little glasses and sprinkle with the chia seeds, if desired.
Keep chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
Makes 1 cake
For the frosting
3½ ounces coconut cream
1 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
For the cake
Using a steamer to steam the beet whole (with its skins on) for about an hour, until it’s very soft. If you don’t have a steamer, you can boil the beet. Then take it out of the steamer and allow it to cool. Once the beet is cool, peel its skin off and chop off the head.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Cut up the flesh of the beet, place it into a food processor, and blend until a smooth purée forms.
Add the purée to a mixing bowl with all the other cake ingredients and mix well until perfectly smooth and creamy.
Grease an 8 by 10-inch round cake pan with coconut oil, then pour in the mix and bake for about 20 minutes, until you can pull a knife out of the center totally clean.
For the frosting
As the cake cools, make the icing. Place the coconut cream in a bowl or mug with three tablespoons of boiling water and stir until it’s totally melted. Add this to a blender with the almond butter, maple syrup, and cacao and blend until smooth.
Pour the icing over the cake and serve!