OFF THE SHELVES WHOLE MEALS

Off The Shelves | Deliciously Ella’s Energy Balls

You can’t have not heard about ‘Deliciously Ella’. First it was her blog and Instagram that shot to fame in 2012, then her app in 2014, the first cookbook in January 2015, the opening of the MaE Deli at the heart of Marylebone in December 2015 and then the first of their product line—these energy bites, which comes in 3 flavours. Ella promises more flavours are coming, and a new product line as well. If that wasn’t enough, there are 3 more books in her repertoire and a spanking new deli right outside Bond St station that just opened its doors a couple of weeks ago. Finally, a pop-up at the buzzing Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden for the festive season.

During my time in Brighton aka the land of veganism and all things health I’ve tried countless of energy balls, health bars, raw snacks and any other name you can possibly label this basic concoction of blended dates, nuts and superfood powders.

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These ones felt a teeny bit more special, because at the heart of all my homemade variations lies this original base recipe I found in 2012. I had to try them.

Marketed as vegan and free-from-almost-everything, each 40g energy bite retails between £1.79 to £1.99. They offer full transparency of the ingredient list, indicating how many dates and nuts have gone into that tiny packet and the recipe can also be found here. These are available at most health stores and supermarkets and you can find the full list of stockists here, though I’d imagine it’ll be more of a challenge if you aren’t based in UK. Online orders are an option too.

First things first, these admittedly don’t look very promising or appetising.

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Cacao & Almond (£1.79)

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I was kindly gifted the cacao almond one by a dear friend who shares the same excitement as I do for all things fudgy and health. Reminiscent of a raw chocolate brownie, also the cake-ier (firmer) in terms of texture between the two. The almond flavour was subtle (and some would consider lacking, given its label) but it was enjoyable for someone who isn’t very fond of strong nut flavours. It’s much less sweet compared to its competitors out there and all in all feels like a wholesome yet filling and rich snack. Or a substantial evening dessert too.

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Cashew & Ginger (£1.79)

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This was the winner between the two. A small tear in the packet released a spice explosion. Think: gingerbread dough. Heavy on the ginger spice which I thoroughly appreciated. Beware, the faint hearted. It had a much softer bite but the sprinkle of cashews in every bite made it feel ever so slightly more substantial. This one would work really well as breakfast on the go, or an afternoon slump pick-me-up.

 

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For raisins are foes I did not care to try the last flavour, hazelnut & raisin, though I hear many are fans of this one. I’d imagine a Ferraro Rocher? Albeit the heavier price tag, these bites are definitely worth a try, and even possibly something on the reg if you’re a snacker who doesn’t have the luxury of time to whip some up in the food processor.

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