Here is an interview with beautiful Ella Mills (née Woodward) from Deliciously Ella, to share on Litten blog 🌸 Ella is the Founder and Creative Director of Deliciously Ella, a website, business and brand celebrating health, wellness and plant based foods. On the Deliciously Ella website, Ella notes how she created an app after seeing how quickly her blog was growing, which launched in 2014 and became the #1 app on iTunes overnight after it was released. Ella has also written and published three cookbooks; her first cookbook (released in January 2015) was the fastest selling debut cookbook ever and her second and third cookbooks also debuted at #1.
On the Deliciously Ella website, Ella also notes how she and her husband Matt opened three delis and two pop ups, and the first deli (the MaE deli) was opened in December 2015. Ella describes how all of the Deliciously Ella spaces use compostable, biodegradable packaging to help the environment. Ella also notes how she and Matt launched energy balls into shops in August 2016 (with compostable and recyclable packaging) as the energy ball recipe was the most popular recipe on the blog since the recipe was first published in 2012, and the energy balls were also the best selling item in the Deliciously Ella delis. Ella and Matt also recently launched oat bars, peanut butter energy balls, two Deliciously Ella granolas and a bircher muesli 🌸
On the Deliciously Ella website, Ella also notes how recent research has shown only 27% of people get their 5-a-day fruit and vegetables in the UK and how she hopes providing the most interesting and delicious ways to include more fruits and vegetables into people’s diets can help. Ella also describes how her values are Natural, Simple, Honest and how she hopes these values come through in everything she does, from trying to create delicious recipes with well known and easily accessible ingredients, to sharing the recipes for the Deliciously Ella products sold in grocery stores.
Here are a couple of questions I thought of to ask Ella, and her answers
1) Could you describe a bit about how you were inspired to create your blog and website Deliciously Ella?
Ella: In 2011 I got very ill with a condition that impaired my autonomic nervous system. I was put on lots of medication but struggled to gain control of my symptoms, which affected everything from my heart rate to my blood pressure, digestion and circulation while also causing chronic fatigue and a serious of infections. I really struggled with the debilitating impact this had on my physical health, which in turn really affected my mental health. After about a year I hit my rock bottom and started to look at what I could do to help myself. I became interested in health and wellbeing at this point and began exploring the space, which is when I started my blog deliciouslyella.com. I learnt to cook and adopted a plant-based diet, putting fruit and veg in the middle of my plate. It took a while to feel the impact of a big lifestyle shift, and to learn how to make this new style of cooking taste as good as anything I’d made before, but after a few years I was able to come off my medication and have kept most symptoms at bay since then. During that time the blog grew massively and expanded into our social media channels which (accidently) laid the seeds for our business.
2) Do you have a favourite ingredient (or a couple of favourite ingredients) you always love to cook or bake with?
Ella: I love herbs and spices, I think they make a huge difference and transform some simple ingredients into a delicious, flavoursome dish. I always have cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, mustard seeds, turmeric, chilli flakes, thyme, rosemary, oregano and basil, as well as sesame oil, tamari, miso, olive oil, cider vinegar and maple.
3) Is there a recipe you always love to make or have been baking or cooking quite a lot recently?
Ella: I love big curries and stews, they’re easy to make, filling and always so popular with my friends and family. Good spices are key for these! I’ll sauté them to enhance all the flavours, then simmer them with coconut milk and my veg and serve with fresh herbs and brown rice. I love granola with coconut yoghurt and stewed blueberries too, I have that almost every day for breakfast at the moment!
In case you would like to find a recipe for the crunchy orange, coconut and vanilla granola (pictured above), to find out more about the granolas and bircher muesli Ella and Matt recently launched or to find a recipe for a plant based curry or stew, please check the links ❤️
4) Congratulations on all of the beautiful Deliciously Ella books you have written and are published, could you note a bit about your new cook book Deliciously Ella The Plant-Based Cookbook coming out in August 2018?
Ella: It has all the most popular, tried and tested recipes from our supper clubs, pop ups and deli to show how delicious and abundant plant-based cooking can be. The simple, vegan recipes cover everything from colourful salads to veggie burgers and falafels, creamy dips and sides, hearty one-pot curries and stews, speedy breakfasts, weekend brunches, muffins, cakes and brownies. They’re the recipes that thousands of our customers have been asking for since the deli first launched in 2015, and each recipe has a beautiful photograph to show you exactly how it should look. For the first time we are treated to a personal insight into our journey with diary excerpts showing how I grew my blog into a wellbeing brand – and what I learnt along the way, as well as what drives the Deliciously Ella philosophy and our team’s passion for creating delicious healthy food.
5) Is there a quote you love, which always uplifts or inspires you?
Ella: There are so many. I think the saying ‘do one thing a day that scares you’ is a great one, learning to push your boundaries and expand away from your comfort zone is the most important thing if you want to grow as a person and this is something I try to live by every day. Each time I’m afraid of a big move or a decision I come back to the concept of pushing past the fear and self-doubt. My mum always used to say, ‘you get back what you put in’ and I love this too – the more love, time, effort, energy and passion you put into anything in your life the more you’ll get out of it, everything works too ways, you’ve got to replace any expectations with appreciation always.
In case you would like to find out more about Ella, more Deliciously Ella recipes, health and wellness posts and lots of plant based food inspiration with beautiful and artistic photographs and videos, Ella and Matt’s website is deliciouslyella.com, YouTube channel is Deliciously Ella and Instagram page is @deliciouslyella (and more social media pages are noted on the Deliciously Ella website) 🌸
Please also check the Deliciously Ella shop in case you would like to find out more about the Deliciously Ella products, including cookbooks, granolas, a bircher muesli, peanut butter energy ball flavours, energy balls and oat bars.
🌸 thank you so much Ella for sharing your personal story, thoughts, ideas, plant based food inspiration and your favourite quotes
Deliciously Ella website, deliciouslyella.com
Deliciously Ella Instagram page, @deliciouslyella
Photos of Ella, bircher muesli and Ella’s new cookbook are from Ella’s Instagram page, @deliciouslyella
Photo of the Granola with blueberries, from a crunchy orange, coconut and vanilla granola recipe on Ella’s blog and website, Deliciously Ella