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Date-Caramel & Pecan Baked Pears


Boy do I have an amazing and easy dessert for you! These Baked Pears are so incredibly delicious and naturally sweet with a Date-Caramel and crunchy Pecans – you will go nuts over it!! It is also naturally gluten-free and vegan so that’s great too! You can also make these nut-free and skip the pecans or replace them with sunflower seeds. Best of all it’s super easy and quick to make while being a great crowd pleaser!!! Enjoy!


Date-Caramel Pecan Baked Pears

Ingredients :

4 pears, I used the Bosc variety
6-8 Medjool dates, pitted
2-3 tablespoons filtered water
1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
coconut oil for rubbing

Directions :

Preheat oven to 350 F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Wash and dry the pears and cut them lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a spoon or knife and rub with coconut oil. Place cut-side down onto the baking sheet and bake for 15-25 minutes until soft and and some juices ooze out. 

In the meantime, as your pears are baking, place the whole pecans in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Remove from the food processor and set aside. OR chop the pecans by hand and set aside. Heat a stainless steel skillet over medium heat and toast the pecans stirring often. This step isn’t essential but so great to add depth to the pecans when they’re toasted. Set aside.

Add the Medjool dates and water into the food processor or high speed blender and puree until smooth. Depending on your food processor, you may need to add more dates and just a little more water at a time so it has something to grab. Also immersion blenders work great too. Just make sure it’s super smooth and runny like caramel.

By now your pears should be baked. Place them on a serving dish and drizzle some of the date-caramel on top, sprinkle the toasted pecans on top and then some more date-caramel. Enjoy still warm. 


Great to serve with a zero-calorie Vanilla Ice Cream (So Delicious makes one sweetened with Erithritol and Monk Fruit). Otherwise it’s way too much sugar if you serve it with regular ice cream – remember I’m the Cut the Sugar sugar girl now! :) Or whipped coconut milk would also work great too!


This is s very simple and easy recipe that turns out amazing. Little effort goes a long way and it’s a pure and naturally sweet dessert – my kind of dessert! Also, what’s amazing is how they fill up your home with such an incredible aroma as the pears bake. The smell alone is addictive! 

Hope you will enjoy these soon! 

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Apricot, Buckwheat & Squash Lentil Loaf


My family’s been begging me for this recipe ever since it’s debut on our Canadian Thanksgiving back in early October – so finally it’s here! The Apricot, Buckwheat and Squash Lentil Loaf recipe is here! It is a beauty in every delicious way! The natural flavours all mingle together so well – and everything is made healthy, naturally gluten-free/ wheat-free, dairy/ vegan and nut free! So basically everyone can enjoy this – it is a delicious recipe that will make all your guests happy. 


Just look at these delicious and healthy ingredients – butternut squash, buckwheat, lentils and all-natural dried apricots (note that they are almost black when they are natural (not orange when you get with sulphites)). My baby girl loved helping me taste test all the ingredients and mix the bowl too! She agrees it’s delicious!



Apricot, Buckwheat and Squash Lentil Loaf

Ingredients :

3/4 cup raw buckwheat, pre-soaked
2 tablespoons ground flax
1/4 cup water
1 cup butternut squash, cooked or roasted (great to use leftover squash)
1 cup green lentils, cooked or 1 small can, drained well
1 celery stalk, chopped fine
2 medium carrots, peeled & chopped fine
1 small onion, chopped fine
1/4 – 1/2 cup dried sulphite-free apricots, chopped 
2 tablespoons soy sauce (look for gluten-free if avoiding gluten is important to you)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1-2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
about 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs (gluten-free)
a tablespoon of oil for greasing the baking dish


Directions :

First, pre-soak the raw buckwheat for 6-8 hours in cool water or 1-2 hours hot water.
And mix the ground flaxseed with 1/4 cup of water and set aside.

Cook the lentils as per instructions. Once cooked, strain well by pressing them into a sieve to remove excess water. 

In the meantime, cook or roast about 1/4 of butternut squash or use leftovers.

In a medium skillet, cook the celery, carrots and onion until golden on medium heat, about 10 minutes stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool before continuing to the next step.

Preheat the oven at this point to 350F.

In a large bowl or food processor, combine the lentils, squash, drained buckwheat and celery/ carrot/ onions from the skillet, flax, apricots, oregano, salt and pepper and mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

If using a food processor – pulse a few times so that some texture is left behind.
I mixed all the ingredients in a bowl because I had my baby daughter help me do the mixing – if I was doing this on my own I would definitely pulse this in a food processor to save time :)

Rub the inside of a baking dish with oil and sprinkle the gluten free bread crumbs on the sides. Then scoop the mixture and press firmly and evenly inside the pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until sides appear golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes before serving. 

OR it’s best to make this one day ahead and storing in the refrigerator covered. Then preheat for 30 minutes in the oven at 350F. The flavours in this Lentil Loaf just get more saturated and really taste amazing the next day. It’s less crumbly too. So I would really recommend to make this one day ahead before serving and also get something out of the way especially for Holidays!



So this was a lovely main dish for our Thanksgiving – I hope you’ll give it a go and make this for Thanksgiving dinner too! :)

All your friends who do have dietary preferences will LOVE you for it – and those that don’t will also appreciate how good simple and healthy ingredients make a meal amazing!!


To our US friends, I wish you all a wonderful, safe and happy Thanksgiving! xo ella



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Monday Motivation : Be Thankful


Happy Monday my friends!

I hope you all had a lovely restful weekend. 

Today is another brand new day, another start to the week. But it can be hard to pull through…. why are Mondays so hard? :)  

These days don’t have to be so dreadful? Just find a moment for a quiet reflection on all the good in your life and be thankful for what you have. And see this week as a new beginning… a fresh new start to get things done and work hard – but to also open your eyes to all the beauty around you, to the people in your life that matter and to all the wonderful things that we often take for granted.

With Thanksgiving in a few days in the US – the theme of giving thanks will be all around us. It’s a great reminder to be thankful. But as you prep for the Holidays and have a million things to do to get it all perfect – just remember to slow down and remember the meaning of the holiday. That true appreciation happens on the inside first and shines on the outside through kindness and giving thanks.

I look around and notice all these amazing things that have fallen into place in my life in the last few years. A few years ago, gratitude was far from my head as I wasn’t even able to get up off my bed. I got stuck in depression with failing health that every day seemed so dreadful and impossible to get through. Luckily I overcame these dark days and started to take care of my body and everything around me. Little by little things started to improve in my health, my outlook on life and my relationships with the people in my life, especially my husband and daughter. Appreciation for everything became such a good healing force. When my strength began to improve and I could walk on my own for a short distance at a time – I admired my legs and my body so much! I now love getting out for walks and each time I do – I recall those days my legs felt like rubber and I hit the floor numerous times. 

So yeah, I appreciate my legs now! I appreciate my inner strength to my outer strength and that extra force of energy to make a difference in this world. And I am so thankful! SO very thankful! For my beautiful family and their health, for my patient loving husband, for my mom who is so giving and loving, for the rest of my family and our friends who are always there for us through thick and thin. For my readers for your continued support and encouragement along this incredible journey we’re all on. Thank YOU!

Remember, there is always something to be thankful for!

I wish you a wonderful day and week ahead.

What are you thankful for right now?

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Potato & Parsnip Healthy Latkes


It’s that time of the year when Latkes are making an appearance on our dinner table… if you’re also craving this comfort-food recipe – you’ll be happy to hear that I have a very delicious and healthier version! These Potato & Parsnip Latkes are naturally gluten free, egg free/ vegan! 
I also half bake them to use less oil when frying. It’s a good trick to get the fried goodness without adding too much oil. (see notes below)


Of course I grew up with them being called “Placki Ziemniaczane” ~ which means Potato Cakes in Polish. My mom whipped up a good number of these throughout the year and they were pretty much amazing every time – a large plate of these in the middle of the table was cleared in minutes. We ate them with sour cream and chopped green onions. A simple, always satisfying meal. 

Now I still want to enjoy them but I also wanted to make them healthier. My husband loves them too and I wanted to keep that flavour right on without sacrificing too much on the authenticity of these yummy potato cakes. 

However, there’s always ways to make the old better. For these Latkes/ Potato Cakes – I reduced the carbs of potatoes and incorporated a few parsnips. I also omitted the egg (due to allergies/ intolerances) and I also found a way to make them half-fried! A little trick that I found worked well. But baking these is also a great option. (see notes below)

IMG_0543-pure ella potato parsnip latke recipe

Potato & Parsnip Latkes : Healthier Potato Cakes

gluten free, egg free, dairy free, vegan

Ingredients : 

3 medium potatoes, peeled, grated & drained
2 medium parsnips, peeled & grated
1/2 large onion, chopped fine
3 tablespoons potato starch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
grape seed oil for cooking

Directions :

Wash, peel and grate the potatoes and parsnips in a food processor or on a grater. Transfer into a large bowl and squeeze as much of the liquid out. Add the onion, starch, baking powder and salt and mix with a wooden spoon or hand to incorporate well. 

NOTE : Cast iron pan is best as you can just add them to the oven in the pan. Or prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. And preheat oven to 325 F.

Heat a large non-stick/ cast iron pan with oil to medium heat. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the mixture and add to the pan. Press down the mixture quickly and do the same for as many as fit into the pan (leaving some room around to move). 

NOTE : I do not recommend stainless steel pan for this as they will definitely stick to the bottom.

Keep them on the heat for a few minutes (2-3) until they brown slightly – this will make them move and/ or flip over with ease. Once the bottoms are slightly browned and tops look drier, flip over to cook the other side for 2-3 minutes. Then using a spatula, transfer onto the baking sheet. Continue with baking them in the oven for about 15 more minutes. (no extra oil in needed) 

NOTE : I found this half-baked method to be the best for nice potato cakes that are tender on the inside but crispy on the outside without having to fry them longer. Potato cakes soak up a lot of oil and need to be fried for about 10 minutes to get them cooked through the middle. Having them finish in the oven – you’re cutting down on the frying time and the oil you would need to fry them in. This also makes them stay hot before serving.

You can also bake them from start to finish – about 30 minutes flipping over half way through. 
I also like baking them, but I found that this half-baked method makes the tops nice and crispy and they’re nice and tender on the inside. They’re not too dry and still retain that authentic taste I still remember from childhood.


IMG_0548-pure ella potato parsnip latke recipe

Traditionally they were always served with sour cream as its own meal. But I live to serve them with a nice big lentil salad or chickpea salad like this one

I hope you enjoy this recipe soon! And do let me know how you like them in the comments and by tagging your photos #pureella! xo 

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Easy 10 minute Raw Banana Nut Pie


So here’s the thing. I did not want to share this recipe because I was embarrassed at how simple it was and how quickly and haphazardly it came together. But my friend insisted and persisted until I gave in…

Basically, this is too easy and too simple – which makes me think it’s exactly what you need in your life!

10 minutes man! 10 minutes and you get a super amazing Raw Banana Nut Pie that tastes divine and is made with simple, real food ingredients. It is gluten free, dairy and egg free, vegan, paleo AND no bake and no wasting time to let it set either. Do you have 10 minutes today? Then you should make this healthy pie!

You’re welcome! :)


Raw Banana Nut Pie

raw, no-bake, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, paleo

Ingredients :

1 cup mixed nuts (I used a mix of almonds, walnuts & cashews)
6 Medjool dates, pitted
2 ripe bananas (reserve 1 for topping)
4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or himalayan salt (optional)
about 3 tablespoons (a drizzle) of rice malt syrup or maple syrup or honey
a handful (about 1/4 cup) of cacao nibs for topping

Vanilla Ice Cream to serve (optional)

Directions :

Add the nuts to a food processor and grind until a fine texture. Add in pitted dates, 1 banana, cacao powder and salt into a food processor and mix on high until fully incorporated.

Scoop onto a flat-bottomed & rimmed dish and press firmly and evenly. Drizzle top with rice malt syrup and spread out with a butter knife (if does not have to be perfectly even). Top with slices with banana and cacao nibs.

Serve as is or with Vanilla Ice Cream!

Note : no need to chill to set but storing it in the refrigerator until serving time is recommended. Top with fresh banana slices just before serving. 


This is a very easy unfussy Banana Nut Pie. It’s great for those casual moments with friends. It’s not very fancy but oh does it ever impress on taste! 

You can have a friend over for coffee, then excuse yourself to get something from the kitchen, (maybe hand over a baby with a bottle of bubbles to them), and come back in 10 minutes with dessert!? Just a suggested scenario… It’s not like it happened. Or maybe it did. Moms are busy ok, and some may struggle to get things done before a guest comes over. :)

So even if that were to happen…. no one would know. My friend didn’t even realize I was gone to make it and was rally excited to eat up this pie. She went nuts for it in fact! I served it with So Delicious Vanilla Ice Cream and it was the perfect little treat on an especially gorgeous day. 


We had an Indian Summer sweep through at the beginning of November and it was the perfect way to enjoy the last bit of heat this year. In the fresh outdoors, with a friend, over a delicious dessert celebrating a very special project – can you guess what it is? ;)


Little Mia also loved this dessert! She could not keep her hands out of it when I tried to snap a few photos. haha I have learned to embrace that and treat it as a compliment :) Definitely #kidapproved too :)


I hope you will enjoy this simple AND delicious Banana Nut Pie Soon! If you just have 10 minutes today – you have time to make this dessert! So you can spend more time eating it than making it – isn’t that a very good thing :)

Wishing you a great day! xo ella

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