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Happy Valentine’s Day



Hello my sweet friends!! Just a little note to wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

Whether you are celebrating it or not, have a partner or not, what’s most important is how you show LOVE to yourself today and always…. ♥

monday-quotes-love-yourself-1 bw


Wishing you all a wonderful V-Day and weekend coming up!

And for our Canadian friends – have an awesome Family Day long weekend ;)

ps. if you’re looking for cute printables, Nest of Posies has adorable FREE chalkboard style printables that are really sweet!


Pure Ella 

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Raw Hazelnut Chocolate Hearts


I bet your heart just skipped a beat when you saw these goodies…. ;) 

I don’t even know how to break the news to you – but these Raw Hazelnut Chocolate Hearts are pure perfection!!
Not only are they decadent and divine in flavour and they taste kind of naughty with all that rich chocolate – but they are actually kind of good for you!! 

Worlds collide! It gets quite insane when a decadent chocolate dessert comes with health benefits! Craziness I know ;) Try to remain calm as I break this next news to you – - they take minutes to make!!! Like for real, you will be stuffing your face with cute heart shaped hazelnut chocolate deliciousness within 10 or 15 minutes*!!! Yes, seriously!!! *if you use shelled hazelnuts ;)

You know one thing I’ve learned on my healing journey (because if you are following my blog, you know I’ve had my struggles with health) is that nutrition comes first! But I also learned something else, nutrition doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
In fact, that’s the beauty of discovering good-for-you foods – they can be nutritious and taste amazing at the same time!!

Let’s not chat too much about nutrition right now as I know you’re just eager to make these raw *cookies*! So here’s the recipe… (I’ll come back in a bit and add the health benefits of using raw cacao and other great ingredients in these hearts)



Raw Hazelnut Chocolate Hearts : gluten-free and vegan

Ingredients :

1 cup hazelnuts, skinned or see below how to roast them to get the skins off yourself
1/2 cup almonds
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
2-4 tablespoons of raw honey or agave/ maple syrup or other natural liquid sweetener + more if needed
pinch of himalayan pink salt or fine sea salt

You will need : food processor, rolling pin, parchment paper (not wax paper), heart shaped cookie cutter

Directions :

How to roast hazelnuts :

To roast the hazelnuts (which is so great to do yourself because the flavour is so much better and the texture crunchier – I recommend). Place the hazelnuts with their skins on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake them for about 5-10 minutes in the oven at 300F until they slightly brown. Be sure to check on the often and giving them a stir half way to make sure they don’t burn. Once roasted, remove from the oven and allow to completely cool to the touch. 

Place them into a cloth and rub them with your hands. You will see the skins fall right off. Do this for the rest of the hazelnuts, some will be a little stubborn so you might need an extra rubbing. Leaving a little of the skins on is ok and will not ruin the flavour, but do aim for mostly white beautiful nuts with as little skins as possible.



Back to the recipe :

In a food processor, blend on high the hazelnuts and almonds until crumbs form. Add the pitted dates and mix for a few more minutes. Then add the raw cacao, sweetener and salt. Continue mixing until you can see all the ingredients blended together well and the colour of the cacao gets transferred evenly into the whole mixture. Turn off the food processor and scrape down the sides to get all the goodies in. Turn on again for another minute or so. Turn off again and this time taste it to adjust the sweetness. I personally don’t like them too sweet and the dates have enough sugar too, but if you want you can add a little extra honey or agave nectar if you like. 

Remove from the food processor and you should have a nice big hazelnut chocolatey ball! Spread out another sheet of parchment paper (or reuse the one from the hazelnut roasting) and get ready for rolling out your ‘dough’. Sprinkle a little of the extra raw cacao on the parchment paper and roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about 1/4″ thickness.

With a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out the hearts all over. Roll up the extra negative dough into a ball and roll it out again and continue until all the dough gets cut into heart shaped ‘cookies’.  
Near the end if you don’t have much dough left, go ahead and make a few Raw Hazelnut Chocolate Balls! ;) Just roll up the dough and enjoy ;)

If your home is a little on the warm side, these might get too soft, so I do recommend popping them in the refrigerator to keep hardened. Just stack them up in an air tight container with little parchment paper pieces in between each cookie. They are ready to eat and enjoy! ;) They keep well for up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



Pure ingredients come together to make these simple little bites of yumminess. You don’t have to sacrifice taste when you want to make good food choices – and that especially is true for dessert.

Especially when now so many companies (and bloggers too) advertise their products or recipes as *healthy* – and yet they use low-fat products filled with chemicals, artificial colouring and flavours, preservatives and even GMO ingredients.

When you keep things simple, organic and pure… you will see that you don’t need much to enjoy beautiful food. These raw cookies for example, burst with so much flavour yet they are completely pure and natural.

What’s also great is that they are no-fuss, no-bake, quick to pull off and just super cute and delicious in the end! ;) You can eat great and delicious desserts without sacrificing the taste! And even get some awesome nutrition in your body while you indulge… why not? ;)



Oohh don’t forget…. these make adorable gifts for Valentine’s Day. Made with only pure natural ingredients and lots of love…

I layered my hearts in a jar and sealed them up. A little red baker’s twine and a little red heart completes the look. Beautiful, simple and handmade gifts for Valentine’s Day are the best!  



Do you give handmade or home baked gifts to your friends and loved ones? Do share what you’ve made if so ;) 

One for thing… Do Share The LOVE and share this with your friends on Facebook and Pinterest ;) They will Love YOU for it! ;)

Pure Ella 

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Heart Shaped Sugar Cookies : gluten-free and vegan



Valentine’s Day is just a few short days away and we have lots of cute things to do. Like make these lovely Gluten-free and Vegan Sugar Cookies – an old favourite recipe…. all the way from 2011! But I have gone in and tweaked this recipe to make it even easier for everyone to make.

Wow, I didn’t even realize that I have been eating and baking gluten-free and vegan recipes this long. I’m so thrilled that more and more people are jumping on the gluten-free diet as well as vegan and seeing great health benefits.

Back up a few years, and it was a lot harder to find ready made great product out there. Specialty foods like gluten-free were not around as much and now even Costco has a myriad of gluten-free and vegan products! Happy dance!

But I am thankful that the variety wasn’t as huge back in the day because that tested my skills in the kitchen! And baking from scratch gluten-free and vegan was what I had to learn in order to continue my journey of healing.

Luckily, not only did I get super confident in cooking and baking (the latter way more challenging I think) but also my health improved immensely! Avoiding gluten and wheat saved my life! (and I’m not even celiac or allergic to these foods – I just listened to my body) and voila! I feel so much better!!!

Anyway, back to these lovely Sugar Cookies!!
It is totally worth it to ditch the wheat and gluten and enjoy a yummy gluten-free and vegan sugar cookie! They’re really easy and fun to make! If you have some little hands around to help… get those involved too ;) My daughter loves baking with me… this is what Pure Love is all about ;)



Gluten-free and Vegan Sugar Cookies 

Ingredients :

3/4 c dairy free organic margarine
3 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of white ground chia seeds, soaked in 3 tablespoons of warm water
   (needed only if the gluten-free flour does not contain xanthan or guar gum)
1 cup raw cane sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
powdered sugar for rolling
+ extra powdered sugar for dusting or naturally dyed crystal sugar

Directions :

First, check your gluten-free all-purpose flour if it contains xanthan or guar gum – if it does, you can omit the Chia Seeds completely. If it doesn’t this cookie dough binds better if you do use the chia seeds.
So if you are using chia seeds – (I like the white ones as they will not leave speckles in your all-white cookies) If those are hard to find, you can just use any you have but they will leave a little dark speckles in your cookies (which is totally fine! ;))

Mix the chia seeds with warm water and set aside.

In a mixer, cream together margarine and sugar. Add applesauce, vanilla extract and chia seeds (if using) and mix well.  In another bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and mix gently long enough for the dough to come together. If the dough becomes too soft and sticky, especially when the room is hot, place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to get a little colder and easier to work with.

Preheat oven to 350. Cover work area and rolling pin with a little extra flour. Roll dough 1/4″ thick. Cut hearts, or other shapes and transfer to a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for about 7-10 minutes depending on cookie size and thickness. Also, if you’re making smaller and larger heart shapes, do bake the even sizes together so they bake evenly.  At my settings 3″ cookies that are 1/4″ thick for 9 minutes are great.  Remove them while they still look under baked. If you wait until they look golden, they are probably already too crispy and hard. Let cool on the sheet for a few minutes then remove to cooling rack.

You can decorate with just a dusting of icing sugar or spread a thin coat of icing on top (recipe below), and add some sugar crystals in naturally food-dyed pink or red. 
If adding the icing sugar to these cookies, I would just reduce the amount of sugar to about 1/5 cup less.


Gluten-free and vegan Icing Recipe :

Ingredients :

1/2 cup of icing sugar
1-2 spoons of warm water

Directions: :

Mix these two ingredients in a small bowl. That’s it. You never have to buy ready made icing again ;)

Spread on cookie tops with the back of your spoon, then sprinkle evenly with natural sugar crystals in your favourite colour or try raw sugar for an ‘earthy’ look.




I hope you will enjoy these lovely Sugar Cookies as much as we do! These gluten-free and vegan heart-shaped Sugar Cookies are really our favourite. Can’t wait to bake these again this week ;)

If you’re wondering the isles of your grocery store this week and get lured by cutely packaged Valentine’s Day cookies with countless toxins, artificial flavours, colouring and more and more crap – and even consider eating that stuff (or worse giving it to your children!) Please don’t. Just don’t and consider a different aisle where you can get your hands on some great ingredients and have a blast making your own Healthier Sugar Cookies!

 Wishing you all a lovely Valentine’s Day everyone!!! 


Pure Ella 

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3 Clean Ingredients Peanut Butter Cups



Lately we’ve been on a peanut butter kick! PB hasn’t been a real craze around here for a long time. But once upon a time I was addicted to this stuff. Seriously!

And um… who does not remember their childhood chocolate and peanut butter fave? – the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? Oh hello! I don’t know anyone who didn’t love this stuff! Except then you grow up and learn about how disgusting those cups really are. 

With a revived craving for Peanut Butter Cups (thank you baby #2) and yet a strong passion for eating *healthy* – I was not going to give up on the joy of biting into a yummy Peanut Butter Cup! No way!
(some of you Insta followers already witnessed my craving here. ps. yes they also go great with a nice bottle of wine – who’d have known ;) (I had one sip…. eek!)


Move over Reese’s – these homemade *Clean* Peanut Butter Cups are way better! And they really do contain only 3 CLEAN ingredients! And this recipe for homemade peanut butter cups is really quick and easy to make too! Oh no wonder I’ve made these almost each day in these last few weeks. Obsessed is not even a good word to describe this. Basically they’re so good and kind of good-for-you that it’s hard to resist! And the whole 15 minutes-to-make-AND-eat is kind of ridiculous! Good ridiculous ;)

Ready…. go ahead and prep your 3 ingredients and let’s make some Peanut Butter Cups! Meet you in 15 for a bite of awesomeness!!! ;)


3 Clean Ingredient Peanut Butter Cups | vegan and gluten-free

Your 3 ingredients are:
  • 200 grams 72% dark organic chocolate squares or 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • about 3/4 cups organic peanut butter* (** check for substitutes)
  • 4 tablespoons of coconut oil (divided)

You will also need a double boiler or a small pot with a bowl to melt the chocolate and about 12 paper cupcake or muffin liners.

* do get organic or quality clean ingredient peanut butter from a reputable company. Kraft or Jif does not qualify as “quality”.
** if you don’t want to use peanut butter, almond butter works great too. And if you want these peanut/ nut free – use sunflower butter.


First melt the chocolate. Set up the double boiler or pot with water to boil with a bowl on top (be sure the bowl does not touch the water) and set heat to medium high. Add the chocolate squares with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and allow to melt completely. Stir occasionally to incorporate the chocolate with the coconut oil. Turn off heat and leave on the pot to keep warm.

In a small bowl, scoop out roughly 3/4 cups peanut butter and add in 2 remaining tablespoons of melted coconut oil. Mix well to incorporate and set aside.

Line a flat dish with muffin or cupcake liners. With a spoon, scoop in a little melted chocolate to cover the bottom of each liner. Place in the freezer for about 2 minute to slightly set. Add a small scoop of peanut butter and coconut butter mix in the centre and gently flatten with the back of a spoon. Scoop more melted chocolate to cover the top, about 1-2 tablespoons. Return to the freezer for about 15-30 minutes until serving.

If serving much later than 15-30 minutes. Then be sure to remove them from the freezer about 1/2 hour before serving and removing all the paper liners and placing them in the refrigerator to thaw out a little before serving. (if they appear soft to the touch – pop them back to the freezer for about 5 minutes to harden the chocolate). They are best when the centre peanut butter filling is soft and the outside is crispy chocolate. Makes about 10 cups.



We like to eat them just by the handfuls! (hi hi) or serve with low-sugar Homemade Chocolate almond or coconut Milk. So good!! These don’t last long so be prepared for making another batch again and again ;)




I made these for Super Bowl Sunday because I thought what football fans would not want to bite into their old favourite. They were an instant hit, except my only regret was that I didn’t make enough! 

In my husband’s words at his first bite: “These are way better than Reese’s!” – aha! Thank you very much! I think I’ll be off now because another craving is growing! You know sometimes 15 minutes is too long ;)

Do share: How about you? Did you like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups growing up? Will you be trying homemade peanut butter cups soon? Say Yes! ;)

Pure Ella 

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Hearty Miso Soup : naturally vegan and gluten-free



There seems to be a big Asian influence in our cooking right around this time of the year…. Hmm… I wonder why?
I love great Asian food all year long but there’s something about the lightness that is perfect after heavier fall and winter meals. Yet, it still isn’t a Spring menu. (oh but I do have high hopes that we will be welcoming Spring any day now….)

And then of course, there is the Chinese New Year! That for sure sparks my taste buds to go towards Asian flavours. This year is the Year of the Horse. Anyone born of this year? My husband is actually… but there’s been some adjustments to his Chinese year animal… You see, our daughter is a big fan of horses. And she’s not fond of pigs (her Chinese Year : The Year of the Pig) soo…. she’s had this clever idea of switching the year with daddy.

Lol! So now the little one is from the Year of the Horse (sort of officially, if that’s allowed because she really loves horses!) And daddy is happy to take the Pig to keep the little one happy. 

See how much parents sacrifice to keep their children happy? They are even ready to give up their official Chinese birth Year. 

I myself am from the Year of the Monkey. I’m good with the monkey and so far there’s no interest in having me switch my birth year.

See how life can be so complicated when you have little ones to please…. it sure makes life a little more fun too because listening to these big important decisions is just pure joy….

And usually the best discussions happen when we’re in the kitchen and mama is prepping a good meal. It even gets better when we all get to sit down and enjoy a good hearty dinner…. just like this Hearty Miso Soup.



Hearty Miso Soup | vegan and gluten-free

Ingredients :

package of rice noodles
3/4 cups organic firm tofu, cubed
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 organic carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
3-4 stalks of baby bok choy, roughly chopped
6 tablespoons of organic mellow white miso paste
1/2 cup seaweed, nori or wakame
optional : 1-2 teaspoons of asian hot sauce

sesame oil for frying tofu
sesame seeds for topping
green onion for topping

Directions :

You will need two pots. One for the soup ingredients, one to cook the rice noodles.

In one large pot filled with filtered water and a little salted water, cook the rice noodles as directed on the packaging.

In the other pot, heat the sesame oil to medium and fry the firm tofu until golden on sides. Remove from the pot and set aside in a bowl. Add garlic and saute for just a minute until a little golden colour appears. Also, remove from the pot and add to the tofu. In the same pot, gently pour in water to fill the pot (about 10-12 cups) (use hot boiling water from a kettle so it’s a quick temperature already for your soup). Add in carrots, bok choy and miso paste and stir well to dissolve and incorporate the miso paste. Season with a little hot sauce if preferred. This should cook for about 5 minutes as you don’t want to overcook the vegetables.

By now the noodles should be cooked. (they should be slightly al dente/ undercooked). You can avoid using a colander and just lift them out of the pot with a pasta scoop and add to the miso soup. Stir in the tofu with garlic and seaweed.

Serve immediately in bowls topped with fresh chopped green onion and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Enjoy!




 I hope you will enjoy this amazing Hearty Miso Soup soon! It’s such a great dish to make for anytime of the year. And if you’re new to Miso – a jar of organic Miso paste lasts a really really long time. A year for sure ;)

So it’s great to have Miso paste added as a staple item and keep in your fridge – because you never know when a little Miso Soup craving will strike! (For us, it could be any day as having organic tofu and carrots is a regular thing for us.)

Essentially, this soup is very versatile. You can add in other Asian foods like Shiitake mushrooms and swap the rice noodles for white or brown rice if you like.

Let me know what other vegetables and food swaps you think would go. Enjoy!!

Pure Ella 

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