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Blueberry & Blackberry Crumb Squares


I owe it all to my mom… as a child I remember simple gatherings around the table for tea and a baked dessert. I remember how I anticipated her taking out the ingredients and yearned for those first scents of a home baked dessert still in the oven.
I remember how quickly she threw it together and in no time a delicious dessert appeared on our kitchen table. Then that first bite… and time stood still as I enjoyed it to the last crumb. It was plate licking good ;)

It was a Sunday ritual to have a home baked dessert, and quite often it was fruit-filled crumb squares. For years I knew Sunday’s were special. It was a time for family and simple moments you are meant to treasure…


Now, I’m a mom and am realizing how these traditions grow on you. It’s unintentional, often unplanned, but once the weekend comes I get a baking itch and get excited about what to make… and then this happened. A simple, easy, throw-it-together-in-one-bowl kind of a cake. Blueberry & Blackberry Crumb Squares ~ made healthier without gluten, dairy, eggs, cholesterol and white sugar. Simple pure ingredients at their best danced into this recipe.







Ingredients :

1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup Certified Gluten-Free rolled oats or quick oats (not instant)
1/2 cup organic raw cane sugar
1/4 coconut sugar
3/4 cup coconut oil, cold & hardened
1 1/2 cups organic blueberries
1 1/2 cups organic blackberries
+ 3 tablespoons of water


Preheat oven to 350F and prep a square 8″x 8″ baking dish with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine all the dried ingredients (first 4). Add in cold coconut oil and using a dough cutter or a knife keep slicing through the margarine to combine with the dry ingredients. The texture should start to look very crumbly. Remove about 1 1/4 cup of the mixture onto a small bowl and place in the fridge.

Add 3 tablespoons of water into the large bowl with the crumbs and gently mix to form a dough. Do not overmix. Once the ingredients form into one piece, simply scoop out the dough onto the baking dish. Start pressing down the dough with your fingers to cover the full base. If the dough is too crumbly, wet the tips of your fingers with extra water and press down. If the mixture is too wet, simply dust the top with a little extra all-purpose flour and continue pressing to cover the bottom of the pan evenly.

Rinse and pat dry the fruit with a paper towel. Spread out on top of the crust and even out the top. 

Sprinkle the crumble that’s set aside on top of the pie evenly.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes. Top should be nice and golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

These Crumb Squares are lovely still warm from the oven, just as they’re great the next day straight from the fridge – you decide! ;)
Cutting them however when they are still warm will make them fall apart slightly.

Cut into squares and enjoy making your own weekend baking traditions ;)
ps. they freeze well  (see note at the very bottom)





I hope you also have special traditions that you savour… if not, it’s never too late to start them ;)


I remember making these near the end of my pregnancy in the Spring and thinking how wonderful it would be to devour once my baby is born… so I froze a few squares. When the time came, I grabbed them from the freezer and away we went to welcome our new baby :) I completely forgot about them (of course) until the next morning after an unfancy hospital breakfast. Oh wow! I remember the perfect moment of pure bliss savouring a bite and glancing at my tiny new baby…. my lips curled into a smile. Life is good, oh so very good :)

Pure Ella 

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza


I have always loved pizza! Of course, as a kid… there’s nothing better! But one thing I don’t miss is that doughy, oily, fat-dripping slice of junk.

Thank goodness that times have changed for me and I have embraced a healthier way of living. Now I love to recreate those foods I always loved but with healthier ingredients that are still delicious and good-for-you.

I made these Cauliflower Crust Pizzas over the weekend and they were a big hit!


gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, vegan

Cauliflower Crust Ingredients :

2 cups packed shredded cauliflower (about 3/4 medium-sized cauliflower)
3 T ground flax seeds
2 T whole flax seeds
2 T nutritional yeast (optional)
1 T olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or oregano
1 t sea salt
1/4 t freshly cracked black pepper

toppings :

1/2 can tomato paste mixed with a drizzle of olive oil and dried oregano and salt and pepper to make a pizza sauce
1 cup of spinach, chopped up
1 large ripe avocado, cut into thin strips
6-8 garlic-stuffed green olives
2 T sundried tomatoes, cut into small pieces

Directions :

First, in a small bowl, mix the flax with water and set aside until a jelly-like mixture forms to make a flax ‘egg’.

Wash the cauliflower and pull apart into chunks. Process in a food processor for about 3 minutes until fine ‘crumbs’ form. Set a pan on the stove with 1/4 cup of water and steam the cauliflower crumbs until softened, about 3-5 minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl (or back in the food processor) place the softened cauliflower along with the flax ‘egg’ and all other ingredients and mix to incorporate well.

On parchment-covered baking sheet, scoop out the mixture into 4 equal parts and press down with the back of a spoon to flatten to about 1/3 of an inch. Bake at 400 F for 20-30 minutes.

This bakes a softer crust which is harder to lift off with your hands. So it’s best to use utensils to enjoy them.

For a crispier crust that holds up better together, you will need to flip the pizza crusts halfway through the baking time. But they are very crumbly at this point so the best technique to do so is to place another parchment paper on top, then another baking sheet, pressing down to ‘sandwich’ the pizza crusts flip over the whole thing. Be sure to wear your oven mitts as one of the pans is still extremely hot. 

Once you have the crusts baked, top with your favourite toppings and enjoy!



I made these over the weekend and they were a big hit! My sister came and she is happily joining my ‘diet’ of no wheat and eating only healthy, plant-based and pescoterian food. So she really loved these! I thought you did need an acquired taste for indulging in Cauliflower-Crust Pizzas but apparently not – my husband who eats with no rules, really enjoyed these too and loved the crust! He is looking forward to more different toppings on his in the near future ;)


My ‘little’ sister came over from Quebec and stayed with us for the whole week. We had the best time cooking some great food (like these Cauliflower Crust Pizzas), making smoothies, experimenting with new fun ingredients and of course – hanging out with the kids! She is a wonderful aunt to my kids. And does not fear a dirty diaper or a red-flushed screaming 7 week-old! She is getting good practice with my kids for sure;) And on her last day I clearly admitted 10 days of her with us it wasn’t long enough! 

Looking at my girls I am overwhelmed with so much happiness that they too will say this to each other one day…. and make pizzas and just hang out ;)

Pure Ella 

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Radiant Radish Pasta Salad


Once summer rolls into town I love big bowls of pasta salads! Of course, the sky is the limit when it comes to ingredients and flavours and I can’t even tell you my favourite because I love them all! And I can’t even shoot and share each one because, well… sometimes I’m just too hungry to grab my camera, or it looks too good not to eat right away, or my family is gathered around the table ready to dig in and I could not ruin that moment with a photoshoot – I am sneaky but not that sneaky. 

This Radiant Radish Pasta Salad I do have to share though, because it’s just so good and hearty and healthy!


Radiant Radish Pasta Salad 

Ingredients :

1/2 package gluten-free penne (cooked as per instructions)
handful of string beans, steamed or cooked al dente
8-10 radishes, sliced
1 stalk of celery
1 carrot, diced small
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
dash of mustard powder or 1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
2-3 tablespoons of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 tablespoon flax oil (optional)
juice of freshly squeezed 1/2 lemon

Directions :

Cook the pasta as per packaging directions. Near the end of cooking time, add the string beans to the pasta and cook for about 2 minutes (this saves time and another pot to wash). Strain.

Combine all the ingredients in a big salad bowl, season and toss. Enjoy!




Radishes are just awesome! Do you agree?
Ok, so not everyone loves them, but here’s 11 reasons to enjoy them more often. Learn about the Health Benefits of Radishes here:



Do you like radishes? What’s your favourite way to eat them?

Pure Ella 

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Dairy-free Quick and Easy Homemade Cream Cheese


Ohhh how I love bagel and cream cheese for breakfast! 

It’s my go-to meal-of-choice for a quick little something that’s packed in flavour and nutrition and oh yes, protein!  

Enter the amazing Dairy-free Quick and Easy Homemade Cream Cheese Bagel! All vegan, all gluten-free, all absolutely delicious!

I used to be a big dairy lover! I love my cheeses of all kinds and cream cheese was something that was always in the fridge. But guess what? Cheese didn’t love me back! It took me years to realize that I just didn’t feel well after I had dairy. It’s amazing how hard it is to connect the food we eat to how we feel… and especially when we enjoy that food, it’s the hardest! Eating food we enjoy becomes a habit, something we don’t even think of changing. It’s the norm. So when I finally started to dabble in changing the food I eat to improve my health, you betcha that dairy came up very quickly (that and sugar!) I knew it just had to go! But it wasn’t until I eliminated dairy for 2 weeks straight and then reintroduced it back to realize it was really making me sick!

It wasn’t overnight, but I learned to not care for it or miss it one bit! What I’ve done instead is to recreate an old favourite recipe dairy-free and LOVE it! ;)

Ever since I removed all dairy from my diet and made other changes, I have never felt better! If you’re like me living dairy-free or are trying to eat less dairy, this is a delicious recipe for you to know by heart and make any time any day… Dairy-free Quick and Easy Homemade ‘Cream Cheese’ ~ really is quick and easy, with just a few ingredients in comes together in about 3 minutes, not more (I had the timer on) really ;) 






  • 1/2 package of Organic firm tofu*
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Vegenaise
  • 1 tsp of dried sweet paprika
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp finally chopped sweet onion*
  • chives for garnish


  • gluten-free & vegan bagels (from KinniKinnick)
  • toppings : organic cucumber, cherry tomatoes, pea shoots or other sprouts, extra chopped chives

Mix all the ingredients except for the onions in a mixing bowl. Fold in the onions* (my 6 year old does not like onions and I do omit them for this recipe for her or have two batches going on.) I think a little onion is great though.

For a smaller quantity, for recipe above, the immersion blender is the best to use, or you could press all the ingredients down with a fork until well combined, if you don’t have an electric hand blender. For a full size (double all the ingredients) I would recommend using a food processor.

This Dairy-free ‘Cream Cheese’ recipe is fantastic as a sandwich spread (especially on these bagels if you can get your hands on some) – yum! It’s a great source of protein – a couple of sandwiches like that will keep you energized and full longer. The tofu spread really has a taste and texture of cream cheese, – hello, my husband (still a cheese lover) Loves it! Enough said ;)


This is really something I can whip up with my eyes closed. (with the immersion blender pointing down of course!) It’s such a simple recipe even for my busy mornings now with a babe in the house.

I also love it because I really prefer savoury breakfasts. I find that if I start the day with something sweet, I crave more sweet foods. This is really delicious and has a good serving of protein which your body needs most for breakfast. Although this is a divine lunch spread too…. I guess there’s no rules as to when you can enjoy this ;) 




 Give me a gluten-free bagel with dairy-free ‘cream cheese’ and I’m a happy girl! 

There was a time during my pregnancy that had my husband drive out to Wholefoods at 8am on a Saturday because I HAD to have this for breakfast ;) 
I miss those times…. the times I could ‘use’ my pregnancy to get what I want ;) Ha!

That said, I just buy a couple of bags of gf bagels and keep them in the freezer ~ those days are gone ;)
And the ingredients for the ‘cream cheese’ are a regular thing we often buy, so it’s all good… this is something I can’t wait to bite into very soon!

What’s your favourite breakfast? Do tell ;)

Pure Ella 

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Chocolate Chip Cookie + Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches : gluten-free and vegan


Summer just wouldn’t be summer without ice cream! No wait, hold that. Make that Ice Cream Sandwiches!!! 

Or better yet ~ healthier, gluten-free, dairy free and egg free Chocolate Chip + Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches!!! Ahh…. So Delicious!!! ;)

What could be better than that? How about you eat and SHARE these goodies at your very own STREET PARTY!! (details below!) But first we, bake some awesome healthier, gluten-free and vegan cookies!



 Then you turn those yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies into even better Ice Cream Sandwiches!!


Then you set up an Ice Cream Sandwich stand! 



And finally enjoy your very own Street Party!

Recently we had an amazing fun event happening just steps away from our front door. I always knew we had the best neighbours, but to come out and pitch in to throw a Street Party was the best idea ever! The kids had so much fun, the adults mingled and chatted for hours (way more than the usually rushed and polite hello’s and how-are-you’s). It was just the best day! There were sports games, bouncy castle for the littles, bunnies and a snake to pet (no thank you on the latter!) ;), a big potluck from all the neighbours, grilling, water gun fights, hula hooping contests and music blasting… and let’s not forget; even a fun Ice Cream Sandwich stand of course!


We had so much fun! One family brought out their house pets : two bunnies and a snake! Pretty awesome. (you could also book a reptile show).

Amelia turned 1 month on that day and was loving the attention she was getting. She thinks we party every month now ;) ha!


Here I have the most essential list for you to Get Involved and plan your own Street Party right outside your door!


1. Discuss it with your neighbours! This one is obvious, I know. But you need to get the idea rolling first. Be enthusiastic and get your neighbours excited too. Have a date set and a rough idea of what it would involve. A month to two months heads-up is great to give people enough notice. Go start knocking on some doors! ;)

2. Check for a permit. In Ontario, Canada, we need a city permit for road closures. Here it’s free as long as over 20 signatures of the participants are collected and submitted to the city hall. (If this is not possible to close a street down for a few hours consider a street meet.)

3. Plan the details of what your (more specific) vision is and what everyone would like. This could come up at a second visit to your neighbours once you decide on the date and things are already set in motion. Is it a daytime event mostly for the kids, or evening for the grown-ups? This is also the time to ask for volunteers, donations, what they could provide, borrow etc. Don’t be shy. Delegate and be thankful for great support. (You’re all doing this for each other). 

4. Plan out what needs to be rented and get a cost breakdown of things to be rented. You need to provide a budget to your by-now-excited neighbours! (we only paid $15 from each family)

5. Plan specific activities. Ask the kids what they want to do/ play/ make? Popular activities are sports, bouncy castle (this usually needs to be rented), hula hoop competitions, maybe karaoke?, perhaps a raffle? Plan the activities based on the majority of the age of people on your street. If there’s lots of small children, plan fun hop scotch, bubble making and crafts etc. If there’s older kids, include sports and music for sure. Grownup party only? Get creative and maybe throw in a dress-up theme ;)

6. Plan food. Potlucks are the best and ask what everyone could bring for everyone to share. Be flexible and keep it informal. Plan out some savoury dishes, some sweet, fresh fruit, drinks and dessert. A little in each category is ideal. You can bring whatever you feel is missing (or what your specialty is). If you live in a mixed-cultural area, it’s a great idea to ask your neighbours to bring a dish that’s popular in their homeland! ;)

7. Send reminders about 1 week before. Either by visiting your neighbours or by email/ phone. Get any updates on items that people are donating or lending. 

8. Remember to delegate and get the people involved. You are the ‘project manager’ – don’t put too much on your plate – you want to enjoy the party as well! (just don’t be bossy!)

9. Arrange for legal road signs, etc. Plan for moving cars to make room for the activities so they’re not in the way.

10. Plan the music! Did someone volunteer to be the DJ? Great!! Be sure to start the party with this song! ;)

Get involved and have fun! Take lots of pictures! ;)

Of course, we had a great time making and sharing our Ice Cream Sandwiches! 


Pure yumminess…. doing a cute Ice Cream Sandwich stand doesn’t hurt ;)
If you will do that, plan for ‘dessert time’ and even announce it. Bring out the ice cream just before serving time and serve immediately… or else it will melt! There’s nothing better than a great home baked ice cream sandwich on a hot summer day ;)



(to be filled with So Delicious Frozen Dessert)

Ingredients :

1/2 cup organic margarine
1/2 cup organic raw cane sugar*
1 3/4 cup gluten free flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine textured sea salt
1/2 cup So Delicious Plain Cultured Coconut Milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup organic vegan dark chocolate chips
*optional : if making just cookies to eat on their own, add in 2 tablespoons extra raw cane sugar or coconut sugar

Directions :

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour with baking soda and salt, and set aside.

In a mixer, whip the margarine and sugar together until fluffy. Slowly, add in the flour ingredients into the mixer until combined. Add in yogourt and vanilla extract and mix to incorporate. Turn off mixer and stir in the chocolate chips with a spoon.

Scoop one tablespoon of batter onto the baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes. Tops should start to brown slightly. Let cool for 2 minutes on the sheet before moving them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 15 large cookies – bake for 12-14 minutes or two dozen small (use less dough and flatten the tops with the back of the spoon) – bake for 8-10 minutes.

These keep their shape during baking.

Large cookies can be cut in half and fitted with ice cream in the middle. Two small cookies can be sandwiched with ice cream in the middle.

Just before serving, slice the large cookies (or use two small) and add a big scoop of So Delicious Dairy Free Creamy Vanilla Frozen Dessert!

These cookies are easier to slice through the day of baking, once they are completely cooled. They do loose their crispness the next day and are more crumbly when cutting. If baking a day before, just make the sandwiches out 2 cookies on top and bottom.

Store in an air tight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 7 days in the refrigerator.

Serve on a plate with a fork for a no-mess treat. Enjoy!!



What can I say…. these were So Delicious!!! ;)

These were so good and a huge hit at our Street Party! People had no idea that gluten-free and vegan could be so delicious!



I hope you’re inspired to get your community together and enjoy each other’s company more with an awesome Street Party!! ;) If you’re doing that, and making Ice Cream Sandwiches that are gluten-free and vegan – I’m there!!

While you start daydreaming of the perfect Street Party, do yourself a favour and grab some ingredients and make these Chocolate Chip Cookies immediately and fill them with your favourite flavour of frozen desserts from So Delicious (but we like Vanilla the most here) keeping it clean and classic ~ Yum!!! Then, go knock on some doors and Get Involved!

‘Get Involved’ is a fun theme this week over at So Delicious Dairy Free for their #SaveMySummer contests that run all summer long! To get more info, visit their facebook, website, or simply hashtag your photos #SaveMySummer.

So, how do you Get Involved this summer?

Pure Ella 

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