{eat.} Sweet potato brownies & thoughts on a plant based diet...

Hello all!

As you all well know, I'm very into healthy eating and active living {don't get me wrong I still very much enjoy 'naughty' treat on the regular!!}. Within the last year or so, several of my close friends have made the choice to move to a completely plant based {vegan} diet and while personally, I don't necessarily align with that - I am keen to keep adding more delicious plant based dishes to my diet.

So when the lovely Abi of Abigail Design offered to share her two pence on the subject as a vegetarian leaning towards a vegan diet, I thought it would be really interesting to hear.

So lately I’ve been looking at what I’m eating in an attempt to lead a healthier life. You only get one body so you may as well look after it. Saying this I still enjoy a drink or two (or seven) and always will. I’m all for looking after your mind and body but also relaxing and enjoying yourself! It’s just about finding the best balance for yourself and remembering everyone's different. Everyone leads different lives, works different hours; has different goals. You just have to find what works for you and try your best to stick to it as much as you can. 

Due to my day to day routine being both jam packed and ever changing at the moment, I’ve been really struggling to fit in the gym. When I’m there I really enjoy myself - most of the time, let’s be honest, no one actually enjoys every single workout they do. But it’s a great feeling knowing you’ve met a personal goal: ran that little bit longer, lifted a little heavier, pushed through those few extra squats. It all makes you feel better about yourself which reflects in your everyday life in the best possible ways. I stick by the fact that little bit of regular exercise, fresh air, laughter and good food will always make everything better. 

I’ve been a vegetarian for several years now and even before that I was never a big meat eater. Over the past couple of years, several close friends and family members have given up animal produce for a vegan lifestyle and it’s only through talking to them about why they chose to convert to veganism that I really started to look into the farming industry as a whole and taken an interest in it. I’m not here to preach about veganism being the best way to live or anything like that, I mean I’m currently not even vegan myself. Yes, I eat a plant based diet and minimal animal produce, never any actual meat, but I’m not going to kick up a massive fuss if I’m in a restaurant and people around me are ordering meat dishes. I just want to show that there will be at least a vegetarian if not a vegan option to any meat based meal you can think of, and what’s so wrong about eating the produce we can grow from the land as an alternative to rearing animals for slaughter? I wanted to share a couple of people who have really inspired me to look at what I eat in a different way over the past few months, hopefully it will be of interest to some of you :)

Firstly, My New Roots, a blog about a completely plant based, vegetarian way of eating created by Sarah Britton which over time has expanded hugely across social media and even to her own self titled cookbook . A lot of Sarah’s creations are 100% vegan, which is great for me being a vegetarian who eats a lot of vegan dishes. I’ve found that eating vegan means you experiment much more with your dishes and in my opinion they end up being much tastier than your standard meat based meal, not that I’ve eaten one of those in years! I seriously recommend the My New Roots cookbook but you can also view lots of Sarah’s recipes and find out a little more about her through her here.

My second recent foodie discovery is Deliciously Ella who has a fantastic story behind her creations. Well a horrible one actually.. but with a happy ending! After suffering with a rare illness she decided to help herself along the road to recovery and decided to stop relying so heavily on her prescribed medication; instead she decided to change her diet and lifestyle completely and now leads a happy, healthy life. All of the recipes within her book are both vegan and gluten free and all that I’ve tried so far have been well, delicious!

A recent Deliciously Ella dessert I created were her sweet potato brownies. Yes that’s right, sweet potato and brownies in the same sentence. Surprising I know, but I thought they were great! Definitely not what I had expected and it may have taken a couple of slices to get used to them but then I should have realised the taste and texture wouldn’t be that of your normal brownie as the ingredients were so different. The fact that they were not just vegan but also completely gluten free, like all of Ella’s recipes, was a massive bonus as I’ve been looking at cutting down on my gluten intake lately. 

Throughout the (roughly) two days these brownies lasted, they were the perfect snack at all points of the day and I felt no guilt for eating them, not even when I ate a couple of squares for breakfast. Ella’s sweet potato brownies contain just six ingredients and a pinch of salt, they were super simple and quick to make and will definitely be something I’ll make up again soon! (I just want to get through as many of her recipes as I can before I start repeating things). Here are the brownies I made...tempted to try out a vegan way of life yet?

ohnorachio // Abi Everett  - sweet potato brownies from Deliciously Ella

Thanks Abi! I actually have the Deliciously Ella cookbook myself but I've never actually tried the brownies so that'll be the first thing to bake as soon as we're back from Japan!

Keep up to date with what Abi's up to & have a little look at her beautiful work via her Instagram here.