I know, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, this is partly as I’ve had some tricky stuff going on but also I was having a struggle finding new and interesting things to write about that didn’t come from the Heston stable. I’ve been on a search since then and have come up with a few new and obscure things that I will write about in due course, but the thing that pulled me back to the keyboard was the arrival of some Deliciously Ella Energy Balls.
If you aren’t familiar with Deliciously Ella’s work I’ll enlighten you – she is a rich charlatan who has carved out a career cooking horrid recipes using overly expensive ingredients under the pretence that they are healthy. She is a forerunner of the obnoxious and damaging “clean eating” fad that spreads pseudo science, brings an element of guilt to eating and plays into the hands of wealthy, self righteous individuals who aren’t actually interested in a good meal. If you want to learn more about this in an excellently written article I direct you to this piece written by Ruby Tandoh in Vice.
The energy balls come in three flavours – cashew and ginger, cacao and almond and hazelnut and raisin. I tried the first two flavours. As you’d expect the energy balls are gluten free, dairy free and suitable for vegans. The packaging proudly boasts of the simplicity of the ingredients, the cashew and ginger one contains: 3 dates, 8 cashews, 1tsp oats, 1/4 tsp of ground ginger. The cacao and almond one contains: 3 dates, 8 almonds, 1tsp cacao, a touch of almond butter, a drop of coconut oil, a pinch of salt. Reading all that is proof of what a piss take these balls are considering Ella has the guts to charge £1.99 for just one.
So after that glowing introduction it was time for me to try them and see if my pre-conceived prejudice would be proved wrong. I pulled the balls out of the wrapper and they looked like something from the Bristol stool chart; solid, lumpen and unappetising. In spite of this I had paid £3.98 for these brown blobs so I wasn’t going to back out now.
First up the cashew and ginger, I took a bite and was hit with a powerful spicy ginger kick. I was surprised at how strong the ginger flavour was, like a solidified ginger ale. The texture was stodgy, sticky and grainy a bit like uncooked flapjack but not majorly unpleasant. I quite enjoyed the flavour and I can appreciate why people could tolerate eating these if they had convinced themselves that gluten, dairy, refined sugar or animal products were likely to do them some harm.
Next I tried the cacao and almond ball, the most fecal in appearance of the two. This ball was denser and firmer than the previous one. It tasted like something that had formed naturally over many years at the back of a cupboard or something you’d find in the bottom of your bag, sticky with hair and fluff attached but you decide to give it a try just to see. It stuck to my mouth and gums and I kept finding bits of it for hours afterwards. Considering this was all natural and included cacao it had a plasticky taste that would normally be associated with “chocolate flavouring” rather than the expensive raw product. I wouldn’t eat this again if it was the last chocolate product on earth.
If these balls are the kind of thing that floats your boat or you have the misfortune of allergies that restrict your diet then go for it, but for my £1.99 I’ll be heading to Poundland and getting two Toblerones for my money.
Deliciously Ella Energy Balls – £1.99 each for 40g
Cashew and Ginger – 4/10
Cacao and Almond – 2/10