Julie’s Gluten, Dairy, Soy Free Chocolate Granola Recipe

Are you ready for this?


Once again we have a great recipe from Healthier by the Minute’s Julie Vaden. Today she shares how to make your own Chocolate Granola!


3 cups Gluten Free oats (See note below for alternatives)
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup coconut oil (melted)
¼ cup coconut nectar
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup Enjoy Life dairy and soy free chocolate chips
*NOTE: You can make this into a cereal for the kiddos by adding 1 cup puffed rice and 1 cup puffed millet and only use 1 cup oats.
*SUBSTITUTE for Coconut Nectar: If you don’t have coconut nectar, you can use raw local honey instead.


Step 1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Step 2. In one bowl, pour the oats with salt.
Step 3. In a smaller bowl, mix melted coconut oil, cocoa powder, coconut nectar and vanilla. Mix till smooth.
Step 4. Combine wet ingredients to the oats and mix well to coat.
Step 5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the oat mixture evenly.
Step 6. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes, but turn every 10 minutes so that it is cooked evenly. Since oven   temps vary, cooking time could be more or less. You want the chocolate to be dark in color but not black like burnt.
Step 7. Once out of the oven, combine with chocolate chips (they should melt and coat the granola).
Step 8. Let it cool for 10 minutes then add to mason jar or container of your choice.



Rubies and Radishes brings you Curried Chicken via Julie Vaden



Ingredients 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves – cooked & diced. I poached mine in chicken broth to make sure they were tender. 1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise (recipe below) or you can use a store bought paleo-friendly one. 1/4 cup dried apricots, finely diced 1/8 cup dried cranberries, finely diced 1/2 a small gala apple, finely chopped 2 tablespoons chives, minced 1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped 1 tablespoon green onion, finely chopped (white part only) 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped 1 teaspoon curry powder (mild) salt + pepper to taste

  1. In a large bowl, combine all above ingredients. Mix all together and adjust salt + pepper to taste!
  2. Cut an avocado in half, remove the pit and top with chicken salad & serve!

Homemade Mayonnaise My favorite mayo recipe is this one  from the NY Times Dining & Wine section.

Ingredients One egg yolk, at room temperature 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 Tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cup mild-tasting olive oil

  1. Into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade, place the egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  2. While it’s running, add the olive oil to the insert. The insert should have a tiny little whole in it that will slowly drip the oil into the food processor. Leave the food processor running until all of the oil has completely dripped through. This emulsification process is key when making mayo. Trust me, the first time I ever made homemade mayo, I just poured the cup of olive oil right in with the ingredients and it just made a liquidy mess and not a mayo.
  3. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

– See more at: rubiesandradishes

Deliciously Organic Via Julie Vaden brings you Crock Pot Chicken




This is from the Deliciously Organic Facebook Page directly:


Tonight it’s “Chicken in a Crock Pot” for dinner. I place a whole chicken and red/yellow onion wedges in the crock pot and generously season with Herbamare (an all-purpose, organic seasoning). I cook it on low for about 8-9 hours until cooked through and then about 1 hour before dinner, I like to throw in some broccoli, green beans, carrots, etc. It’s perfect for busy days!

Soy, Not as healthy as You Think by Claudia Pache

Since soy is everywhere in our food supply, I believe it’s necessary to understand the effects of soy on our bodies and where it’s found in the foods we are eating. Yet, in doing this what makes label reading difficult is that soy is found in many forms, such as soy protein isolate, hydrolyzed soy protein, soy oil and even as textured vegetable protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and lecithin (the waste product left over after the soybean is processed and used as an emulsifier). It can be found in products ranging from cereals to chocolate, to health promoting foods like granola and trail mix.  We feel this sense of security, though, because the Food and Drug Administration (an organization that is supposed to be looking out for us) in 1999 found that soy ingredients were not only safe but beneficial.  So should we question this? Don’t they know better than the average Joe?soy

Let me tell you about some information that I have come across during my studies of holistic health and nutrition. Soy foods have been associated with risks including endocrine disruption (hormonal system), digestive problems, thyroid issues, as well as a contributor of certain cancers.

Let’s start with the effects of soy on hormones and the thyroid.  Soybeans naturally contain plant estrogens (phytoestrogens) known as isoflavones.  Even though they are not true hormones, they closely resemble Estradiol, the most powerful of the three forms of Estrogen.  Consequently, the soy isoflavones can interfere with the body’s production of estrogen, testosterone and other hormones. Soy phytoestrogens can have the potential to cause infertility, and promote breast cancer. Moreover, the key isoflavones in soy, genistein and daidzein, are strong inhibitors of thyroid peroxidase, an enzyme involved in the thyroid hormones. This interference can cause thyroid issues. Over the past years, many studies have linked soy to thyroid disorders, especially hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disorder and even thyroid cancer.

Some additional dangers of soy are that the anti-nutrients in soy block the absorption of certain minerals and vitamins such as calcium and vitamin D (which are needed for bone protection). Also, MSG is formed during soy food processing but then additional amounts of it are added to many soy foods. Soy foods also contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and kidneys.  However, the highest risk is for infants who are fed soy formula. The estrogens in the soy affects their hormonal development. Moreover, soy formula contains high levels of manganese which has been linked to attention deficit disorder.

So you may ask, what about the Asians who consume large amounts of soy foods.  Well, the truth is that they consume soy in small amounts and usually as a side, not as a replacement for animal foods.  The soy they consume is traditionally fermented in the form of miso, tempeh and tamari. By fermenting soy, it creates probiotics, the good bacteria our bodies need to maintain digestive and overall wellness.

In spite of all the evidence showing the dangers of soy, we have to remember that it is a billion dollar industry. That is why that it is important that we understand how we can protect ourselves from those who want to make a buck off of our health. Education is the best tool we have.  If you want to do more research on the specific studies conducted on soy food, please go to the following website,www.westonaprice.org.  The Weston A. Price Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt nutrition education foundation.  Also, read Kaayla Daniels’s books, The Whole Soy Story and The Whole Soy Story, the Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food. They are great resources.


Claudia Pache writes for her own website, Healthier By the Minute where she enjoys writing about her expertise in nutrition and as a health coach.