Root Veggie Ragout

Root Veggie Ragout, photo by Sarah Schatz

If you’re looking for something new for this holiday season, here is something very yummy you can make that is also healthy for you!  It is also dairy-free, gluten/wheat-free, soy-free, egg-free and sugar-free, but full of taste!  It is semi-sweet, smooth and has a hint of parsnip. My husband, Dave, and I created it together.  Enjoy!


6 carrots, peeled and sliced

4 parsnips, peeled and sliced

1 small sweet potato, peeled and sliced

2 cups organic, gluten-free chicken broth (Imagine is gluten-free)

1/2 can of coconut milk

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ground ginger

dash of nutmeg

1 tsp salt

1-2 tsp agave or maple syrup

Find more great holiday recipes at Just the Right Spice for the Recipe Roundup

Find more great holiday recipes at Just the Right Spice for the Recipe Roundup


  1. In a medium saucepan, steam the carrots, parsnips and sweet potato in a steamer basket and about 2 inched of water.  Steam for about 10-15 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
  2. Transfer cooked veggies to a blender.  (You can also use a blending wand right in the saucepan without the steamer basket.)  Add the chicken stock and coconut milk and blend until smooth.  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until thoroughly mixed.  It should be thick but you can add more stock if you want it more soupy.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Why chocolate can help you be healthier this holiday season

It seems like a paradox, I know.  Chocolate, healthy? Everything we have been taught about health and nutrition seems to be challenged with this statement.

But keep reading and you will find that chocolate can be one the healthiest and yummiest things you can eat.

Brand matters!

First of all, I am not talking about your regular Hershey’s bar. I know all too well what happens when I eat regular chocolate like this.  My heart races, I get a headache, and I might be grouchy and irritable.  Basically, not worth it, especially since Hershey’s is a far cry from what I consider truly delicious chocolate.

What I am talking about is raw, pure, unprocessed cacao, or raw chocolate.  In its natural, unadulterated form, “it is the highest antioxidant food on the planet, higher than any other fruit or vegetable.” Because it is so high in antioxidants, it naturally combats the free-radicals in our bodies which cause illness and disease.  The following is a brief list of conditions raw cacao can help with:

  • diabetes
  • heart disease or edema
  • asthma – decreases frequency and severity of attacks
  • cough/lung problems (in a study it was 1/3 more effective than codeine syrup!)
  • weight loss – by decreasing sugar/dessert cravings and satisfying the appetite
  • vision/ocular/eye health  (high antioxidants improve eye health overall)
  • gum disease – extremely beneficial for oral hygiene
  • seasonal allergies
  • depression
  • lowers blood sugar levels
  • lowers blood pressure
  • lowers “bad” cholesterol

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