Granola Goodness From Jessica's Natural Foods

A few weeks ago I was shopping at Whole Foods in Roscoe Village and was lucky enough to enjoy gluten-free samples from Jessica's All Natural Granola. It's a sad day when one becomes gluten-intolerant. It's hard to say good-bye to your favorite crunch, yummy, breakfast granola. It seems so innocent and healthy but granola can wreck havoc on the body for those of us who are gluten intolerant. Jessica's granola is made with certified gluten-free oats plus the flavors are also really delicious.

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Granola flavors include Vanilla Maple, Almond Cherry and Chocolate Chip (my personal favorite because I like having chocolate for breakfast).

Jessica Mindell (the "Jessica" of Jessica's Granolas) was inspired to start her business because her husband is gluten intolerant and couldn't find any gluten-free oat based granola. Tell us about it! Jessica told me, "I have a passion for healthy eating and love to bake. Before we found out he was gluten-free, I used to like making regular granola. Once he found out he was gluten-free, I started making gluten-free granola for him. I used all the healthy ingredients I could find like certified gluten-free oats, ground flax seed and unsweetened coconut."

Jessica said, "My friends and family all really enjoyed my granola and realized that other people may enjoy it too. So I decided to take a risk and quit my job to pursue my love of food." It took about 2 years to launch her business. I can't tell you how many people I have interviewed for this blog that have started a biz out of necessity and bam---it becomes their mission and eventually their inspiring success story. 
Jessica experimented with different ingredients and ratios until she found a flavor/texture combination that worked. She says, "Regarding flavors, I launched all three flavors at the same time, but created the Almond Cherry flavor first. Being from Michigan, I love dried cherries. Plus almonds are such a great and healthy compliment to cherries. Next I developed Chocolate Chip. I love chocolate so it seemed like a great fit. Now I could eat chocolate for breakfast and not feel guilty. I then created Vanilla Maple. I wanted a simple clean flavor and I love the taste of vanilla and Michigan maple syrup.
"The granolas are all handmade in small batches. Jessica's uses pure, simple ingredients.There are no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The granolas are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility and is 3rd party gluten-free certified, through the GFCO. You can purchase Jessica's All Natural Granolas at Whole Foods, Deerfields Bakery, Chicago's Downtown Farmstand as well as many other locations throughout the Midwest.

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