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May 20, 2012

I Heart Keenwah

by Anne Paddock

Quinoa (pronounced as Keenwah) is a grain-like crop whose edible seeds are being touted as a superfood: the only “grain” that is a complete protein source with all nine amino acids. In recent years, quinoa has grown in popularity as an alternative food for those on gluten-free diets and for those who want a crop with a high protein content (18%).  High in carbohydrates and a good source of dietary fiber, quinoa has a light fluffy texture and a slightly nutty flavor when cooked but is crunchy and nutty when baked with a sweetener. That quinoa is also high in magnesium and iron also adds to its appeal.

Last summer, the Chicago-based “I Heart Keenwah” rolled out four new snack foods made with quinoa. Recognizing the snack food market is heavily wheat-based and in need of a nutritious gluten-free snack food alternative, the company used whole grain quinoa, flakes, and puffs blended with nuts, and various sweeteners including tapioca syrup and honey, to come up with four all natural quinoa clusters:

Almond: The almond clusters contain quinoa, almonds, tapioca syrup, dried cane syrup, honey, almond oil, baking soda and salt.

Cranberry Cashew: The cranberry cashew clusters contain quinoa, cashews, tapioca syrup, raw sugar, fruit sweetened cranberries, honey, almond oil, baking soda and salt.

Ginger Peanut: The ginger peanut clusters contain quinoa, peanuts, tapioca syrup, raw sugar, crystallized ginger, honey, almond oil, baking soda, and salt.

Chocolate Sea Salt: The chocolate sea salt clusters contain quinoa, almonds, tapioca syrup, dried cane syrup, honey, organic dark chocolate, almond oil, baking soda, and salt.

404995_10151315251536757_240443896_nEach 4 ounce resealable bag of clusters contain about 30 individual mini squares that are sweet, crunchy and reminiscent of a brittle. Incredibly satisfying, these treats are also nutritious with 2-3 grams of protein per serving (approximately 8 clusters) with no saturated or trans fat in the almond, cranberry cashew, and ginger peanut clusters (The Chocolate Sea Salt has 1 gram of saturated fat). Each bag sells for approximately $5 and can be purchased directly from the company on the website listed below or at specialty food stores in about 20 states (see the website below for a complete list of stores by state).

390091_10151315252051757_592985985_nI Heart Keenwah

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