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Although it’s been a staple in South American diets for thousands of years, quinoa came into the spotlight in America only recently, but it’s here to stay. This nutritious seed is a popular addition to all sorts of dishes like salads, veggie burgers, and even baked goods, and its popularity, in part, is thanks to the fact that quinoa is a source of plant-based protein. Basically, it’s music to the ears of vegans and vegetarians everywhere. This ingredient is also gluten-free, making it a great addition for other diets as well. Technically, quinoa is a seed (from the goosefoot plant, which is a relative of spinach and chard), but it’s typically cooked as a grain, and delivers nutrients like protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals like iron and manganese. Since quinoa is a complete protein, it also offers all nine essential amino acids.
The History of I Heart Keenwah
Before founders Sarah Chalos and Ravi Jolly launched I Heart Keenwah, they simply loved cooking and eating it. Growing it into a business took time, beginning on the side, while testing concepts and recipes before leaving their full-time jobs. In the early days, I Heart Keenwah was a home kitchen operation, where Chalos and Jolly developed small batches of quinoa clusters and sold them at farmers’ markets in Chicago while Chalos was on maternity leave. Eventually, they funded the company with their own money and met with local stores to get shelf space before branching out into national chains.
I Heart Keenwah Company Mission
Headquartered in Chicaco, Illinois, I Heart Keenwah is a quinoa company that offers both portable snacks and pantry staples using sustainably sourced seeds from Bolivia. The products are gluten-free, low-glycemic, vegan, and vegetarian, making them perfect for a range of diets.
Benefits of I Heart Keenwah
All of I Heart Keenwah’s products are made with Bolivian Royal Quinoa, and here’s what makes it so special:
- Seeds with history: Bolivian Royal Quinoa is an heirloom seed, which means its not commercially bred, and Bolivian farmers retain 10 percent of each year’s harvest to plant in the following season. Within the industry, “Royal Quinoa” is a term only for Bolivian-sourced seeds.
- Super-sized: Bolivian quinoa is larger than other quinoa varieties, which means it cooks up even fluffier.
- Sustainable practices: The Bolivian farmers I Heart Keenwah works with approach their land sustainably by implementing practices like avoiding pesticides, using llama dung as fertilizer, plucking weeds by hand, and letting the soil rest for one year after each harvest. This quinoa is also fairtrade and grown by smallholder farmers, so families earn a living wage and are able to contribute to positively impacting their communities.
Top I Heart Keenwah Products
Get on the quinoa-loving bandwagon with one of these top I Heart Keenwah products.
Organic Tricolor Toasted Quinoa
Toasted quinoa adds nutty flavor to your dishes, and this single-origin, organic Bolivian ingredient cooks in just 15 minutes.
Sea Salt Truffle Quinoa Puffs
Quinoa doesn’t have to stick to side dish territory. This bag is made with quinoa flour, brown rice flour, parsley, and dried truffle for an elegant flavor combo. Enjoy 5g of protein per serving, too.
Herbes de Provence Quinoa Puffs
For a simple snack that offers some added nutrition, open a bag of Herbes de Provence Quinoa Puffs seasoned with the iconic French spice mix.
Tips for Cooking With Quinoa
This popular seed is a winner for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Here are some of our favorite ways to cook with quinoa.
7 Simple Quinoa Recipes
Quinoa Pancakes? Yes, please! How about Quinoa Breakfast Bars? Sign us up. And don’t miss Quinoa Tabbouleh—it’s the perfect potluck side dish that works for everyone.
Quinoa Cooking Tips
Get to know the different types of quinoa, plus snag our tips about how to cook it properly so every bite is light and fluffy.
The Difference Between Quinoa and White Rice
Both are gluten-free grains, but quinoa and white rice are distinctly different in flavor, nutrition, and cooking time. Get the scoop in our blog post!