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I Heart Keehwah - The Vegan Street Review

Product Review: I Heart Keenwah
by Marla Rose

Crunchy Snacks for Grown-Up Tastes
Last week was our week dedicated to Natalie Slater and the company she works as marketing director for, I Heart Keenwah, whose product I also used in our most recent recipe. Well, hold on to your seats because the love affair with those delightful puffs hasn’t ended yet! Natalie sent me a big box to review and, well, I am a pleaser.

First, some details on I Heart Keenwah: It is an independent small business started about four years ago from business school friends and the crunchy snacks are all gluten-free. Nine of the ten flavors are vegan. (I will not be including the non-vegan one in my review, of course.) You can find them in nearly 3,000 retailers across the country and they can also be ordered online at their website, or places like Amazon and Vitacost. The pesticide-free quinoa is sourced at a co-op in Bolivia where the farmers receive living wages, which has a positive ripple effect beyond the farmers and their families to benefitting their local economy. The nine flavors I received are Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Gluten-Free, and, if including chocolate, Fair-Trade Certified. There are Clusters, which are slightly sweet, very crunchy varieties; Puffs, which are a savory interpretation, perfect for croutons or chip replacements; and Chocolate Puffs, which is their latest iteration, and they are quinoa puffs covered in rich chocolate. 

The Clusters come in Chocolate Sea Salt, Cashew Cranberry, Peanut Butter Cacao and Almond. What I like the most about these is that they have great ingredients, including things like organic quinoa, organic chia seeds, organic pumpkin seeds, organic brown rice syrup and almonds, and they are sweet but not cloyingly so. With the Chocolate Sea Salt, there is that satisfyingly complementary interplay between chocolate and salt; the Cashew Cranberry is reminiscent of very crunchy granola bar bites; The Peanut Butter Cacao – well, I don’t need to tell you that peanut butter and chocolate go together well; and the Almond have a great nutty flavor. They are all subtly sweet, with organic brown rice syrup and organic cane sugar, and a great alternative to candy or junky treats. These are great paired with Netflix and your favorite series.

The vegan Puffs come in Sea Salt Truffle, Sweet Chili and Herbes de Provence. These savory puffs pack five grams of protein and are the perfect, gluten-free option for croutons, smashed up to make breading or panko, or eaten as a more nutritious alternative to potato or tortilla chips. Sea Salt Truffle are subtle and sophisticated; Sweet Chili are full of balanced hot-sweet flavor and great for anyone who might otherwise eat Doritos; and the Herbes de Provence are packed with herb-y fresh taste. Are you the kind of snacker who normally is compelled to go down the chips and pretzels aisle at the grocery store when you want to stress eat? These are for you. They all have the signature crunchy I Heart Keenwah texture and are perfect for when you’re feeling like you want to open a bag of salty snacks. Looking at the nutrition panel, these won’t cause nearly as much damage.

The Chocolate Puffs come in Dark Chocolate Himalayan Pink Salt and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter. These are so delicious: my first thought when I bit into the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter was “malt balls for grown ups.” As we know, chocolate and peanut butter are BFFs for life, so that is a no-brainer, and the salted variety is just as indulgent but just a little more sophisticated. (Chocolate loves salt!) These are the ones to smuggle into the movie theater and eat like Whoppers. These generous puffs have that same great combination of smooth and crunchy but with good stuff in the middle.

Check ‘em out. I think you’ll heart keenw – um, quinoa - as well.

Vegan Street received this product for free to review and this was my honest evaluation.

2013-2016, Vegan Street

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