Alter Eco Quinoa Review

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A 100% Fair Trade Brand

Alter Eco’s products are specifically designed for the mass market and present the following unique features:

Fair Trade: All products are produced and traded under the Fair Trade standards of FLO (Fair

Trade Labeling Organization). All packaging carries the TransFair label, whenever it is available in

the related category.

Organic: Most of our products carry the “USDA Organic” logo and are certified by QAI. The

remaining products are undergoing the organic certification process.

Quality: Stringent quality and hygiene controls, annual suppliers’ audit, as well as the traditional

know-how of our producing organizations ensure the exceptional quality of our line.

Quinoa is a fairly recent discovery in our house. I had been hearing about it for quite some time, but I never thought it was something worth while to try.  In my mind I labeled this seemingly hard to pronounce grain (pronounced ‘keen-wah’) as a hippie, organic, lovers food, but certainly not mine.  Boy was I wrong!  We LOVE quinoa!  And of course the best part is that quinoa is extremely healthy!  I just love it when something is tasty AND good for me.  That can be a hard to find pair sometimes.

Here is what Alter Eco has to say about quinoa. 

Quinoa, an annual herb that grows from 3 to 6 feet high in the Bolivian Altiplano, contains more proteins than any other cereal and is particularly easy to digest as it is lighter than most grains. Referred to by the locals as a “protein powerhouse”, it kept the Incan armies strong and robust. It was one of three staple foods, along with corn and potatoes, of the ancient Inca civilization.

Quinoa has a long history narrated by numerous myths and legends surrounding its culture. In the Quechua language of the Incas, “Quinoa” is the Chisiya Mama or the “Mother Grain”. Regarded as sacred, it has been cultivated in Andes Mountains of South America for more than 5,000 years.

Quinoa is now being re-discovered and many Bolivian farmers are once again cultivating this tradition crop, thereby preserving their rich cultural heritage.

I was excited to try some new quinoa recipes with my Alter Eco products.  First I decided to tackle the organic pearl quiona in a recipe from Taste of Home.  The recipe is Quinoa with Peas and Onion, however it also has walnuts.   I love adding nuts to salads or really anything for that matter.  I like the added texture it provides and of course the extra “crunch”.

We loved it!  Doesn’t it look yummy?  It was so easy and fast to make.  This is also one of the reasons I love cooking with quinoa.  It cooks fast! Great for a quick summer time meal.

Next, I decided to try the black quinoa.  I picked a recipe using quinoa from All Recipes.com and instead of using standard white quinoa I just used the black variety.  Using black quinoa is not any different than using the standard pearl variety.  I didn’t even notice any taste difference.  Perhaps I should have cooked the two simultaneously and then performed a taste test, as there might be a slight difference when compared side by side.  However, from one day to the next I noticed no taste difference between pearl and black.   The recipe?  Quiona with Black Beans.  This recipe would be great for vegetarians, as it provides a protein punch!

And finally I decided to make a Quinoa and Bean Salad recipe from the new Rachel Ray magazine.  It was a simple 5 ingredient dish that was super simple and easy to prepare.  I used the rainbow quinoa for this particular recipe.

This dish uses only kidney beans, quinoa, red onion, basil, and lemon juice and is super tasty and fresh!
Overall, I didn’t notice a real difference in taste among the varieties of quinoa.  There is certainly a visual aspect as to which kind is more appealing.  I will probably just stick to the standard pearl variety myself.  How unexciting of me, I know:)  Alter Eco quinoa is 100% fair trade and organic.  Alter Eco products focus on quality rather than simply mass production.  I feel good as a mom providing my children with healthy, nutritious, and environmentally friendly foods from Alter Eco!

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I received the above mentioned products for review purposes, all opinions are my own.

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