Andean Dream – Gluten Free Quinoa Products
Tested: Macaroni, Coconut Cookies, and Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pasta and cookies made from quinoa? And they taste good? I could have never thought up such a product in my wildest culinary dreams! The people responsible for Andean Dream products really are geniuses. I will be honest though, I was a little skeptical, but still excited, when I learned about the products I was going to be taste testing. I didn’t have very high expectations but I was definitely surprised, especially by the pasta. I got to try the Macaroni, Coconut Cookies and the Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Not only does quinoa have a high protein content but it also contains calcium, phosphorous, iron and all eight essential amino acids. In addition to having a great tasting and versatile little grain to eat, you get a nutritional powerhouse. Did you know quinoa has been used for human consumption for about 3 or 4,000 years?! And to think I didn’t knowingly try it until I was 25!
The first product I tried out was the Macaroni and it was love at first bite! You don’t have to cook this particular brand as long as non-xgfx pastas which is great, but you do have to keep an eye on it, I’ve heard quinoa pasta over cooks really easily. Luckily I didn’t have that problem; it came out perfectly tender and had a really great taste as it was. It wasn’t starchy tasting like “regular” pastas and I probably could have just eaten a bowl of it plain. Okay, maybe I did, so what? While the pasta was cooking I whipped up a thick walnut pesto to pour on so if I didn’t like the pasta I would at least have something tasty to smother it in. I now prefer quinoa pasta over other varieties and can’t wait to get my hands on some more!
Onto dessert… The cookies, oh the cookies! They come in portion sized little packages, 2 per bag, and are about 2 bites each but they are adorable! Both the coconut and chocolate chip were really tasty although a little dry and crumbly but I was very willing to look past that because they both reminded me of some pre-vegan childhood favorites. The coconut reminded me of a certain pecan shortbread cookie I used to love but without the pecans. They had a very light coconut flavor and would be excellent crumbled over some xgfx ice cream. The chocolate chip cookies were very much the same as the coconut but with the addition of mini chocolate chips. They reminded me a lot of a certain kids breakfast cereal that made my favorite Saturday morning cartoon commercial. I still have some of the cookies stashed away in a cabinet so nobody eats them on me!
The makers of these excellent products are not only dedicated to providing delicious gluten free products made from quinoa, they are also dedicated to making the world a better place. The individual packaging the cookies come in is vegetable based and recyclable. The products also support 280 indigenous farming families in Bolivia who grow the quinoa for them! Any company, especially the small independent ones, trying to make an environmental and social impact are the kind I truly don’t mind paying a little extra for greatness. Everybody wins!
- All vegan. All gluten free.
- The company has made a direct impact on improving the lives of the 280 farming families growing the quinoa.
- 5 different types of cookies and 3 shapes of pasta.
- The best dried pasta I have eaten!!!
- According to an email from the owner of the company these products are not only available on their website but at most Whole Foods Markets as well!
- A little pricey ($5.99 for cookies and $4.99 for pasta).
- The cookies were a little dry but dunked in an ice cold glass of your favorite xgfx milk will solve that problem!