Quinoa Queen Review
It has been a longer than expected stretch without a new post, but here I am ready to start a series of product reviews. As I announced in my most recent post, I will be an official blogger at GF&AF Expo in Worcester, MA next weekend, so stay tuned for social media updates as well as reviews of products the Mini-Foodies and I sample.
Today's review is of cereals by Quinoa Queen. One of the most often asked questions by those in the corn allergy and / or celiac community is: "What do I do for cereal?" There are various answers to that question and today I offer a cereal option that pretty darn amazing for those who can tolerate quinoa. The Mini-Foodies and I had the pleasure of sampling the three flavors (this was before the organic variety was available) and we found that these are a wonderful cereal for those of us who cannot tolerate the "O" style of cereals made with gluten and / or corn ingredients. Read on for details regarding allergy status as well as my comments and those of my allergy kids regarding flavor.
Before I move on to the review, for full disclosure, I did receive free samples in order to review the cereals. All the opinions found here are my own and those of the Mini-Foodies. For more information check out Quinoa Queen. If you are inclined to try the cereal yourself, you can order them here.
Quoted from email with permission from Andrea Chauvin of Quinoa Queen: "the factory itself is not Corn free. Corn and rice run through the same lines. There is a 3 step extraneous cleaning process when changing from one grain to the other. Chances of cross contamination are very slim but not impossible, since the factory itself is not corn free.
Quinoa Queen cereals are 100% quinoa. There are no fillers, colorants or preservatives." -3/5/2017
Update as of 7/14/20018 by Andrea: "Our facility is free from the top 8 allergens. That is gluten, dairy, nut, peanut, soy, eggs, wheat, fish. We have an organic line now without any Vitamin E. The Vitamin E on the original line is extracted from Sunflower seeds."
The unsweetened variety tastes like quinoa with a deep earthy flavor. It mellows out with a milk which makes it an excellent cereal option for those of us who miss cereal. It is also a nice snack without the milk, but I would be careful with toddlers as the texture is harder than other O cereals I recall having eaten.
Mini-Foodie A's comments: -Very "planty", "yummy planty". -Looks like "real cereal", "It actually looks like real cereal." "Quinoa-y".
Mini-Foodie M: "Smells like quinoa - a little nutty without the nuts."
Product Details as quoted from http://www.quinoaqueenfoods.com/originalunsweetbox.html
"Made from only premium whole grain quinoa, and without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. [...] Quinoa Queen Original ™ is also dairy, gluten, soy, peanut and nut free, non GMO and vegan."
- Original, Lightly sweetened
My first reaction is that they are plenty sweet. The O's appear a bit shiny in areas due to sugar. The sweet hides the strong quinoa/earthy flavor and the aftertaste is a soften earthy flavor. So if you like the quinoa, but enjoy a hint of sweetness, this may be the variety for which to opt.
Mini-Foodie A thinks, "The sweetness hides the quinoa flavor. The aftertaste is like original - earthy."
Mini-Foodie M said, "Kind of tastes like raisins." That's a compliment as raisins are yummy at the Corn-Free Hippie house.
Product Details as quoted from http://www.quinoaqueenfoods.com/originalsweetbox.html:
"Quinoa Queen Lightly Sweetened ™ is [...] dairy, soy, peanut, nut, and gluten free, non GMO and vegan. [...] Ingredients: Whole Quinoa, Unrefined Whole Cane Sugar and Vitamin E."
Allergy warning: if you have an allergy or sensitivity to citrus, this may not be the version for you. Mini-Foodie Z enjoyed the flavor; however, her skin did not enjoy the citrus reaction which for us confirmed that she does react to citrus.
On a brighter note, of the three varieties, this is my favorite because the citrus is a fun, unexpected blend with the earthy quinoa. These cereal gems remind me of a healthy version of those fruity O's, you know the ones I'm alluding too, minus all the extra ingredients.
Because the Mini-Foodies have never had those conventional fruity O's, they did not have anything to compare to, but they did enjoy them as they were the first box to be empty and that is a two thumbs up.
Product Details as quoted from http://www.quinoaqueenfoods.com/citrusblissbox.html:
"Quinoa Queen Citrus Bliss ™ is dairy, gluten, soy, peanut and nut free, non GMO and vegan. [...] Ingredients: Whole Quinoa, Unrefined Whole Cane Sugar, Lemon and Mandarine Essential Oils, and Vitamin E."
*** This post is for information purposes only, it is not medical advice. As always, it is advised before trialing a new food, that you do your due diligence in order to make certain the food or product is safe for you by contacting the company directly. Remember that production practices and ingredients do change and it is best to check with the company in order to avoid a potential reaction. ***