Punku Quinoa Foods

Recently I was lucky enough to have an internet encounter with Patricia Estivariz of Punku Foods who is selling a great range of gluten free and vegan healthy snacks. Guess which lucky so-and-so got to try some? I did! That's right, greedy me!

Patricia is originally from Bolivia but moved to England 12 years ago to live with her then new British husband. After initially importing and selling ethical alpaca knitwear from Bolivia to the UK, Patricia became vegan and felt she could no longer trade in animal products, so had to find a new way of supporting herself. She soon noticed that there was a growing demand for quinoa products over here. The pseudograin is native to her home country and Patricia decided to use her creativity and knowledge of this versatile ingredient to make delicious treats for the British market. Finding that doors seemed to be opening for her now that she was settled in, she chose to name her fledgling quinoa cookie business Punku - the Bolivian word for door.

Patricia has a great attitude to her company, wanting to not only give more snacking choices to allergy sufferers in Britain, but also wanting to invest in and support South American quinoa farmers and she has a strong desire to see everyone's quality of life improve.

Anyway, on to the food!

The cookies are available in 3 flavours; chocolate chips, orange and mango, and coconut vanilla. I had the privilege of trying the coconut vanilla cookies.

The packaging is a simple, clean, clearly marked box - so you know what you're getting immediately. Once inside the cookies themselves are individually wrapped in plastic, which isn't the most environmentally friendly option, but I can understand why it's been done if you take into consideration allergy and sesnsitivity protection and the fact a box is supposed to last longer than a 10 minute scoffing session, so you'll want to keep them fresh.

Each biscuit is fairly small, which is a common - and slightly annoying - theme with gluten free products, but again, these are also supposed to be a healthier alternative to the super sugar laden "free from" biscuits currently available, and a little is designed to go a long way - and it really does! I actually didn't eat the entire packet in one sitting, despite the fact that these are undoubtedly tasty little treats. Not scoffing the lot is generally unheard of where me and cookies and concerned!

So, the texture of the biscuit is quite crumbly, and the flavour is gentle without being overpoweringly coconutty, which makes for a satisfying biscuit product overall. I'd definitely recommend giving these super snacks a go if you're looking for a more nutritious biccie, where sugar isn't the second ingredient and the producer has a good ethical viewpoint. I also really like having vegan food made by vegans and supporting small, independet businesses, so they tick a lot of my boxes.

These would be fab to keep your drawer at work and have as a little treat to help get you through the day. I admit that I haven't done a tea dunk test, but the flavour would suit a good dipping to a...erm..T. Ahem.

If you're interested in buying these petit bites of nom, they're available in Co-op, some health food shops and with Punku's other quinoa products here. If you've got any more questions for Patricia, you can email her or call on 01787 476 450 or 07482 217 408.

I'd love to know if you've tried these and what you thought. Feel free to leave me a comment below.


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