Food is a fundamental element in Latino culture. Latinx food is not only a source of energy and nutrients, but it is also a language of love and a way to preserve our heritage.
Simply put, it is familiarity and family.
However, the recipes passed down from generation to generation have been modified by chemicals and preservatives, and we have lost sight of the number of fats and sugars we ingest.
That’s why this Hispanic Heritage Month, we want to celebrate Latin cuisine, but we want to do it in a healthier and more responsible way. Luckily, many Latinx food brands are doing just that, helping the community with food that preserves the taste of our childhood but does it with organic ingredients, vegan substitutes, and healthier options.
Loisa Comida Real
We will revolt if a Latinx food dish is lacking in flavor. Sabor is key; that’s why we rely on old standbys like sazón, adobo, and sofrito to bring meals alive. Unfortunately, the old-school brands are okay with adding ingredients like MSG to seasonings. That’s why companies like Loisa — founded by Kenny Luna and Scott Hattis (Yadira Garcia is also an owner) — have stepped in to offer us healthier options. Their products are free of MSG, USDA certified organic, non-GMO, certified kosher, vegan and plant-based, gluten-free, and have zero “artificial colors or flavors or preservatives.”
Hot sauce adds that extra oomph and spice we want in our Latinx food. Melinda’s Foods, founded by Greg and David Figueroa, has every delicious sauce you can think of putting on your comida, from a chipotle pepper hot sauce, to habanero ketchup (no high fructose corn syrup!), to “sweet and spicy Asian wing sauce.” The Latinx food brand even has “whole fruit preserves and pepper jellies” (from countries like Colombia and with minimal ingredients) for that much-needed dose of sweetness.
Siete Family Foods
Another Latinx food brand you should shop for is Siete Family Foods. The company was born when Co-founder and President Veronica Garza was diagnosed with “multiple autoimmune conditions,” and she and her family learned how food “can either heal or harm us.” The entire family began to eat “a low-inflammation, grain-free diet,” causing them to reimagine Mexican food. This led to Siete, which makes grain-free tortillas, chips, taco shells, nacho cashew queso, and enchilada sauce, including chia seed, avocado oil, and turmeric more. It’s flavorful Mexican food that’s not only grain-free but also non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
“100% superfoods; 100% plant-based; 100% organic” and non-GMO. That’s the kind of food you get with Llamaland Organics. Founded by husband and wife team Ismael and Lisa Petrozzi, the company focuses on introducing “super nutritious, super delicious superfoods from the Peruvian Amazon and Andes.” This translates to a cereal made of Andean white corn, purple corn, and cacao; a fruit spread made “super” with Vitamin-C-rich camu-camu, and more.
Maria and Ricardo’s Tortillas
Latinx food would never do without one of its staples—tortillas. They serve as a vessel for meat, vegetables, cheese, sauce, and anything else we can get into them. Brands are looking to make tortillas healthier, and one of them is Maria and Ricardo’s Tortillas. Think almond flour keto tortillas, quinoa flour tortillas, grain-free cauliflower tortillas, and organic corn tortillas—there’s an option for everyone. We have cousins Maria and Ricardo and the Montemayor family, who now owns and runs the company, to thank for making a food item we use so much, even better for us.