Pssst! Have you heard about the new gluten free flour/protein powder that is making its way through health circles? No? Well…..It’s made of……ready for this?
C R I C K E T S
*Side bar: I *may* have had to put down my bowl of curry lentil soup as I researched this article 😀
True story. Cricket flour is, according to the United Nations (Food and Agriculture Organization):
- high in protein – these ground up little critters contain 2x the amount of protein of beef!
- has 15% more iron than an equal serving of spinach
- has more calcium than milk
- full of vitamins and minerals including 17 amino acids
- more sustainable – crickets are 80% edible and produce 80x less methane than cattle
- are an easy, inexpensive, nutritious way to feed people worldwide as our population steadily grows
How is it made?
Crickets are dried (or roasted) then ground up. The end.
OH! and the legs, wings, etc. are removed after the first course grinding, the rest is good to go.
But what does it taste like?
I’ve never personally tried it but I have it on good authority from those who have, that it has a taste similar to buckwheat.
OK Libby, I’m still not convinced. Give me 4 good reasons why I should try this…
I love a food challenge. So here goes!
- Research indicates that our ancestors and even present day cultures ate/eat insects. In fact, insects are part of a nourishing, traditional diet of approximately 2 billion people today! Think: crispy-fried locusts and beetles if you’ve ever been to Thailand. So for all you Paleo peeps, take that! 😀 There’s even a fancy name for the consumption of insects: entomophagy!
- Eating these little critters would lower your carbon footprint. Crickets produce WAY less methane than cattle and require much less space to flourish.
- You’ll get a whole whack of nutrition in a relatively small serving.
- You’ll become really popular. When word gets out that you eat crickets, your uptight friends will be calling for info and you’ll become the talk of the group (or the moms, if you send your kid with a cricket bar for lunch). 🙂
What is this flour used in?
Cricket flour is becoming so popular among North Americans that there are several companies chomping at the bit to get their products to market. Here are a few interesting and presumably tasty examples that I have come across:
- Protein Bars – How does a PB & J or a Blueberry Vanilla protein powder sound? Exo is producing protein bars that use cricket flour to really rave reviews!
- Chips – There is a company that has come up with a product called Chirps – a crunchy baked chip made with beans, rice and cricket flour. They have several flavors that really sound delish! Hickory BBQ would be my pick!
Cricket pancakes anyone?
Now, I like to think I’m open minded but this would definitely take some time to ponder. If you’re anxious to give this a go, check out these recipes (and please do check back in and let me know your thoughts):
Megan over at Eat Beautiful has 2 recipes:
- Cricket Flour Waffles
- Cricket Flour Pancakes (egg, nut, dairy free)
Interesting Tid Bits:
- Cricket fighting flourished as a popular sport in China under the Song Dynasty (960– 1278 CE) and still continues today.
- in 2013, a team of McGill University MBA students won the $1 million Hult Prize for a project that aims to improve the availability of nutritious food to slum dwellers around the world by providing them with insect-infused flour. (source)
- The Black Ant, a restaurant in New York City, offers a menu featuring sautéed grasshoppers,
So… Would ya, Could ya?
United Nations (Food and Agriculture Organization)
Photo Credit: Flickr.com