What Is Cricket Flour and Why Should You Consider Using It?
Just so you know, that isn't a typo - I really am recommending you eat crickets. Just not live ones. And, well, not the ones you find dead in your house, either.
So why is it that a seemingly normal doctor from North Carolina would make such a weird and outlandish recommendation?
The answer is actually quite simple. In many parts of the world, insects are actually a primary source of dietary nutrition. That's right - cultures in South America, Africa, and countries all over Asia enjoy (and yes, the do enjoy it) all kinds of creepy crawlies.
Us Westerners on the other hand really aren't that into eating bugs.
But let me ask you a question - if you knew eating cricket flour could help make the world a better place, would you reconsider? If that's not enough, if I told you cricket flour was actually quite tasty, do you think you'd give it a chance?
I hope you would.
Here's the deal about cricket flour, aka cricket protein powder. Despite what you might think, it's actually one of the healthiest and most sustainable sources of protein on the planet. It really does taste good, with a nutty flavor and texture, and it surprisingly packs more protein per ounce than beef or chicken.
While we don't offer Health As It Ought To Be cricket flour at the moment, don't be surprised if we start selling it in the near future.
6 Interesting Reasons To Start Enjoying Cricket Flour Today
If you've ever been to Whole Foods or another natural food store, you might have seen cricket flour foods without even noticing it.
Some of the leading foods made with cricket flour are protein bars and chips.
It's for the following 7 reasons a $350 million dollar market for edible bugs (mainly cricket) is supposed to explode in the next five years:
1 - Superior source of protein:Cricket is one of the supreme sources of protein (by weight). Just to give you an idea of how much protein is in a serving of cricket flour, I'll rattle off a list of other traditional sources of protein and then show you cricket's protein power at the bottom:
- Beef - 200g serving contains 52 grams of protein
- Eggs - 200g serving contains 26 grams of protein
- Chicken - 200g serving contains 59 grams of protein
- Salmon - 200g serving contains 40 grams of protein
And crickets? Well, they contain a whopping 117 grams of protein! Considering protein has been indicated in helping improve sleep quality, curb appetite, build lean muscle mass, and more, you can see why eating cricket flour for protein makes a lot of sense.
2 - It can replace gluten-based flours:Bear in mind you can't switch cricket flour out with wheat flour on a 1:1 basis. However, like many other gluten-free flours, cricket flour is a reliable alternative to the problematic allergens found in many gluten-based products.
How do you replace traditional flours with cricket flour?
Generally, you can mix it with other gluten-free flours when cooking or baking. Say, for instance, a recipe calls for 1 cup of a gluten-free flour. You can then make a mixture of 1/3 cricket flour to 2/3 of your gluten-free flour. This is perfect for baking biscuits, muffins, cookies and more!
3 - It's good for the environment:While I believe some of the studies that cover how bad meat is for the environment are often misrepresentational, there's no doubt cricket flour is great for the environment.
For one, crickets don't require thousands of gallons of water to grow like cattle do. And unlike cattle, they produce 80% less of the toxic gas methane. Then, there's the simple fact that crickets require very little room to maintain. Unlike traditional farm animals, you can breed thousands (if not millions) of crickets in much smaller areas than what other animals would require.
On top of that, it doesn't require nearly as much money to feed them - that, and a cricket can go from never existing to becoming powder in as little as 2 weeks. Imagine a cow doing that...(hint: it doesn't happen).
4 - It tastes way different than you'd expect:I'd be lying to you if I said most people weren't hesitant to try crickets as a food source. The idea of antennas, 6 legs and crunchy exoskeletons doesn't sound the least bit appealing.
The good news (as I mentioned previously) is it does have a great taste. Once dried, the crickets can be ground into a very fine powder. The taste is reminiscent of a mild walnut, or "nutty shrimp," kind of flavor. Others maintain they taste like nothing at all. So there you go.
If that doesn't sound great to you, plenty of companies are already mixing them in protein bars that mask the taste altogether. There are tons of different cricket bar varieties on the market, and most all of them are mixed with tons of healthy ingredients.
5 - It contains healthy fats:Here's another remarkable reason to enjoy crickets - 12 grams of cricket flour contains around 1.8 grams of omega-3 fats.
Omega-3s, as you might already know, are believed to be one of the healthiest fats you could include in your diet. They've been associated with relieving inflammation, playing a role in the protection of the brain, helping improve cardiovascular function, and even making your skin look better.
The importance of a cricket-based form of omega-3 is it's DHA/EPA, which is superior to the plant-based form of omega-3. To learn more about Omega-3 DHA/EPA follow this link.
Considering how easy it is to add cricket flour into meals, this might be a great and easy way to boost omega-3 consumption in a flash.
The Bottom Line On Cricket Flour
I think that in the next few years we'll begin to see more and more uses of cricket flour across the board.
The truth is, there's just so many things wrong with our food system as it is, so it makes sense that we as a society do what we can to help preserve the environment while simultaneously working to boost our health in the process.
Cricket flour is definitely one of those options.
The only downside I see to using cricket flour is its cost. Compared to other gluten-free flours, it's quite a bit more expensive.
However, when compared to the costs of premium protein powders out there, its cost is actually right in line with their costs.
Like I said, we don't carry it yet, but I can promise you if we can ever begin carrying it (and offer it at a great price), we will.
If you want to learn more about cricket flour, check out this Ted Talk about the future of insects as food.