Cricket Flour (Cricket Powder) - A Complete Guide
Cricket flour, or cricket powder, has almost three times the amount of protein per gram than your favorite sirloin steak, and almost double the amount of protein of chicken.
Before completely dismissing the idea of using cricket flour, the mild and nutty taste is one that many people enjoy. Insects are consumed worldwide, but in the Western world, it isn't so popular.
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Crickets are easy to farm and they provide us with a lot of nutritional benefits. While eating insects doesn't seem to be gaining traction in the Western world, cricket flour seems to be forging the path.
What is Cricket Flour?
Cricket flour is made from dried or roasted crickets. They are milled into a fine flour that you can use in protein bars, smoothies, and even baked goods.
Marketers promote cricket flour as a healthier and more sustainable means of protein than beef.
Cricket Flour Nutritional Facts
One serving of cricket powder is two tablespoons - this is about 12 grams. Cricket powder also contains:
- 55 Calories
- 0.8 Grams carbohydrates
- 7 Grams of protein
- 2 Grams of fat
- 4 Percent of your daily suggested iron
- 2 Percent of your daily suggested calcium
- 17 Percent of your daily suggested vitamin B12
- 23 Percent of your daily suggested vitamin B2
Cricket flour is gluten-free and pretty high in protein.
Eating more protein improves your muscle mass, helps you maintain your weight, stabilize your blood sugar levels, improves your mood, helps with healthy brain and heart function, and slows aging.
Cricket powder is full of iron and calcium. Iron-rich foods give you energy, improve muscle function, and promote cognitive performance. Calcium-rich foods help with reducing your blood pressure, promotes bone health, supports weight management, and has been shown to decrease the risk of colon and rectal cancers.
How Do You Make Cricket Flour?
Looking to make your own cricket flour? The process isn't terribly hard.
Many companies choose the Acheta domesticus cricket due to high protein content and their flavor. While many raise and farm their own crickets, some companies buy live crickets from local farmers or get frozen crickets shipper to them from farms.
Many companies harvest their crickets 8 weeks into their development, while others harvest around the 6-week mark so their exoskeletons are not fully formed.
Dry Your Crickets
Once you obtain some crickets, they need to be dried.
Dry your crickets in the sun, freeze-dry them, place in a food dehydrator, or bake them in the oven. The way you dry your crickets and how long you have will affect your flavor profile.
Mill Your Crickets
Once you have dried your crickets, the next step is to mill them into a flour.
You generally want to use two different grinding or milling techniques to get your desired product.
The first machine is to get a coarse grind. The course flour is then sifted to remove the lighter pieces like the legs and wings. Once you've sifted, the remaining coarse cricket flour should get placed in your second machine.
The milling machine is set to a fine grain size so you have a smooth and fine cricket flour.
Companies will use proprietary processes to create their product. Things like what the crickets eat, the way they are frozen, the way they are dried, and the way they grind the final product.
Learning how to make cricket flour is a straightforward process, but perfecting the craft will take some time.
How Do You Cook With It?
The easiest way to start cooking with cricket flour is to replace grain-based flour in your favorite dishes.
Since cricket flour is mostly protein, fiber, and fat, the consistency is similar to coconut flour or almond flour. This means you cannot substitute cricket flour for another flour in a 1:1 ratio.
When baking, replace one cup of grain-based flour with 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of cricket powder.
The peanut taste is subtle, but it mostly will take on any flavor you cook with it similar to tofu or tempeh.
Cook, bake, blend, or snort your favorite cricket flour.
5 Reasons Why You Should Eat Cricket Flour
If you're not quite sold on trying cricket flour out, check out these 5 reasons why you should at least try it.1.) Protein Content
Gram for gram, cricket flour is great for protein. By dry weight, a cricket is around 65%-70% pure protein.
Cricket protein is a complete source of protein, which means it has all of the essential branched-chain amino acids we need for muscle development.2.) Vitamins and Minerals
Packed with vitamins and minerals, cricket flour is gram-for-gram can outcompete some of the healthiest food options available.3.) It Tastes Alright
I personally couldn't imagine chewing on some crickets, however, the flavor profile does sound appealing.
Cricket flour has a mild taste that is slightly nutty. The neutral taste is able to enhance your flavor profile while also increasing the number of nutrients.4.) Options
Stop and think about how many ways you use your whey protein powders.
Most consumers mix their cricket flour with water or milk - something you could add to your current protein powder.
The neutral flavor makes cricket flour great in many applications.
Bake with it, mix into your smoothies or shakes - the applications are unlimited.5.) Sustainability
Livestock farming causes a lot of greenhouse gas emissions and can affect a water shortage.
California suffers from severe water shortages and has the 4th largest cattle inventory by volume. Did you know it takes 1700 to 2500 gallons of water to produce a pound of protein from a cow, but only 1 gallon to produce a pound of protein from crickets?
You can farm crickets in your closet.
Top 5 Cricket Flour Benefits
There are many benefits to eating cricket flour, but here are the top five.
1.) Build Muscle
High protein foods help you build muscle, burn fat, and support your metabolism. Eating enough protein is required if you want to improve your lean body mass.
Cricket flour is high in protein while low in carbohydrates. This is a great tool for bodybuilders and athletes who want to boost their strength and performance.
2.) Helps Boost Weight Loss
Burning body fat requires eating at a calorie deficit.
Consuming a substantial amount of protein is essential for metabolism and muscle health.
Cricket flour is a great way to eat protein without overloading on carbohydrates.
Cricket flour is gluten-free.
Both white and wheat flour are not great for your health due to them being bleached, contain gluten, and can be hard on your digestive system.
One out of every 133 people has Celiac disease, which means they can't eat gluten at all. One out of seven are severely gluten intolerant, so eating gluten leads to a serious reaction.
People find that when they go gluten-free that weight loss is easier. They also enjoy improved digestion, their thyroid functions at a higher level, and they enjoy a boost of energy levels.
4.) Vitamin B12
One serving of cricket flour contains about 17 percent of your daily value of B12. A 2004 study showed that vitamin B12 nutrient deficiencies are a major concern in many parts of the world.
B12 maintains healthy energy levels, prevents memory loss, and helps your nervous system function properly. You'll also have improved heart health and healthier skin and hair.
5.) Essential Amino Acids
Cricket flour is a complete protein, so it contains essential branched-chain amino acids needed for muscle development.
Maintaining a diverse protein intake decreases your risk of becoming deficient in certain amino acids. This leads to muscle atrophy, low concentration and memory, unstable blood sugar levels, and increased trouble in maintaining or losing weight.
Wrapping It Up
According to Consumer Reports, cricket powders were a huge hit at the National Products Expo in Baltimore.
They taste-tested six different cricket flour protein bars made by two manufacturers. The food experts all agreed that you would not know you are eating crickets.
Many of these cricket bars also contain almonds, peanuts, blueberries, dates, vanilla, cacao, dark chocolate, coconut, and ginger. These all pair well with the nutty flavor of crickets.