How to Make Protein Bars with Cricket Flour (and Other High Protein Recipes)

Recipes

Have you heard the news? Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects as part of an everyday diet, is a growing trend for all the right reasons. Yes, you read that right. People are eating bugs and, what’s more, it’s a healthy choice! One of the most popular types of edible insect is the humble cricket, which can be made into cricket flour or cricket protein powder. You can use this ingredient as an alternative to any flour on the market.

As odd (and gross!) as this idea may sound at first, you have to try using cricket flour in your day to day cooking to see how well it works. Perhaps that’s why it’s so popular these days. So, without further ado, let’s take a moment to find out more, shall we? Here are some of the benefits that this ingredient has, how to make protein bars out of the stuff, and a few extra cricket flour recipes too.

What Are the Benefits of Cricket Protein Powder?

Are you considering trying edible insects for yourself? If you are, you may be wondering what the possible benefits of cricket flour are. While the idea of eating insects may be a little hard to swallow, it could be a step on the path toward better health. Some experts believe that edible insects could be the food of the future. Let’s take a look at some of the major benefits of cricket protein powder and why you should try it.

It is super digestible

cricket protein powder on a table with a hand print in it

One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to cricket flour is that it is hard to digest. Nothing could be further from the truth. Research from Rutgers University suggests that edible insects can be digested by all primates, including humans.[1] The reason is that we have a gene called CHIA, which is the stomach enzyme that breaks down the outer layer of many insects.

What that means is that we can (and perhaps should) be digesting insects on a regular basis. The new study puts forward the idea that eating edible insects could be a sustainable way to lead a healthier lifestyle. That is backed up by the fact that insect products, such as cricket flour and cricket protein powder, are low fat and high in protein. These products could be some of the best natural protein powder options available.

It offers a high protein boost

a plate of fried crickets on a wood table

Creating a healthy diet is not merely about cutting back on calories and saturated fats. You should also make sure that you get extra helpings of healthy stuff, such as protein. The human body needs protein to help grow and repair all of the time.[2] According to the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI), adults need 0.79g of protein per kilogram of their overall weight on a daily basis.[3]

Crickets are surprisingly high in protein. There’s around 8g to 25g of protein in 100g of this edible insect.[4] That means that when you eat it, you get a large dose of protein with little fat. Needless to say, one of the best ways that you can consume crickets is in the form of cricket flour or cricket protein powder.

It could help with weight loss

woman wrapped in a towel weighing herself on the bathroom scale

Trying to lose weight can often feel like an uphill battle. If you’re looking for a smart way to shed some pounds, starting a high-protein diet could be the answer. As we’ve already covered, cricket flour is strikingly high in protein.

Research from the Society for Endocrinology found that eating protein could make you feel less hungry and ultimately lose weight.[5] The reason is that a byproduct of digested protein, known as phenylalanine, may unleash hormones that curb hunger. The researchers looked at the effect that this byproduct had on animals and found that they were less hungry as the hormone increased.[6]

It’s a source of vitamin B12

rolled out dough base with sprigs of rosemary, garlic cloves, and a pack of cricket powder on the side

Vitamin B12 is vitally important to everyday health. Without the presence of this vitamin, the red blood cells can become abnormally large.[7] That in itself can lead to them not being able to function properly. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include tiredness, ulcers, weakness, and poor vision, among other tell-tale signs.[8] Ensuring that you increase your intake of the vitamin is a smart way to avoid these health concerns.

Eating cricket flour and even cricket protein powder could be a smart way to make sure you get as much B12 as you need. The vitamin has actually been found in house crickets. In fact, you can find around 5.4μg of B12 in every 100g of the insects.[9] With that in mind, including the insects in your diet could be a healthful alternative to taking supplements.

It is healthier than meat

a bowl of stew with cricket protein powder on the side

Could crickets really be better for you than meat? Well, maybe! One study suggests that the nutrient value score of crickets is higher than that of meats, such as chicken and beef.[10] Not only do crickets (and products like cricket flour) meet the amino acid requirements for humans, but they also provide sufficient energy as well as protein. If you’re looking to make healthy food swaps, switching that steak for some oven-baked crickets could be a clever option.

How to Make Protein Bars with Cricket Flour

Whether you’re hitting the gym or just need a snack that will keep you feeling satisfied all day long, reaching for a protein bar may be your natural instinct.

Of course, you likely already know that there’s a wide range of store-bought options out there. However, these products may have a couple of drawbacks. For one thing, you don’t know what additives are in them, and so can’t be certain that they are 100% healthy. They can also be rather expensive meaning that you could end up wasting a lot of cash on them.

So, what’s the alternative? There is one way in which you can solve both of these problems. Simply whip them up yourself. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to make protein bars. You’ve come to the right place. While there are many protein bar recipes out there, here’s a quick and easy way to make cricket protein bars at home.

Prep Time: 15 minutes  |  Cook Time: 40 minutes  |  Serving Size: Ten  |  Calories Per Serving: 262 kcal
Tools/equipment: Food processor, saucepan, large bowl, baking pan, baking paper, large knife

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of cricket flour
  • 1 cup of puffed quinoa
  • ¼ cup of hazelnuts
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • ¼ cup of dried dates
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of honey
  • ½ cup of peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sea salt (to season)

Instructions

  1. Put the dates and hazelnuts into a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
  2. Next, add the puffed quinoa and cricket flour to the mix. Use the food processor on a low setting to break up the puffed quinoa but leave the texture coarse. Put into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Pop the saucepan on a medium heat and put the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract into it. Mix and heat for a couple of minutes.
  4. Bring the mixture to boil and season with a pinch of sea salt.
  5. While the combined honey and peanut butter is still piping hot, pour it into the large mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Then, add in the ground cinnamon and ginger.
  6. Fold the mixture together so that the cricket flour, quinoa, fruit, and nuts are covered completely.
  7. Line a baking pan with some baking paper. Pour the cricket protein bars mixture into the pan and smooth out so that it’s as even as possible.
  8. Place the pan in the fridge and leave it there for at least 20-25 minutes.
  9. Finally, get the pan out of the fridge and use a large knife to cut the solid block into ten separate cricket protein bars. Enjoy!

How to Customize Your Cricket Protein Bars

close up view of cricket flour protein bars

When you’re dealing with protein bar recipes, it always pays to remember that you can swap and change ingredients as you please. It’s true. If there’s something that you don’t enjoy eating in this recipe, feel free to switch it for a similar alternative. Here are a few ideas to revamp you high protein recipes in mere minutes.

1. Swap the dates for any dried fruit

While dates make the perfect ingredient for protein bar recipes, they are by no means the only way to go. If you can’t get your hands on some dried dates, you can switch them for other types of dried fruit. For example, raisins or even dried unsweetened cranberries could do the job.

2. Try a brand new nut butter

It goes without saying that the most common type of nut butter is peanut butter, but if you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can try something new. There are loads of different options in health stores from cashew butter to almond butter. Adding a fresh flavor to your protein bar recipes could help to make them more exciting.

3. Spice things up more!

Do you fancy spicing up your cricket flour recipes? We hear you! Of course, there is already some ground cinnamon and ginger in these cricket protein bars, but you can afford to add more spices. Experiment with some chili powder, ground cloves, or cardamom. (Note: Only add small portions of the spices to your recipe. You don’t want to overdo it!)

Try These 3 High Protein Recipes

Now that you’re well-versed in how to make protein bars, you may want to expand your expertise somewhat. Luckily, we’ve got just the thing for you. We’ve selected some of the best high-protein recipes for you to make. All of these guides contain a healthy helping of cricket flour too, which means that they pack an extra punch of protein.

1. Tropical Cricket Flour Smoothie

a dish with chopped mangos, a glass of mango smoothie, and a jar of mango smoothie

Trying to include more vitamins and minerals in your daily diet can be difficult. Of course, one of the simplest ways in which you can reach your healthy eating goals is to start drinking smoothies.

The wonderful thing about making your own smoothies is that you can pack them full of some of the most healthful superfoods on the market. For example, adding some cricket flour to the recipe could give it a protein-packed boost. To get you started, here’s a tropical cricket protein powder smoothie to try for yourself.

Make Time: 5 minutes  |  Serving Size: Two  |  Calories Per Serving: 473 kcal

Tools/equipment: Blender, large knife, chopping board

Ingredients

  • 2 medium mangoes
  • 1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks
  • 2 medium apples
  • ½ cup of coconut milk
  • 2 tsp of cricket protein powder
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop the mangoes. Remove the core of the apple and chop into small chunks.
  2. Put the chopped fruit, frozen pineapple, coconut milk, and cricket protein powder into a blender. Turn on and mix until smooth.
  3. Add as much water as you want to get the consistency right for you. Pour into two glasses and drink up.

Of course, as with all of the cricket flour recipes here, it’s worth remembering that you can switch ingredients here and there. For instance, if you don’t want to use coconut milk, a simple alternative is some Greek yogurt. However, you will need to add a little extra water to the recipe to get a smoothie-like consistency.  You could also change the fruit for products that you happen to prefer like strawberries or pears.

2. Healthy Cricket Cocoa Brownie Bites

cocoa brownie bites on a white sheet

When you think about high protein recipes, you may be under the impression that they are dull and boring. That is simply not the case. In fact, some of the most enticing cricket flour recipes are dessert recipes. One such example is this super healthy cocoa brownie recipe. By focusing on natural ingredients and adding some cricket protein powder into the mix, you can make sure that these sweet little bites are packed with loads of good stuff.

Prep Time: 20 minutes  |  Cook Time: 40 minutes  |  Serving Size: Ten  |  Calories per serving: 161 kcal

Tools/equipment: Saucepan, heat-resistant glass bowl, large baking tray, greaseproof paper, small bowl, whisk, large knife

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cricket flour
  • 90g of dark chocolate
  • 3 Tbsp of cocoa powder
  • ½ Tbsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp coffee granules
  • 3 Tbsp of agave syrup
  • 1 medium egg
  • 100g mayonnaise 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Chop the dark chocolate up into small pieces and place it in the heat resistant glass bowl. Boil some water in the saucepan and secure the bowl above it. Add a splash of water. Stir the chocolate pieces until you get a smooth, melted consistency.
  3. Line the baking tray with the grease-proof paper.
  4. Mix the cricket protein powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder together in a bowl.
  5. Gently combine the melted dark chocolate with the agave syrup so that it creates a smooth and even paste.
  6. Break the egg into a bowl and whisk. Combine with the mayonnaise and then stir. Add the mixture to the chocolate and agave syrup paste. Mix well.
  7. Sift the cricket flour and cocoa powder mix over the egg and mayonnaise mix. Fold the two parts together. The texture should be smooth.
  8. Pour the brownie mixture into the baking tray and place in the preheated oven. Bake for around 30 minutes.
  9. Take the baking tray out of the oven and leave the brownie slab to cool. Take a large knife and cut into ten separate pieces.

3. No Bake Cricket Protein Balls

close up of protein oat balls in a blue dish

Believe the hype – protein balls are serious business these days. You will find these snacks in most health food stores and even supermarkets around the country. There’s just one problem. They tend to be extremely expensive. If you want to save yourself some money, you can make a batch instead. What’s more, once you’ve made the balls, you can even freeze them, which means that they keep for months at a time.

Make Time: 10 minutes  |  Cool Time: 30 minutes  |  Serving Size: 15  |  Calories Per Serving: 92 kcal

Tools/equipment: Large bowl, large spoon, baking tray

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of cricket protein powder
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • ½ cup of cashew butter
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp of honey
  • ½ cup of raisins
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Put the cricket protein powder, rolled oats, cashew butter, honey, and vanilla extract into a large bowl. Mix to combine the ingredients.
  2. Add the raisins while stirring so that they are sprinkled throughout the mixture.
  3. Pour a little water into the mixture and stir some more. You should have a smooth, paste-like consistency.
  4. Take a small portion of the mix and roll it in your hands to create a ball. Repeat this action 15 times (or more depending on how small the balls are!).
  5. Place the balls on a baking tray and put it in the fridge. Leave for around 30 minutes (or even overnight) before eating.

These protein-packed balls make perfect post-workout snacks and you can carry them around with you easily. Just put them in some foil and pop them in your gym bag. Reaching for a delicious and satisfying cricket flour snack after you’ve hit the treadmill is nothing short of a real treat.

How to make protein bars with cricket flour

Conclusion

So, there you have it! When it comes to how to make protein bars that taste as good as they look, you don’t need to over-complicate things. Following the recipe here should help you to master the art in no time at all. Plus, as an added bonus, you may also want to try some of our innovative high protein recipes as well, all of which include cricket flour. Why not put on your chef’s hat and get started today? You might discover a secret talent.

References

  • [1] https://news.rutgers.edu/eating-insects-might-seem-yucky-they-are-nutritious/20180123#.W6D1Hi2ZPLa
  • [2] https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/protein.html
  • [3] https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/protein.html
  • [4] http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3253e/i3253e06.pdf
  • [5] https://www.endocrinology.org/press/press-releases/researchers-may-have-found-how-high-protein-diets-cause-weight-loss
  • [6] https://news.rutgers.edu/eating-insects-might-seem-yucky-they-are-nutritious/20180123#.W6D1Hi2ZPLa
  • [7] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamin-b12-or-folate-deficiency-anaemia/
  • [8] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamin-b12-or-folate-deficiency-anaemia/
  • [9] http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3253e/i3253e06.pdf
  • [10] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352364616300013

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