Today we’re talking about one of the more exotic alternatives to traditional flour: cricket flour!
Eating insects may seem unconventional, but it’s actually a common practice in many other parts of the world and has been gaining attention as a sustainable protein source for a growing population.
In this article, we’ll dive into what cricket flour is, its nutritional benefits, and how it can be used in a variety of recipes!
What is cricket flour?
Cricket flour (cricket powder) is made by grinding roasted crickets into a fine powder.
The crickets are typically farmed specifically for human consumption. First, the crickets are cleaned and then roasted. The roasted crickets are then milled into a fine powder. The powder is typically sifted to remove any large particles and then packaged for sale.
Some cricket flours are all-purpose flour mixed with a percentage of cricket flour/powder for added protein. For the purposes of this article, we are talking about pure 100% cricket flour, which is typically used to replace a small percentage of regular flour in baking.
What’s the difference between cricket flour and regular flour?
Cricket flour is made from ground-up crickets and nothing else, while regular flour is made from ground wheat and often has added ingredients.
The main difference between the two is their nutritional profile. Cricket flour is very high in protein, containing around 60-70% protein by weight, while regular flour contains around 10-15% protein and is higher in carbohydrates. If you’re interested, here is the full breakdown of the differences between cricket flour and all-purpose flour.
Benefits of cricket flour
Okay, so get this: cricket flour is actually really good for you!
Crickets are a “complete protein” because they contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs from your diet. Not only is cricket flour packed with protein, but it’s also higher in fiber and beneficial nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamin B12 compared to regular flour.
Crickets are also completely paleo-friendly and eco-friendly! Crickets are super sustainable to farm, requiring way less water and land than traditional livestock. So by eating cricket flour, you’re doing your part to help the planet.
And lastly, for all the foodies out there, cricket flour has a slightly nutty flavor and can add a crunchy texture to all kinds of recipes!
Cricket flour nutrition facts
|Flour (¼ cup)
How to bake and cook with cricket flour
When baking with cricket flour, it’s best to start with recipes that call for whole grain flours, since the nutty flavor of cricket flour can complement those kinds of flavors. You can use it in cookies, breads, muffins, and even pancakes! Use ⅓ of cricket flour in place of all-purpose flour, since cricket flour has a distinct flavor and texture.
Texture-wise, cricket flour is much denser and heavier than regular flour. It has a slightly grainy texture that is best used in dense bread or protein bars. You can even add cricket flour to your smoothies to boost your protein and nutrient intake!
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also use cricket flour in savory dishes. Try using it to bread chicken or fish, or mix it with other flours to make a pizza crust or pasta dough.
Popular cricket flour baked goods and dishes
Try cricket flour in the following:
- Pizza crust
- Breading for chicken or fish
- High-protein smoothies
- Energy bars
- Chips or other crunchy snacks
How to make cricket flour at home
Making cricket flour at home is pretty straightforward. Make sure to use crickets from a cricket farm for human consumption.
- Rinse crickets with water then dry and spread them out on a baking sheet.
- Bake the crickets in the oven until they are dry and crispy, then allow them to cool completely.
- Once the crickets are cool, transfer them to a blender or food processor and pulse until they are ground into a fine powder.
- Sift the ground crickets through a fine mesh sieve to remove any larger pieces that didn’t get ground up.
Now comes the important part, how to store your cricket flour…
How to store cricket flour
The most important thing is to keep cricket flour in a cool, dry place to help prevent it from going bad. Cricket flour can last anywhere from 7-18 months.
Keep store-bought cricket flour in its original packaging until you’re ready to use it. Once open, transfer it to an airtight container or bag, and make sure to seal it tightly after each use to keep moisture out.
Store homemade cricket flour in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, just like you would with store-bought cricket flour. Make sure to label the container with the date you made the flour, so you can keep track of how long it’s been sitting around.
If you want to keep your cricket flour fresh for as long as possible, it’s best to put it in the refrigerator or freezer.
What are the best substitutes for cricket flour?
The best substitute for cricket flour is hemp flour or hemp protein powder, which is also a complete protein that’s often added to replace a small amount of all-purpose flour. And the good news is that it’s just as healthy!
I know that cricket flour isn’t always easy to find, so flaxseed flour may be your best bet if you want something that’s more common and easier on your budget.
Cricket flour is made from 100% milled crickets, which are dried and then ground into a fine powder.
Another name for cricket flour is “cricket powder” or “insect flour,” but this can be made from various types of insects, not just crickets.
Cricket flour has a slightly nutty or earthy taste that some people find enjoyable, while others may find it bitter.