Have you eaten bugs?
Now before you get grossed out, it might be interesting to know that well over 2 Billion people on the planet eat bugs regularly. For some, it’s even a delicacy. There are over 1,900 species consumed regularly, the most popular being beetles, caterpillars, wasps and ants. Hungry yet?
Though the nutritional benefits of insects vary depending upon the species, bugs are made up of a lot of great things and can provide a good deal of energy and protein. Insects are also high in both mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids and a whole host of micronutrients including riboflavin, folic acid, manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, and selenium.
To be honest most of my hesitation when it comes to consuming creepy, crawlies is the "ick factor", but if two billion people can do it everyday, then I can make baby-steps. My first baby step is baking with cricket flour!
This one small decision to willingly (and surprisingly enjoy) eating bugs [entomophagy], turns out to have a great deal of environmental benefits as well.
By the year 2050 our population is expected to hit 9 Billion which means our food supply will have to almost double. How do we begin to feed that many people?
The answer might be right under our feet. Those creepy little insects are rockstars in our environment. They pollinate our plants, create more fertile soils, and while some see them as pests, bugs actually help to control the pest population. Not only that, but they provide us with products many people use all the time including honey, silk and medicinal therapies to name just a few. Now these bugs can do us one better by satisfying our the growing demand for protein.
I tested my first "bug experience" with what are now my favorite cookies. I keep them in the fridge for a healthy and protein rich snack option.
Move over girl scouts, I've got a new kind of Thin Mint Cookie for you, complete with cricket protein!
Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies
- 1/3 cup Cricket flour (substitute hemp flour or almond meal)
- 2/3 cup almond meal (substitute tigernut flour)
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
- pinch of pink himalayan salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons coconut butter (substitute almond flour)
- 1/4 teaspoon uncut organic stevia
- 1 teaspoon peppermint oil
- Chocolate cookie Coat - your favorite chocolate bar; melted. (I pick up my favorite at Trader Joe's)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put all of your ingredients in a food processor and process. When the batter is smooth and well combined (it will be thick), spread between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out so that your dough is about 1/4" thick.
Place dough in the freezer for 8-10 minutes.
Next, remove the dough from the refrigerator but be very careful because the dough will be fragile. Remove the parchment paper and carefully cut the dough into whatever cookie shapes you wish. I went with the classic Girl Scout Thin Mint look… round. [PS- if you stopped right here, the chocolatey bites are still super yummy!].
When you’ve finished cutting your cookies, spread them across a parchment lined baking sheet. Again being very careful. Bake cookies for approximately 7 minutes. When finished baking, remove the cookies from the oven to cool.
When they've cooled, very carefully, dip the cookies in melted chocolate bar. When the cookies have a nice chocolate coating, place them back in the freezer to allow the chocolate to harden.
Alright, the long wait is over! The cookies are finished and you should enjoy to your heart’s content.
These cookies, like the real thin mints, are best kept in the freezer!