There are many things that those who follow a gluten-free diet must avoid, but cricket flour is not one of them. Cricket flour is gluten-free and exactly what you think it is…flour made from ground crickets. Why crickets? Read on…
Insects are exceptionally nutritious. They are high in protein and low in saturated fats and sugars. They are a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids, and are also high in micronutrients such as iron, calcium and B-vitamins. Crickets, for example, contain substantially more iron than beef.
Insects have marginal environmental impact. They produce virtually no methane, reproduce extremely quickly, and require minimal feed, water and space.It is estimated that crickets are 20x more efficient to raise for protein than cattle.
Exo created three different protein bars that contain roughly 40 crickets per bar. At first thought, this creeped me right the heck out, but I kept an open mind and read more about the process.
We work with a couple of domestic cricket farms to change their traditional rearing practices for human consumption. Our crickets are raised in specially designated areas and are currently fed a Certified Organic grain-based diet. We are constantly focused on optimizing the feed and are experimenting with various options including organic matter like orange peels and cornhusks.
After cleaning the crickets, we dry them to remove the moisture and mill them into fine flour. The result is slightly nutty tasting flour that is high in protein and micronutrients.
My brain initially stopped at the word “crickets” and I didn’t even think about how they would be processed for consumption. I had visions of someone chasing crickets around in the woods and then immediately grinding them up into a bar. Obviously, that is not the case, just as we don’t eat other protein sources straight from the field or barnyard.
The different varieties of Exo bars are:
- Cashew Ginger
- PB & J
- Cacao Nut
Each bar contains 10 grams of protein and is free of soy, dairy and gluten. The Cashew Ginger and Cacao Nut are also free of grains, but the PB & J contains gluten-free oats. The bars can be purchased online. It is important to note that those with shellfish allergies may be allergic to crickets as well.
Would you consider trying Exo bars made with cricket flour? At first I thought that there was no way I would try them, but after reading through the website, I am game. Who knows…they may become my favorite protein bar!