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I know people eat insects as part of their diet, but I’m not one to put anything, even remotely, related to insects near my taste buds. Cricket powder, however, seems like a less intimidating way to consume (taste?) Crickets if you like. I did some research to find out what this powder is and how it compares to other protein powders that you have probably put in your post-workout smoothies. Oh, and I gave it a taste too.
What is cricket powder?
Cricket powder, also known as “cricket flour,” is made from ground crickets (whole crickets are dehydrated or freeze-dried and ground into flour). You can buy bags of pure cricket powder from brands like EXO, Entomo Farms, and Cricket Flour. Essentially, it’s simple to use – you can mix it into smoothies and shakes, mix it into soups, and bake with it (you can claim to make really good gluten-free bread with the powder). According to cricketflours.com, the possibilities are endless.
And, besides coming in a powder form, you can also buy protein bars that contain cricket powder. Note: My editor wasn’t a fan of a bar she’s tried in the past, and dietitian Jenna Werner wasn’t a fan either (she said it had a texture she didn’t mind. not). You can also read our editors’ reviews of a specific brand of Cricket Protein Bars. Werner told POPSUGAR to keep in mind that cricket flour is not considered vegetarian or vegan; it is an animal protein.
What are the benefits of cricket powder?
The fact that crickets are ground whole means that they retain their full nutritional profile, which contains protein, fiber, and amino acids. The fiber comes from the exoskeleton of crickets in the form of chitin, and it is touted as a good prebiotic for gut health. Werner said that cricket powder naturally also contains a variety of nutrients such as B12, calcium, iron, magnesium, fatty acids, and potassium.
Werner pointed out that it may have fewer grams of protein per serving than whey or vegetable protein – EXO’s protein powder has six grams per two-tbsp serving and Entomo’s has 13 grams. per two tablespoon serving, while PlantFusion herbal powder sitting on my kitchen counter has 21 grams per one scoop serving and Klean Whey Protein Isolate has 20 grams per one serving. spoon. That being said, the protein found in cricket powder is still “a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids, which is an advantage over some plant alternatives which contain mixtures in order to be complete,” he said. -she explains. (Whey is also considered a complete protein.)
Toronto-based dietitian Aja Gyimah said cricket powder has a lower amino acid score than whey protein isolate. (The Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score, or PDCAAS, is the method of measuring a protein’s value for human nutrition.) “The highest quality protein foods have an acid score. amines of 1.0, ”she explained, indicating that the crickets have a score of 0.91. Whey has a score of 1.0.
On top of all this, Bansari Acharya, RDN, told POPSUGAR that one of the biggest benefits of cricket powder is its durability. “Compared to livestock and other livestock, crickets need much less water and land and therefore emit less greenhouse gases,” she said. “In addition, they need less food to survive, which also benefits the environment. The overall cost of raising crickets and other insects is also much lower than raising cattle, which further reduces the financial impact of animal husbandry. “
What is Hi! Powder taste like?
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sam Brodsky
EXO describes the taste as “a light malt flavor with hints of raw cocoa”. The brand’s powder has no flavor (only one ingredient is listed: crickets). An Amazon user commented on the pure cricket powder from a different brand saying they could taste a slightly nutty and sweet (sweet ?!) flavor. Another said there was a hint of dried shrimp, and someone else commented that it “tastes better than global warming” – they’re right.
The Hi brand! sent me packets of his powder, and he currently sells two flavors: chocolate and vanilla. The powders contain a mixture of peas, brown rice, pumpkin, and locust. Both flavors contain over 20 grams of protein per serving, or a whole packet (37-38 grams of powder). There was a lingering grassy aroma with, I swear, a touch of the food I used to feed my fish as I grew up (oh, the memories …).
I made a shake with the chocolate powder with banana, peanut butter, almond milk and spinach, as well as a smoothie, see below, with the vanilla powder and frozen bananas , strawberries and peaches. I wasn’t a fan of either because all I could really taste was an artificial sweetener – the powders contain stevia and monk fruit extract.
My cat (she’s been more of a kitten since entering her toddler phase) sniffed my vanilla powder smoothie as I took pictures. After looking into the glass for a few seconds, she sneezed lightly, then sat down with her back to the smoothie. I’m not quite sure that means anything, but it’s fair to say that she wasn’t a fan either.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sam Brodsky
For what it’s worth, a reporter from The cup tried flavorless cricket powder – which seems more likely to mix well in smoothies – and baked cookies which she and her colleagues said tasted completely normal. It’s also important to note that Werner recommended looking for proteins with NSF or third-party certification “to make sure what’s on the package is in the product” (Hi! Had NSF certification). My advice to you is not to taste if you want to test cricket powder and put on your baking hat. I think I have had enough crickets yet, but I might could) try cookies in the future.