If you’re not already eating insects, you’re doing 2016 wrong.
In a year that’s all about sustainable living, insects are the way forward. Long a favourite of the clever South and Central Americans, insects are super high in protein (the little guys can be up to 70% protein, a cow is more like 40%), minerals and vitamins. They’re also much better for the environment than other forms of protein. It takes 2,400 gallons of water and 13 pounds of grain to create one pound of beef but to get a pound of protein from crickets you’re looking at just one gallon of water.
But, like, isn’t eating insects like, kind of gross? Nah. By the time crickets get to you in flour form, that’s all they look like, flour. It’s pretty easy to forget that they were related to the wise cracking, high jumping, tux wearing little chaps who starred opposite Pinocchio in the 1940 Disney film of the same name.
So, what do you do with cricket flour? Well, anything really. I decided to make pancakes. Mainly because my boyfriend is really into pancakes atm; from banana to cauliflower batter, we’ve been around the grocery story and back on pancake adventures.
According to him, the cricket flour makes batter that’s thicker and coarser than what he’s used to working with so to counter this, it’s important to make the pancakes thin. Also, remember, because they’re packed with protein, they’re MUCH more filling that other pancakes you might be used to.
The flour we used was by Gathr who, really rather adorably, refer to the homes their crickets are raised in as ‘cricket condos’. At £7 a bag it might seem spenny but by our estimations, one 50g bag will make 10-15 pancakes and if you’re eating more than two then you’ll fall down from being too full.
Here’s two to make. One for the savoury ladies and one for the sweet tooths.
Cricket Flour Pancake
Ingredients for savoury
2 heaped tablespoons cricket flour
2 tablespoons soya milk.
Ingredients for sweet
1 + 1/2 bananas
2 tablespoons cricket flour
2 tablespoons soya milk
1. Whack all the ingredients in a blender. Give it a whiz until everything is liquid. This should be about 30 seconds.
2. Put some coconut oil in a frying pan of your choosing although any oil will do depending on how poncy you’re feeling, put on a medium heat.
3. Pour the ingredients into the pan, making sure the mixture spreads evenly to all sides.
4. Turn down the heat to a low as possible.
5. Find a pan lid that will cover the frying pan and place on top whilst cooking. This will help it cook from both sides to get a more solid pancake.
6. Once all the liquid has turned to solid and you can see the edges are starting to crisp, take the lid off and FLIP IT.
7. Let the underside cook for another minute or so with the lid off
8. Plate it up and cover with toppings (see below).
Cricket Flour Pancake Toppings
You can top your pancakes with whatever you want but if you need inspiration, this is just what we did. And it worked magnficently.
Toast some flaked almonds in the oven with olive oil and cracked pepper.
Make a salad dressing 2/3 balsamic to 1/3 fresh orange, pinch of salt, pepper.
Dice half a red onion and 1 beetroot.
Toss the spinach in the salad dressing with onion & beetroot and crumbled feta cheese.
Squeeze half a lemon over the pancake, add fresh fruit and honey.
BONUS TIP IF YOU’RE FEELING FANCY….
As it’s cooking in the pan and the top is still liquid…
Savoury: go crazy and try adding some black pepper to the top.
Sweet: sprinkle some flaked almonds/cinnamon to the top.