Cricket Flour graphicYep, cricket flour. All the rage in Paleo circles, it is also one of my favorite—though admittedly surprising—add-ins to many of my recipes for baked goods.

But, seriously, bugs?

Yep, bugs. Because it turns out that these particular bugs are loaded with huge amounts of vitamins, minerals and protein. 100 grams of crickets contains 121 calories, 12.9 grams of protein, and 75.8 milligrams of iron. And bugs are highly sustainable, unlike animal protein, which is decidedly not.  According to Daniella Martin, a blogger for Huffington Post and the host of Girl Meets Bug, for every 1 pound of beef there are “4 pounds of manure, 1000 pounds of contaminated water, 200 square feet of space used (2 acres per cow), 10 pounds of feed used, methane (20 times more potent than carbon dioxide), and the carbon released by 1 pound of gasoline.” that we don’t see. By contrast, to obtain 1 pound of insects, it takes “2 pounds of feed, 1 gallon of water, and 2 cubic feet of space.” Need more persuading? 100 pounds of feed produces 10 pounds of beef. The same amount of food would produce four times the amount of crickets.

For me, however, cricket flour helps to resolve an even more meaningful issue than sustainability, because it directly affects our children now. Specifically, consumption of too much animal protein creates an acidic gut environment, which is extremely inviting to candida, clostridia, and other pathogenic (read: BAD) bacteria. In my experience, for many children with autism, these “bad bugs” contribute to an overly toxic organic condition which adversely affects the brain, leading to aberrant behaviors. So I want to provide healthy and yummy and non-acidifying alternative protein sources to my children—and yours.

Which leads me to today’s recipe! Our current family favorite is the Breakfast Chirps recipe. To take it for a test drive, just click here. And if you’re interested in my other cricket recipes, such as my Chirpy Breakfast Blues (a new twist on Mama’s Blueberry Muffins!) or my Chirpy Cinnamon Muffins, simply send an email to susan@unlockyourchild.com.

I get my Cricket Flour here. I buy the gluten-free version. For more information about the nutrient content of the little chirps, click here.

Listen, if you can get beyond the “Ew Factor,” you’ll find yourself really enjoying this stuff. Plus, my kids love telling their friends and teachers they’re eating crickets, and yours might too! It’s like they’re on SurvivorMassive cred.

Have you tried Cricket Flour yet? If so, how was it? If not, what do you think of the idea? Please leave a comment below!

Some information for this posting came from Gillian Spence’s article,”Why We Need To Eat Bugs.” Click here for the full article.