Cricket & Oat Power Bar

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I know… I know… you love your cricket power bars, but despise the heavy price tag. Constantly having to hold back your insect cravings and wishing their was a way to just make your own so you could spend everyday snacking on these delectable treats.

The above statement doesn’t resonate with you?
Well then you obviously have not experienced the robust flavors and cricket packed protein punch of Chapul Bars!

Alright fine I admit it: insect protein based bars may not be as popular as I like to pretend, but there is a very good reason that they should be! Insects are packed full of protein, vitamins, and minerals making them the ultimate power snack.

Most importantly though, insects are extremely energy and resource efficient to produce. If you want to read up on it The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nation’s released a report that goes into the details discussing the  valuable role that insects may play in trying to meet the future food demands of the ever rising global population.

Basically the reason that insects as a food source has such great potential is because they are extremely efficient energy converters. I won’t get into the details of it, but here is some food for thought…

With insects it takes roughly 2 pounds of feed to create 1 pound of usable meat. With cattle it takes roughly 25 pounds of feed to create 1 pound of usable meat.

Compared to other forms of livestock insects also require very little space, create minute amounts of greenhouse gasses, and use a fraction of the water.

Point being, insects may be the food of the future.

Although, depending on how you look at it, they are also the food of the present. Since the majority of the world already eats insects on a daily basis…

…including you!

The current FDA Food Defect Action Levels states that on average there is 150 or more insect fragments per 100 grams of wheat flour.

So… since we all eat insects everyday anyway. We might as well celebrate it by making our own cricket power bars!


Spicy Honey BBQ
Cricket Power Bars

cricket bar square

When it comes to making granola and power bars I have started to lean in the direction of savory over sweet. I use to just add a potent concoction of all my favorite sweet spices and stir in honey with raisins, but I don’t like how much sugar ends up having to be added to get a good taste. Which is why I have begun experimenting with other flavor combinations, such as…

Ingredients:

The Base
– Oats
– Buckwheat
– Chia and sunflower seeds
– Cricket flour
Any combination of nuts, seeds, insect flour, and grains would work

Honey BBQ
– Canned tomato sauce
– Molasses
– Honey
– Ground mustard seed- or regular mustard
– Liquid smoke
– Ground fresh ginger
Chili powder
– Cayenne pepper
– Salt & pepper

Extra Power Kick!
– Maca powder-it is a power bar after all!


Step by step

1. Soak raw oats and buckwheat groats for 3-4 days
Do this At room temperature covered with a breathable material to keep bugs out- which is ironic because were going to be adding bugs in later…
Why do I soak them?

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2. Soak sunflower and chia seeds overnight
Why are we soaking them?

3. Add soaked oat-buckwheat mix, seeds, and cricket flour to a large pot and cook
On low heat, stirring continuously to prevent sticking- add water as needed

4. Stir in the good stuff:
– Canned tomato sauce
– Molasses
– Honey
– Ground mustard seed- or regular mustard
– Liquid smoke
– Ground fresh ginger
Chili powder
– Cayenne pepper
– Salt & pepper
– Maca powder

Specific ratios depend on quantity and taste preference… I use the guess and check method

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5. Continue to stir and cook for 10 minutes-ish
You want it to be thick

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6. Let mixture cool slightly, then pour onto dehydrator trays

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8. After a couple hours–but while still moist–use scissors to cut into desired shapes
Continue to dry until preferred texture is reached

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9. Eat!

If you don’t smash your whole batch in one sitting you can store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge

cricket bar square


Get creative

Consider this type of recipe as more a source of inspiration, and not as a strict step by step guide. Yes, the above mentioned combination of ingredients is awesome, but an infinite amount of variations could be even better, so experiment!


FAQ

What if I don’t have a dehydrator?

Technically you could use an oven set at it’s lowest temperature or even cracking the door open. However, I would highly recommend investing in your own dehydrator. This is the version I use, but there are much cheaper options available at Wal-mart. Plus they pay themselves back very quickly… Just imagine how much money you can save not having to buy your own beef jerky, kale chips, and cricket bars!

Why Maca powder?

Presumably it is a super food that boasts all sorts of health benefits, however, to be fair most of the information I’ve seen on it is from companies who are trying to sell me it. With that being said, I eat it sparingly and never raw.

My bars are too dry, now what?

No problem! If I accidentally let these types of bars  get to dry I just dry them completely and break them up into small pieces which make a great crunchy snack. Normally I would put these on yogurt, but the savory granola doesn’t work great for that.

2 Comments on Cricket & Oat Power Bar

  1. My kids eat crickets (keeps them busy outside hunting them down…;) and we have been frying or air popping them for years! But, you can’t tell people that because they still look at you really funny for eating bugs, despite data that the US is like the only country that doesn’t use these nutritional powerhouses! Great recipe!!

  2. Haha! That is awesome!

    You are absolutely right, while the insect revolution is slowly gaining momentum, it is far from accepted in the states. Something to look forward to though!

    I actually have a podcast episode where I talk with Robert Allan who runs a non-profit dedicated to edible insect awareness!

    The episode is on iTunes and the website! http://thefoodflow.com/series/podcast/

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