You already eat bugs. You might not know you do, and you might not do it on purpose. But you do. They are in pretty much all prepared food, from peanut butter to juice. Plus, no matter how well you wash broccoli, there has to be the odd little critter left in there. Every broccoli floret is a labyrinthine bug prison. So why not eat them on purpose? It way less creepy to eat bugs on purpose than by accident, I promise. Plus insects are arthropods, like shrimp and lobster. Tasty, nutritious landshrimp. They are so closely related that if you have a shellfish allergy, you are likely allergic to crickets, so watch out.
Once you're on board with insect eating, the possibilities of incorporating them into all kinds of foods really exciting. Cricket powder can be used in the same way you would use a protein powder, in smoothies or sprinkled on yogurt. But you can also use it to increase the nutritional value of all sorts of things, cookies, hummus, banana bread, granola bars, muffins, falafel - just about anything that you make from a batter or a dough could get a little protein boost from cricket powder. Here, I added cricket powder to cheesy, herby polenta fries. They turned out crispy and toothsome and they pair really well with a spicy-tangy dip.
herby cricket polenta fries:
Adapted from epicurious
1 1/2 cups polenta/ yellow cornmeal
4 cups water or broth
1 tsp salt
2 tbs butter
6 tbs cricket flour
2 tbs fresh chopped herbs: parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, any combination you like.
¾ cup grated parmesan
Line a quarter-bun sized sheet pan, or an 8” x 8” dish with parchment paper.
Combine water and polenta and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and cook, always stirring, for 15-20 minutes. The polenta should very thick and pull away slightly from the sides of the pan. Stir in all remaining ingredients and thoroughly mix until evenly distributed. Spread the polenta in prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Chilli in the fridge for at least one hour.
Heat oven to 400. Carefully slide the polenta out the pan using the parchment paper. Slice polenta into ¾ inch batons. Transfer onto a vegetable oil drizzled baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the fries periodically to get them brown on all sides.
Serve hot with spicy aioli, a shake of salt and a sprinkle of parmesan if you like.
½ cup mayonnaise
3 tbs lemon juice
½ tsp crushed chili flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground black pepper
Stir all ingredients together until evenly combined.