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Crobar Cricket Flour Carrot Cupcakes

 

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A few months ago myself and most of the UK were totally addicted to the reality TV show I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, where the celebrities were put through some rather hair raising challenges testing both their physical and mental strength.  They really ended up to doing some pretty nasty stuff, and don’t get me started on all the snakes!!  Anyway, one of the challenges they were faced with was eating bugs, and we all sat glued to our TV’s while they blocked their noses then practically swallowed the wriggling buggers whole.  Okay, so granted the insects were alive, which did not help the squirm factor, but still BUGS…eeeww!  

This was only a few months ago, yet here I find myself testing and baking with cricket flour for the folks over at Gathr Foods who produce Crobar cricket flour and Crobar cacao or peanut bars for quick and tasty on-the-go snacks.

Food-grade insects, are grown in a controlled farmed environment and are totally safe for human consumption, during my research today, I found this fascinating article on the cricket farming industry .  

Cricket flour is fast becoming the new paleo superfood for a number of reasons.  Here are some interesting facts taken from Gathr Foods Website about insects

ENVIRONMENT & SUSTAINABILITY

In 2013, The Food & Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations released report, urging people to start intensive farming of insects to feed our growing global population. In fact, the European Union is investing more than $4 million to research the use of insects as a protein source for humans. Because crickets are cold- blooded and more efficient at keeping themselves warm than e.g. cattle, they require 12 x less food. They also require less land, as they actually prefer to be confined to smaller spaces. Insects can furthermore live on organic side- streams, to help reduce environmental waste.

HEALTH

– As high or higher in protein compared to beef (68- 78 g per 100 gram)
– Contain all 9 essential amino acids
– 3 x more iron, 5 x more magnesium and 2 x more zinc than beef
– High levels of Vitamin B12, which is not obtainable from plants

Part of the reason for the higher micronutrient content of insects compared to meat, is that they are eaten whole, including muscle tissues, exo skeleton etc.

INSECTS ARE LESS LIKELY TO INFECT HUMANS WITH DISEASES

Insects are less likely to pass on diseases like the H1N1 virus and mad cow disease, according to the UN report. Farming insects could also mean not having to use too many pesticides, as the insects could be organically grown.

HELP IN THE FIGHT AGAINST OBESITY

Insects contain more healthy fats than meat, and according to the UN could help slow down the worldwide obesity epidemic. In 2014, more than 1.9 billion were overweight, and out of these, more than a third would be classified as obese. If we can get insect production up to a large scale, they would be cheaper to produce than meat, and people from low- middle income families would furthermore have access to an alternative protein source.

PERCEPTIONS CHANGE OVER TIME

Food trends develop and change, and in the case of eating insects, there are major health, environmental and societal benefits to be obtained. When sushi was introduced in the West 30 years ago, most people were not excited with the idea of eating raw fish. Re- branding and re- packaging can help overcome initial hesitation, and if the product genuinely tastes good, most people will go back for more.

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Crobar cricket flour was a perfect addition to this recipe, as it has a deliciously nutty flavour and adds a lovely rich dark colour, and not in the slightest bit “insect-ty” .  Whilst cricket flour is a rather dry and absorbent flour, it is not as extreme as coconut flour, and can be used as a great protein substitute for many recipes.

 

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Marinading the carrots happened totally by mistake, but turned into a good mistake.  I started to work on the recipe and got to the point where I was going to combine the wet and dry ingredients together, when I received a phone call to fetch my daughter from a friends home which is an hour round trip.  So, I stirred up the mixture and popped it into the fridge whilst I nipped out, then continued when I was back home.  It turned out to be a great way to combine the flavours and softened the carrots at the same time.

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In a bowl, combine the carrots, dates, orange zest and juice, vanilla and maple syrup, stir then cover and leave to marinade in the fridge for at least an hour.

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Whisk up the egg, coconut oil (making certain it is not too hot as it will cook the eggs) and apple cider vinegar.

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Add the carrots and juices to the egg mixture and mix well.

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Gently stir in the almond flour, cricket flour, bicarb and spices, making sure not to over stir, otherwise the almonds release oils and the mixture become very tacky and won’t rise.

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Spoon the batter into cupcake or muffin cases and bake for about 25min or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Top with cream cheese icing if you are dairy tolerant, or alternatively make up a dairy free icing using coconut cream.

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Cricket Flour Carrot Cupcakes
Yields 6
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup grated carrot
  2. 6 medjool dates (chopped)
  3. zest of 1 orange
  4. 1 Tbsp orange juice
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  7. 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1/3 cup coconut oil (runny NOT hot)
  10. 1 1/4 cup almond flour
  11. 2 Tbsp Crobar cricket flour *
  12. 1 tsp cinnamon
  13. 1/2 tsp ginger
  14. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  15. 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Instructions
  1. Mix together and marinade the carrot, dates, orange zest and juice, vanilla extract and maple syrup for 1 hour, may can be longer (pop it in the fridge).
  2. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  3. Whip together the eggs, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil.
  4. Stir in the marinaded carrot and juices.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Add the almond flour, cricket flour, spices and bicarb and ever so gently stir them (be very careful not to over stir as it will release the oils from the almonds and become tacky)
  7. Spoon into 6 muffin cases.
  8. Bake for 25 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely
Notes
  1. For the Icing
  2. 1 tub Philadelphia cream cheese (room temp) OR 1 tin of chilled coconut cream
  3. 3 tsp raw honey
  4. juice of 1 lemon
  5. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. Combine all the ingredients together, then using an electric whisk, whisk it at high speed. Spread evenly over the cupcakes, top with berries and sprinkle with a dusting of cinnamon.
  7. *If you don't have cricket flour, substitute with coconut flour
Eighty 20 Nutrition http://eighty20nutrition.com/

 

 

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