Inside: Want to be an adventurous traveler and eat the authentic local cuisine? Here’s the approach I take to prepare my palette for new travel. Many thanks to Aketta for sponsoring this post and hooking me on eating bugs.
I want to be the type of traveler who is open to eating local cuisine wherever I travel. I do. When in Rome … right?!?
Not so fast…hold up…slow down…my next adventure is to the Philippines where they eat bugs! Yep, bugs! Let that sink in. Ok, let me take a crack at your next thoughts. What kinds of bugs? Whole bugs? Cooked? Is chocolate involved? And last but not least….WHY?
Why are people in the Philippines eating bugs?
Well, and this is pretty ingenious, they eat bugs to control the population of bugs that are harmful to their crops. I was floored when I read this. Turns out Filipino people are a practical bunch. In Batangas, Philippines the have an annual bug festival to help eradicate the June bugs so they don’t destroy the crops.
Crickets and June Bugs and Ants, oh my!
The type of bug that is most popular depends on the season and what is eating the crops. The farmers attract the bugs with lights at night and capture them. June beetles, crickets, and grasshoppers are some of the bugs on the menu in the Philippines.
How am I going to start eating bugs?
As luck would have it, I got an opportunity to eat crickets at a blogging conference in New York this summer. The folks from Aketta, shared some samples trail mix with roasted crickets so I politely tried one. Surprise! I was eating bugs and liking it!
I also learned that they make cricket flour. Cricket flour, just like crickets, is packed with protein, calcium, and iron. Cricket flour can be added to all sorts of recipes to pump up the protein. Aketta has lots of recipes on their site using both whole crickets and cricket flour.
So to start eating bugs I recommend two things. First, just do it. Eat a bug. Just one. You might be surprised. Second, make a recipe that disguises the bugs. I decided to make banana nut bread with cricket flour. You will never guess how good it was! Or what else I made.
Banana Nut Bug Bread Recipe
3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
1 c. sugar
1/2 c applesauce
1 Tbsp vanilla2 c. flour
1/2 c Aketta Cricket flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c .walnuts, chopped (optonal)
1/2 c. whole crickets, chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Mix first 5 ingredients together. Add the flour, Aketta Cricket flour , salt, baking powder and spices. Mix well. If you want to add nuts or chopped crickets, add them in last. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake for 45 min to 1 hour. Note: test the center of the bread with a toothpick, when done the toothpick should come out clean.
This bread was the BEST banana nut bread I have ever had. No one would ever guess that I used cricket flour because crickets have a naturally nutty taste.
Banana Nut Bug Bread French Toast
Making Banana Nut Bug French Toast is how I got my kids eating bugs too! I don’t know about your kiddos but mine are willing to try anything smothered in syrup. (Hint: leave out the cricket garnish if you have picky eaters.)
Make the egg dip for french toast the way you normally do. Slice your banana bread (thick slices are easier to flip) and then dip it in the egg mix. Cook it on the griddle until brown on the outside. Serve with butter and syrup.
If you want to be fancy, sprinkle your french toast with whole crickets. The crunchy texture and nutty flavor was a delicious addition to the french toast.
Now it is your turn to start eating bugs!
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