Crickets for the Gluten-Free

In addition to to being a primary source of protein for athletes, women who are pregnant, those looking to loose weight and be an ally for the environment, crickets are also here to help individuals with gluten intolerance.

Gluten is a protein found in carbohydrate-rich foods, such as bread, crackers, and pasta. Those with a gluten sensitivity, also known as Celiac Disease–which affects the absorption of nutrients–exhibit symptoms like gas, bloating and fatigue when consuming gluten. However, those who do not test positive for Celiac Disease, but who are still sensitive to gluten, can still have very real, very healthy symptoms associated with eating gluten. The difference is, unlike Celiac Disease, gluten sensitivity alone doesn’t damage the intestine.

But it can damage your overall health and wellbeing. No one enjoys being groggy and stuck in bed because they had a muffin. The problem is, while cutting out gluten helps with eliminating these symptoms as well as access weight, those on gluten-free diets often miss out on crucial vitamins and minerals–such as fiber–which are usually found in grains. Being gluten-free myself and knowing how difficult it is to find gluten-free solutions that also offer rich health rewards, my mission for Harmony is to produce gluten-free, nut-free foods powered with nutrient-packed cricket protein.

Crickets are a “complete protein,” containing everything from vitamins like B12 and micronutrients–iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus–to essential amino acids like BCAAs, essential for muscle health and growth. Crickets, which contain more iron than either spinach or beef, also have an amazing ability to turn more of their own diet into helpful proteins, without all the added fats. So incorporating cricket flour into your gluten-free diet, rather than that of rice flour, give you the assurance you’re health-conscious efforts are met with ample rewards.

In a recent study, a research team affiliate with the Interdepartmental Centre of Agri-Food Industrial Research fermented doughs using different methods, pH, microbial growth, volatile compounds, protein profile, and antioxidant activity, before and after baking. They then assessed the results against standard gluten-free doughs and found that the fermentation processes for standard sourdoughs was similar to that of cricket-enriched doughs.

In addition, bread made with cricket flour had a typical bread flavor profile, “marked by a unique aroma that is the result of different levels of volatile compounds, including various amounts of nonanoic acid, 2,4-nonadienal (E,E), 1-hexanol, 1-heptanol, and 3-octen-2-one, depending how the dough was prepared.” The team also found that antioxidant activities were much higher in breads made with cricket flour, suggesting, in their words, “that cricket powder offers gluten-free bakers a way to create flour that is high in protein and antioxidants, and yields high-quality baked products with a desirable aroma.”

Ready to give crickets a try? Check out our online store to purchase our cricket flour and visit our other blog post to find recipes and how to cook with cricket flour. Happy gluten-free baking!

xo

Le Cricket Queen

Health benefits and facts found through WebMD, Krecafood.com and Celiac.com.

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