As any college student would know, the week of finals is the most stressful part of the semester. When I hit hour ten at the library, I was as “hangry” as can be and yearned for my mom’s homemade meals and cuddling up in my fluffy, cozy bed. After all, I’ve been living off only coffee and a few hours of sleep. I looked forward to coming back to the suburbs of Chicago and relaxing, eating, and a little more relaxing.
I finished this CRAZY week and drove home, dropped off my three duffle bags in my room ( I’m infamous for overpacking ), and immediately dove into the pantry. Like… full on head first into the pantry. A gal has got to eat! The first think I noticed in the pantry was a “cricket protein bar”.
Is this some new empty nest thing my parents are trying? Maybe they want to feed their three birds crickets when coming home for the holidays? ( lol ) However, I was very impressed that my parents would become part of this new ~hip~ food trend.
After peeking at the package, I decided to do some investigation. Often, protein like whey, casein, soy, and hemp are found in protein bars and shakes. There must be some reason to use crickets as a source of protein…
Here is what I found:
These bars have more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk, DOUBLE the protein of beef, 9 x more omega’s than wild salmon, and more B12 than salmon!! In my nutritional science class, we learned that iron is important for oxygen transportation, calcium is needed for bone and teeth health, omegas are essential for cell function, and B12 is necessary for DNA synthesis and is needed for proper neurological formation and red blood cell formation. When choosing a protein, look for sources that provide more than just protein. Micronutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamin B12 are very important for regulation of growth and development.
Cricket bars are also great for maintaining blood sugar. One of the many functions of protein is just that – to balance blood sugar. These bars will help bring back your blood sugar to normal levels when you are getting #HANGRY!
Along with micronutrients, I learned the 10% rule this semester – that tuition is going somewhere! The 10% rule is illustrated in a pyramid. This pyramid shows the amount of energy an organism receives from their source of food. The plants receive 1% of the sun’s energy and every level above the plants (ex. crickets, mice, snakes, eagle…) receive 10% of the plants or previous level’s energy. The other ninety percent of energy goes off as heat. SO, basically it means that the energy system is EXTREMELY inefficient. The higher up the food chain, the more energy “wasted” or given off as heat.
Crickets are a more sustainable source of energy compared to beef because they are lower on the pyramid, having less energy “waste”. In addition, they use less resources to acquire energy. They use 2,000x less water, consume 12x less mass, require 2,000x less land, and emit 100x less greenhouse gases compared to beef.
After learning about these bars, I though that I should try them out.These bars contain dates so they remind me of a Lara Bar ( but lower in calories and with protein ) and the texture resembles a chewy brownie. I noted that there was no taste of cricket.
*sigh of relief*
Also, I found that cricket bars are much cheaper on amazon than any other place.
I was surprised that I enjoyed this flavor! I LOVE ginger. Whenever I get sushi, I always ask for extra and eat it alone. I didn’t expect to enjoy ginger in a bar. The taste is subtle and goes very well with the coconut and lime.
I enjoyed the tartness of the goji in this bar and noted that this bar had the least amount of sugar! I am sick of super sugary bars and this one has the perfect mix of savory and sweet.
I brought a few of the Aztec Bars on my trip to Punta Cana! I enjoyed the cayenne’s heat with the sweet chocolate :P. The cayenne comes out as a faint aftertaste. This is also my mom’s favorite bar.
TBH you can never go wrong with the chocolate- peanut butter combo. Hands down my favorite flavor!!
This “green”, nutritious, and tasty cricket bars definitely get my stamp of approval. What do you think?!
PS. If you’re trying to avoid the New Year’s crowd at the gym and run outside, checkout my most recent blog post for the Sweat Scene by clicking HERE! I wrote some tips for keeping warm in the cold winter weather.