Cricket Flour: A Healthier High Protein Flour

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You may be creeped out by the thought of eating insects, but cricket flour is actually the new health food that can be conveniently hidden in delicious cupcakes. Cricket flour is quickly gaining popularity as a healthy protein source without the environmental, economic, and health concerns that come with meats.

I believe animal protein is a very important part of a healthy diet, and that grass-fed and pasture-raised meats are healthy foods. But if you struggle to get enough healthy proteins because they cost too much or you can’t always find a good local farmer, or you simply just want a break from meat for a little while, cricket protein is a good alternative.

What Is a Cricket?

A cricket is a grasshopper-like insect that is also known for its nighttime chirping.

The house cricket, or Acheta domestica, has its root in southeast Asia but has spread worldwide and made its home in North America. It is farmed in Thailand for human consumption because it has superior taste to other insect species.

Cricket Flour: The Eco-Friendly Protein Source

Even though grass-fed beef and poultry are relatively friendlier to the environment, per gram of protein, cricket flour still wins in many ways.

In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, compared to beef, crickets emit (source):

  • virtually no methane gas
  • 1% of carbon dioxide
  • a third of ammonia per kg of body weight per day

In addition, crickets grow about 20 times faster than cows, which means they require much less resources to grow. Crickets require less than half the farming area to generate the same amount of protein as do meats (source).

Are Insects Really Edible?

Insects have been part of the human diet for thousands of years, especially in hotter climates where bugs can be harvested year-round. Nowadays, over 80% of nations consume insects as part of their diets. In some cultures, it is considered a delicacy. (source)

While bugs have not become a staple in the Western diet, you likely have eaten some insects as the FDA allows for some insect parts in food products (source).

In 2013, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations proposed that insects are the food of the future because they require much less to grow that meat, yet pack the nutrient punch of meats. If you have eaten fruits, vegetables, and spices, you have definitely eaten insects.

What Is Cricket Flour?

Cricket flour is made by whole-milling cooked crickets that have been dried. It is a whole, unprocessed food and not an isolated protein source.

Cricket flour has a mild nutty taste that many people like. With 2/3 of the content being pure protein, many people use it as a protein powder. In addition, cricket flour can substitute for 25% of the flour content in any baking recipe to increase protein content.

Cricket Flour Nutrition

Per ounce (28.35 g), cricket flour contains:

  • 19.8 grams of protein, including 3.68 g of branched-chain amino acids
  • 2.4 grams of chitin (fiber)
  • 5.4 grams of fat
  • 272 micrograms of vitamin B12, or 113% daily value
  • 2% daily value each of iron and calcium

As a food source from animals, cricket flour is a good source of vitamin B12, B2, calcium, and iron. In addition, even though beef is a great source of iron and other minerals on its own, a study showed that the minerals from crickets are in fact more bio-available than minerals from beef (source).

Weight for weight, cricket flour has three times more protein than beef. The protein in cricket flour is high in branched-chain amino acids, which helps generate energy within the muscles and with muscle growth, so it makes a good post-workout protein source.

Because cricket flour is made from whole insects, it contains a type of fiber called chitin, which is usually found in the cricket’s hard shells (exoskeleton). The chitin might provide some of the binding effects which allow it to work well in baking ingredients. In addition, it may act like a normal dietary fiber, bulking up stools and feeding our good gut bacteria. The last, but not least, added benefit of chitin is that it also may also help prevent parasitic infection and some allergic conditions.

Safety Concerns with Eating Crickets?

Although crickets are safe to eat, you want to avoid catching and eating crickets that are found in the house, because you really don’t know what they eat or if they have been exposed to pesticides.

As with any new food source, you want to treat it with caution and slowly introduce it into your diet in gradual amounts. If you have an allergy to other insects, shellfish, or dust mites, it is possible that you could be allergic to crickets as well, so try it with caution.

The Cricket Flour I Use

Generally, cricket flours that are sold on the market are made from farmed crickets. Because cricket flour is a food product, cricket farming is subject to some regulations with respect to food production standards and cleanliness. However, since the practice of farming insects for human consumption is still relatively new, the laws governing cricket farms are still evolving, and most cricket farms are more hip startups than full fledged farms (source).

Because you are what you (or the bug you eat) eat, you want to make sure you get your cricket flour from reputable sources that feed the bugs well.

If you are on a gluten-free diet, the crickets will have to be fed gluten-free feed as well as certified gluten-free, and preferably fed a grain-free diet.

I personally use Thailand Unique cricket flour because it is 100% pure cricket, vegetable-fed, and grown on an FDA-certified farm. It tastes great and mixes well in recipes.

I am also a big fan of the Exo protein bar, which is one of the few nutrition bars that are 100% whole foods and tastes great without harmful or allergenic ingredients. It is available in both savory and sweet flavors, and the sweet ones are not too sweet.

Your turn! Ever tried crickets or cricket flour before? How about any other “bugs” or insects? If so, how did you like it? Share below!

Cricket flour is growing in popularity because of its high protein content an sustainable production... but would you eat cricket based foods?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


48 responses to “Cricket Flour: A Healthier High Protein Flour”

  1. Rus Avatar

    Please do some research into the bacterias and allergens in crickets and cricket flours.
    It would make a great article when folks start getting sick from eating a so-called health food like crickets.
    The other thing with this cricket flour is the hidden almost occult labelling of 5he foods that already contain it.
    When a choice is given fine eat your crickets , but, this one really looks like a push down ones throat.

    Eat the bugs!?!?!?
    But what about pathogens and allergies?????

  2. Selkaen Avatar

    Just I usually enjoy and try to follow your advice, this time I truly can’t. This isn’t rational but I can’t bring myself to eat bugs voluntarily and knowingly, though I know of their vantages. It probably has to do with my phobia of insects.

  3. Tovonia Avatar

    Hi WM,

    do you know it the crickets are fed soy? what other veggies are they fed?

  4. Ariel Avatar

    Got any recipes using cricket flour? Or tips for using it? Like subbing for regular/almond/coconut flours?

  5. Amelia Avatar

    This is very interesting… actually came across cricket protein the other day, so I’ve been trying to do some research on it. May just have to check it out!

  6. Heidi Avatar

    We tried the Exo protein bars. They were pretty good, except we bought ones on sale and I think they were about to expire. I’d like to try fresher ones. The cricket flour sounds like a great option for baking. Where do you order it from? It’s sold out on Amazon.

      1. Heidi Avatar

        Thanks! I see on Amazon that Thailand Unique changed their packaging, so it is labeled ecoEat. I am actually in Thailand at the moment, so I am going to order directly from the Thailand Unique website which also ships internationally.

  7. Katie Rojas Avatar
    Katie Rojas

    Oh yes! I’ve eaten crickets before. I cooked them and pulled the eins and legs ogf and then ate them. I’ve also eaten pizza with cooked crickets on top as the delicacy meat. They are very good and tasted a bit like chicken to me.

  8. Fiona S Avatar
    Fiona S

    When most people are deficient in magnesium why would anybody need to up their protein intake? Protein efficiently depletes magnesium as well as all synthetic ingredients incuding supplements and fermented denatured products. When our imunity is directly effected by our natural magnesium level why in earth would we agree high protein foods are good for us? Also, we are unable to absorb any nutrients if our magnesium level is low eg: can not absorb calcium when magnesium isn’t available..

  9. Teresa Avatar

    I got over my fear of cricket flour by trying Chirps Cricket Flour Chips from Thrive Market. They have an acquired taste but I really liked them. I could tell they are very nutritious. I am now craving them….
    Ready to order the cricket flour and hide it in the kids smoothies ?….
    Thanks Katie for all Your wonderful research and for sharing with us. I have been following Your blog for over a year and have been happy with every single recipe I’ve made. (Cooking, cosmetics, cleaning products). Got my little helper / daughter who is always excited to try new recipes.
    Wishing everyone a Happy Easter!

  10. Ima Avatar

    Word. I’m not a disciple of the Bible according to any religion, but these are wise words. On so many levels.

  11. Charmie Avatar

    There are no “easy” answers for anyone about anything. So much for so many to consider regarding health, for some, while for others, it’s the principles and/or the methods used to derive a product. Many do their best to research products they need to support their diets. I’m grateful to sites such as Wellness Mama, for making this much easier. The reason I’m on this site is primarily for that reason. Everything I would research and save in files, is no longer as necessary as “Mama” Katie has pretty much the same research, it’s just a lot easier to find it all in one place on one site. Although no long ad free, it’s still a great resource for most things I use, and, may not have likely tried (ie. cricket flour).

    I have heard all of the rationale for vegan, vegetarian etc. It’s all choice, for which I’m grateful. Starving people don’t have many choices if any. But, those of us who are privileged to have access to the www, are also aware of just how toxic the very tools (electronics) we use to access all of this great information, may be for our health as well.

    There are no simple or easy answers for any of the concerns stated. I just know that every time I walk into a grocery store, there is not one easy thing about it. There are more protections for the companies marketing their products and produce than there are for the consumer. What government regulators deem as “safe” or even, nutritious, is beyond disturbing considering just how ultra refined many processed foods are with sugar often being one of the ingredients at the top of the ingredients listed on a product which may also have a sodium count well beyond what has been considered a healthy serving for human consumption. Even when one shops on the perimeter of the store, then, it’s the pesticides, the GMO factor, the location as to where something has been grown as well as how long it must have been in transit before reaching the market causing one to be concerned as to the methods used to preserve for travel. Also considering the food fed to the animal products, mercury in the fish, and methods of demise for those creatures.

    So, again, thank you Wellness Mama for doing the work that makes it easier for us to make choices in the areas we each find “healthy” for ourselves and loved ones. I will be trying cricket flour at some point as I lived in Australia and watched kids run up to trees and eat the little “grubs” (worms) from the trees. They would tell me that they tasted like “nuts”. I just tried not to look like a shocked foreigner. I also recall going to the beach with Aussie friends who pulled up various shelled items from the ocean which we would eat raw. Before my first beach trip with them, I had wondered why we were bringing saltines. So, cricket flour seems like a great choice to add protein to my diet as I don’t like much meat. I’m just grateful it’s not cockroach flour. I hear they are eaten in a few countries and are a great source of protein, as well. Not up for those, I must admit, but, grateful for all that has been offered on this site.

    1. M. J. Avatar

      Charmie, you speak for so many of us…thank you! And thank you, Katie! As for the cricket flour, I think I could handle crickets as flour, but at $16/pound or so, those are some pricey cupcakes if you needn’t be totally grain-free!

      1. Kristie Avatar

        Privilege has a price. Not everyone is so lucky. I’m slightly thrown off, Katie, by the fact that you go on so much about eco friendliness and supporting local agriculture, but purchase from, and encourage other to purchase from sources far far away from their local food shed. I get you need to make a living… But you use words like, “when I can”. Do you not have local farmers that you have relationship with? You suggest this to others. Why can’t you buy local almost always? Do you? Transporting and shipping etc is real. Buy local.

        I adore so much of what you do here. I’m just trying to be real.

        1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

          Hi Kristie, whenever possible I try to buy from local sources, but where we live it’s very hard to find organic, grass-fed, and other all-natural sources of real foods, which is why I have sourced so many amazing companies and resources online. I’ve also spoken with many readers who are in the same predicament as me. Buying local is always best, but I don’t have the knowledge, time, or resources to locate every potential local producer for readers all across the country… that would be an impossible task. Again, whenever it is possible to find products that meet my quality standards locally then I do purchase from them, but the majority of the time this isn’t possible.

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