Editor’s note: We’re chronicling how tech is changing the way we eat and drink as we lead up to this fall’s Food Loves Tech. Our annual deep dive into appropriate food and ag technologies returns to Industry City on November 2–3, 2018.
Tell someone, no matter how food adventurous they are, about the Earl Gray ice cream you ate that was made with crickets and you’re going to get a strange look. Simply put, there’s still an ick factor to eating crickets. But a new cookbook from Seek Food featuring cricket recipes from more than 30 of the nation’s top chefs including The Sioux Chef Sean Sherman, Saxon + Parole‘s Brad Farmerie and more hopes to dispel stigma.
“For those looking to incorporate crickets into their diet in the most delicious way, Seek is looking to harness the influence and inspiration that chefs bring to the table,” Robyn Shapiro co-founder of Seek Food said.
The cookbook goes on sale July 9, and is available through a Kickstarter campaign for Seek Food’s new line of cricket powders until August 9 or while supplies last.
Each chef contributed a recipe that uses one of Seek Foods four types of baking cricket flour. The all-purpose, gluten-free and paleo versions are blended flours that include 10-12 percent cricket power and can be used cup for cup for any flour based recipes. There’s also a 100 percent pure cricket powder for use with liquid-based foods, such as smoothies or for the Early Gray ice cream recipe Van Leeuwen contributed to the book.
For Shapiro, who launched Seek Food with a line of cricket protein snacks, the new flours are a way to introduce more people to the benefits of crickets.
“I’ve always had a passion for the intersection of food and sustainability and I came across a U.N. report that suggested incorporating crickets and other insects into our diets could help solve some environmental issues while addressing how to feed the world,” Shapiro said.
The crickets used in Seek’s products are sourced from a farm in Mexico. There the crickets eat an alfalfa-wheatgrass diet, much as they would in the wild.
Ready to try cricket powder? Chef Adriana Urbina of De Maria both contributed a recipe to the cookbook and currently has a dish featuring cricket powder on her menu. You can also try Chef’s Gabe Kennedy’s, co-founder of Plant People, recipe (follow him on Insta for more cooking inspiration @gabe_kennedy) for cricket hummus below:
Chef Gabe Kennedy’s charred cauliflower and cricket hummus
700 g cauliflower, cut to florets
150 g olive oil
~480 g roasted cauliflower
40 g tahini
50 g lemon juice
50 g water
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons Seek pure cricket powder
Sesame and pumpkin seeds
Red onion, sliced
In a deep baking sheet toss cauliflower and olive oil. Cook at 350 F until very soft. The top layer
of the cauliflower should have some nice color.
Remove from heat and add the rest of the measured ingredients to the cauliflower and stir to
In a Vitamix, add the cauliflower mixture and blend till smooth.
Keeps in the fridge for a week.
To plate, dollop a heaping spoonful of hummus and spread into a circle leaving a divot in the center. Sprinkle with seeds, add sliced onion, dill and cricket powder to dust. Finish with lemon oil. Serve with vegetables or grilled bread.