You’ve tried protein shakes, protein bars and even chowing down on a full steak post-work out, but have you ever considered looking to bugs for a little protein boost?
Yes, that’s right. Bugs — crickets, specifically — are the new hot trend in the food industry. Praised for their high protein content and their small land usage, crickets are now being incorporated as a nutritional and sustainable boost to your favorite snacks. So naturally, as with every other food trend, I felt a need to test it out for myself.
I placed an order for Chapul Bars, a protein bar company that found success on the ABC show Shark Tank and whose mission is “to build a more sustainable future by introducing incredibly efficient insect protein in a delicious, organic product.”
The bars themselves are pretty small and lightweight and pack between five and eight grams of protein. They aren’t overly filling, but they’d make a great travel snack or a pick me up between classes. They’re very similar in texture and taste to a Larabar, made with the same simple ingredients, plus the addition of a flour made from ground crickets, which is not at all noticeable.
The Chaco Bar is the classic peanut butter and chocolate combination, which is hard to do wrong. While you wouldn’t confuse it for a Reese’s Cup, it satisfies any cravings for them pretty well. If trying a protein bar with crickets in it seems like enough adventure for you, this is probably the safest flavor.
If you’re still a chocolate lover but looking for something a little different, the Aztec Bar is a combination of dark chocolate, coffee and cayenne powder. The chocolate is much less sweet and the heat from the cayenne does sneak up on you after a few bites, although it’s not overly spicy.
My favorite of the bunch was the Thai Bar, made from coconut, ginger and lime. This was a unique flavor that I’d never seen in any other protein bar, and it was a winner. It’s not as spicy as the Aztec Bar, but it have a bit of a kick to it.
So if you’re looking to try something new, or you just want to brag to your friends about eating bugs, try incorporating some crickets into your diet. These bars were great, but you can also try some other flavors by Exo. In addition, you can get cricket cookies from Bitty Foods, or even buy their cricket flour to experiment on your own.
Even though we’ve tried to squash ’em for our whole lives, it’s finally the crickets’ time to shine.