Cricket Flour Date Bar Recipe
A few years ago, I had a good sponsorship with a major sports nutrition bar company. The people at the company were great but I eventually became disenchanted by all the ingredients in the products that I could not identify. With some bar making experience from working at a good friend’s then-fledgling company, “Picky Bars”, I decided to take matters into my own hands to make a Cricket Protein Bar or Cricket Bar. Making my own from scratch would allow me to control and determine exactly what went into them.
It doesn’t take much time to web search and discover dozens of “super food” ingredients to include. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, almonds, walnuts, ginger, turmeric, dates, tart cherries, cocoa, beet powder, nut butter, coconut flakes, coconut flour, cricket flour or cricket powder, oats…. the list goes on and on with promises of miracle benefits and fabulous flavors! Over the past few weeks I’ve experimented with many different foods in order to find what works best in bars in terms of taste, texture, and performance. Through trial and error, I found some things that definitely did NOT work well (…like popcorn and applesauce) and some things that were great (like dates and coconut flour). I have always had a hard time with the tragedy of choice- I always want to include everything, every time- but the secret to a good bar is to pick and choose and try not to dump the whole kitchen in at once.
The first decision I make when trying out a new bar combination is whether I want it for a pre- or post- workout snack. This helps me decide what macro nutrient ratios to ideally aim for (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) and narrows down the other ingredients based on other nutritional properties (for example, ingredients that give energy boosts like coffee should be for pre-workout and high fiber ingredients should be for post-workouts).
Once you narrow that down, there are many small process decisions to make. I still have a lot of experimenting to do with these but they include nuances like the order of ingredients into the mixing bowl, whether to mix by hand or blend with a machine, the speed of the blender/mixer, and freezing vs. refrigerating vs. cooking. These factors may or may not have huge effects on the final outcome. Stay tuned for more specific advice on these things as I continue to try different things out.
And finally, based on the consistency after all the ingredients are added, I make the last decision to finish them as either bars or balls.
So as you can see, this bar thing is really an art and there is good reason for so many unique, new artisan bars hitting the grocery store shelves lately.
I have been delighted to find out that it really doesn’t take very much time to whip up a batch on your own (the longest part of the process for me is cleaning the blender afterwards!) and it is a fun way to challenge your creativity and taste buds. One batch made on the weekend and thrown into the refrigerator could last you a whole week (unless you share them with a group of hungry training partners!) Pack them in foil to throw them into your gym bag and have on the go. Here is my favorite recipe to date…..stay tuned for more as I constantly tweak and improve!
Cricket Bar Recipe – Cricket Flour Date Bar
Cocoa PB Date Bar #4
½ cup almonds
½ cup pepitas
2 tbsp Cricket Flours: 100% Pure
½ cup rolled oats
2 tbsp cocoa
1 cup pitted dates
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup tart cherries
¼ cup cranberries
For this cricket bar recipe, I added the first five ingredients to the vitamix first to create a well-mixed dry powder. I then added the ‘wet’ ingredients (the next three). I took the mixture out of the blender and mixed in the cherries and cranberries with my hands so that they remained whole. Then pressed it into a 10 x 6 inch glass container, where I divided it into 12 equal bars.
Important Nutrition Facts: 163 Calories each- 21.4g Carbs, 7.6g Fat, 4.5g Protein
These cricket protein bars also pack in quite a bit of Iron (5.1% DV) for their size!
I’d love to hear how these turned out for you and if you have any comments or suggestions!
Thanks for reading.
Learn more about the author Bridget Franek, and follow her on her journey as she trains for the 2016 Olympic Trials by clicking here.