Pancakes to Chirp About
All photos courtesy of Melissa Ergo Photography
Earlier this year I decided that I wanted to incorporate a more sustainable source of protein in my life. Through a few podcasts, I heard about people eating insects – mainly crickets – because of the many benefits to our bodies and the environment. I started searching the internet for a company using insect protein in order to try it out. After all, if it was something that made me gag, that wouldn’t work. In a short time, I came across Cowboy Crickets, a company out of Montana. The site mentioned how they had just started and that owners Kathleen and James were both Coast Guard Vets ( James is still serving as a medical in the Montana National Guard). After some introductions and negotiating, Cowboy Crickets decided to sponsor me!
I wanted to find creative ways and different options for using the cricket protein powder. But before we go any further, let’s clear this up:
It’s powder. No legs and heads sticking out. Just powder. We cool?
Of course, I could simply dump it into my Simple Green Smoothie or a bowl of yogurt, but I wanted more. Also, I was having pancake nostalgia. Yearning for a simpler time where I ate pancakes for breakfast as a chubby kid, long before my born-again conversion to a Paleo-ish diet. The following recipe took a few tries to come together and was adapted from the Almond Flour pancakes from Wellness Mama. But this one has ground cricket powder, so it’s a next-level way to #GetYourChirpOn.
Cricket Powder Pancake Recipe
- 1 cup of almond flour
- 1/4 cup of Cowboy Crickets Protein Powder
- 1/4 cup of Flax Meal or flax seeds
- 1-2 TBSP of Chia Seeds
- 1/4 cup of Goji Berries
- 2 eggs (bonus points for pasture-raised)
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/4 TSP salt
- 1 TBSP of stevia, Birch Xylitol, or honey
- Coconut flakes
- Grass-fed butter
- Fistfuls of Berries
Best Music Pairings:
*Feel Me Flow – Naughty By Nature
*1,000 Miles – Vanessa Carlton (My daughter’s favorite)
*Flying Horses – Dispatch
- Start the music
- Heat a pan to medium and add a bit of avocado oil, coconut oil, or ghee
- Mix the Almond Flour, Cricket Powder, Flax Meal, Chia Seeds, Goji Berries, Eggs, Salt, Water and sweetener into a bowl.
- Whisk until it’s all blended (Let your Three-Year-Old whisk – she’ll do a better job).
- Fill the 1/4 cup scoop and dump a few onto the pan (the 1/4 scoop seems like the ideal size)
- Flip when the bottom feels solid enough -should be golden to medium brown.
- Remove when the other side is done
- Add a couple hunks of butter and a fistful of berries
- Sprinkle some coconut flakes
To get your own Cowboy Cricket Protein Powder use promo code “MIKEWINS” to save 20%. Not only will you be supporting a great veteran-owned business, but your purchases help me to continue bringing you great posts.
All photos courtesy of Melissa Ergo Photography
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Why Green Smoothies?
In order to support a heavy training load, I consume an abundance of vegetables. Preparing and eating this many vegetables is time-consuming, and I strive to streamline my days so I can fit in training, work, and family time. Blending vegetables in a green smoothie is a great way to save time and get in the nutrients that our bodies crave. Many different recipes call for precise measurements and a lot of specific ingredients I never seem to have at the same time.
How many times have you given up on a recipe because you lacked one or two ingredients?
I don’t know about you, but the answer for me is way too many times. Sometimes I take care to cook a recipe following the directions in order to produce a great meal. But on a regular basis I want to make things easy to do so the odds increase that I will actually do them. That’s why I make my smoothies based on whatever is in the fridge. I usually make my smoothies like this:
The Steps to make an Easy Green Smoothie
- Take a leafy green (kale, collard green, chard, spinach). Wash them and chop (or rip) into small pieces and put it in the blender.
- Add ice, a little water, the juice of a lemon, and blend. Using a few squirts of lemon juice concentrate will do the job, but won’t taste as fresh.
- Cut up the avocado, fruits & vegetables and dump them in. The avocado will emulsify the smoothie so it is thicker and stays together. It is also a great source of fat and will keep you full. Common fruits & vegetables I use are carrots, cucumbers, berries, apples, pears, and melon. Aim to use only one or two fruits to keep the sugar content low. Green smoothies are about packing in the vegetables without spiking your insulin.
- Give your dog a carrot slice. He’s hoping you will- look at him.
- Add any roots, seeds, herbs, probiotics, adaptogens and spices. Some won’t work well together, but the avocado, lemon and berries go a long way to mask other flavors. I usually throw in ginger, turmeric, kefir, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and maca root. Occasionally I add some almond butter, but it’s easy to go overboard with nut butters. If you’re feeling
masochistic daring, throw in a clove or two of garlic. Again, it will be masked by the other ingredients in your green smoothie.
- Blend together and taste. Too thick? Add some water. Not thick enough? Toss in another avocado. If you are new to blending vegetables or eat a lot of sweets, expect it to taste a little bland. Avoid the temptation to throw too much fruit in there, your taste buds will adapt eventually.
- Store in the fridge for a week or so. I go through jars of peanut butter and almond butter on a regular basis. A few months ago I started washing them out to reuse them and found they are the perfect size to store enough green smoothie for a day’s worth.
Keep it simple
Like I mentioned earlier, the end result won’t always be amazing. Sometimes it will be a bust, but it won’t take long before you develop a knack for what works well together and in what proportions. I’ve tried a few different things at times that haven’t worked like pureed pumpkin, broccoli, and cauliflower. I’m sure you’ll also stumble across a few things that don’t work along the way.
The point is this: eating healthy does not need to be overly complicated. Small, simple, everyday things add up and are sustainable for the long term. Think of these as utility meals – nothing fancy, but serving a purpose. The blast of nutrients you are drinking is a quick and easy way to get your body what it needs.
Remember, every sip is a victory.
What do you put in your green smoothies that works?
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