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How to Eat Bugs: A Mealworm Muffin Recipe

How to Eat Bugs: A Mealworm Muffin Recipe

When Rachael Young was a kid, the produce on her dinner plate came from her father’s garden. She was a stickler for looking over the greens to remove the hidden critters from her food. She didn’t want to encounter any bugs once the food traveled from fork to mouth.

Fast forward a couple of decades. From dedicated vegetarian, Young has become a dedicated bug eater, and she’s whipping up recipes she hopes will convince the rest of us to sample mealworms, crickets, and all other types of insect proteins. Eat Yummy Bugs is Young’s business, and it grew out of a love of her home state and a desire to conserve the land and the waterways.

Young wants people to ‘comfortably use insects in culinary creations’ because she considers the effect of meat production on the planet so deleterious. While she’s always had a vegetarian mind-set, in her home area of rural Vermont there’s a strong agricultural community that has viewed cows and other livestock as livelihood. Young wants to expand the agricultural norm to include bugs: in addition to being nutritious, Young considers them a renewable resource that reproduce exponentially and need much less water, food, and space than cows, chickens, and sheep.

“A lot of Westerners find that eating bugs is repulsive, and actually we’re the minority. More than 80 percent of the world eats insects. Insects are a viable solution to address world hunger! Bugs are superfoods: they are full of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fibers. ” – Rachael Young

Young thinks that mealworms and cricket flour may be the perfect gateway bugs for those squeamish about insect cuisine. An easy recipe, she says, is the banana-oat mealworm muffins with cricket flour below.

Banana-oat Mealworm Muffins with Cricket Flour

2 cups cricket flour
2 cups oats
2 1/2 t baking powder
1 cup raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
three small, ripe bananas
1/4 cup hazelnut milk (or milk of choice)
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup toasted mealworms*

*Young uses frozen mealworms from World Entomophagy and dry fries them in a pan on the stove top (no oil). For the topping, dry fry the mealworms and coconut together.

For topping:
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup toasted coconut
1/4 cup toasted mealworms
1/2 T butter, softened
2 T brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with a bit of coconut oil. Combine flour, oats, raw sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Using blender, whisk or kitchen mixer of choice, combine mashed banana, egg whites, hazelnut milk and coconut oil. Pour wet mixture slowly into dry mixture and slowly stir until just evenly saturated, add toasted mealworms. Fold in leftover wet mixture.

To prepare the topping: stir together the oats, coconut, mealworms, butter, and brown sugar. Pour muffin batter into muffin tins, and top with oat mixture, and bake until golden brown, checking after 12 minutes. Enjoy!

Article by A.K. Streeter

Photo: Eat Yummy Bugs


Why you should eat bugs
Banana worm bread (and other insect recipes)

Read more: All recipes, Eating for Health, Food, Nature, Nature & Wildlife

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Kara, selected from TreeHugger

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, and, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.


+ add your own
4:32PM PDT on Mar 9, 2014

NOT I am not that hungry

8:19PM PST on Mar 3, 2014

Thank you!

9:44AM PST on Mar 3, 2014

I think they served these in 'Temple Of Doom'

4:03PM PST on Mar 2, 2014

I was in Thailand and they had scorpions on the menu for lunch at the cafeteria. They also had fried spiders on a stick. I didn't order them….

3:37PM PST on Mar 2, 2014

Cricket flour and mealworms? GROSS!
Great diet food, though, huh? ahahahaha BARF

8:46PM PST on Mar 1, 2014

I've been vegan for decades, and always said if I ever need concentrated protein, I'll eat bugs, rather than unsustainable eggs, dairy, meat, or fish. Thus, I was eager to read this recipe. The problem is that it contains EGGS. Why could it not, except for the BUG flour, be vegan?

4:27PM PST on Mar 1, 2014

I'm with Julie C. Great inexpensive food source. Plague of locusts, anyone?

However, for me, it's like Crocodile Dundee when he presented Linda K's character with native foods, then produces a tin of food and opener while saying laconically "you can live on it (native foods), but it tastes like sh*t". Maybe it's an acquired taste? Back in my meat-eating days, I tried wichetty grubs - a traditional staple of the Australian aboriginal diet - the grubs eat tree bark and I had heard they taste like nuts. Well,they were pretty shi**y tasting nuts, I can tell you!

11:27AM PST on Mar 1, 2014

I'm not into eating bugs, but it is my argument that vegan isn't the only way to save the planet. The key is not to eat beef, but eating bugs gives you a good amount of protein and is the way people have ingested protein since the beginning.

6:07AM PST on Mar 1, 2014

Thanks Kara for providing A.K. Streeter's article and extremely interesting recipe from Ms. Young, along with the link to the Eat Yummy Bugs website. I would definitely give these muffins a try and I signed up for their mailing list.

4:07AM PST on Mar 1, 2014

IF there are nothing to eat...., perhaps :-) But maybe one should try first before saying no?

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