Cricket Tacos

Cricket Tacos
Cricket Tacos

I guess I have a thing for crickets. I’ve already written about how my favorite protein bar is cricket based protein. I’ve also experimented with cricket flour in this chia flax pudding recipe. Next up in my obsession is cricket tacos.

Cricket Tacos

I first read this story on The Verge of Next Millennium Farms (Now Entomo Farms), the supplier for Exo, and how there was a Mexican joint next to the factory that sells cricket tacos. When I read that article I knew I had to try it! Well I can’t drive there, since they’re in Canada, so I decided to try to make my own. I contacted Entomo Farms and asked if they could send some crickets my way so I could take a stab at these tacos and they were more than willing.

Tortilla recipe
I used the tortilla recipe on the back of Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour package from Fork & Beans

Now the main issue with creating a Primal/Paleo taco is creating a good tortilla. Flour tortillas are a no go. Non-GMO corn tortillas aren’t the worst thing for you but corn isn’t Paleo. Lettuce shells just sound gross with crickets. I contemplated these cauliflower tortillas which I’ve made before and they were great. But then I started seeing people using cassava flour all over Instagram and I saw this recipe for cassava flour tortillas and I was in love! They looked so real and tasty. So I was set – cassava flour tortillas it was. Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour you say? Check out the FAQ from their site:

Cassava (also known as Yuca) is a root vegetable grown in over 90 countries. Cassava is a staple food for half a billion people across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It is the perfect alternative to wheat flour when dried and ground using our proprietary method. It is totally unique from the traditionally milled cassava flours on the market.

Cassava Flour

Cricket tacos aren’t a new idea necessarily. In Oaxaca, Mexico chapuline (grasshopper) tacos are a thing and eaten all the time. So this whole idea isn’t something too foreign or weird necessarily. It’s actually a really good protein alternative for tacos. There’s almost twice as much protein in crickets than ground beef and crickets are packed with omega 3s. I’m surprised cricket tacos aren’t touted in every Paleo blog out there!

Close up

What I wanted to do with this recipe was make a super simple taco: Tortilla, protein, diced onions, avocado, cilantro and cheese if you do dairy.

Cassava Flour
Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour

Flour
Flour before kneaded

Dough
Tortilla dough ready to be pressed

Press it flat
Pressed flat (I didn’t use a tortilla press)

Cook until bubbling
Cook until bubbling (1 minute)

Continue cooking
Flip and continue cooking

Whole roasted crickets
Whole roasted crickets

Close up
Ready to eat straight from the package

Assemble your ingredients
Get all your ingredients ready to go

Enjoy
Enjoy!

Cricket Tacos
Print
Ingredients
  1. Tortilla:
  2. 3/4 c. (90g) Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour
  3. 1/4 tsp. Sea salt
  4. 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  5. 1/3 c. (80g) warm water
  6. Fillings:
  7. Crickets
  8. Diced white onion
  9. Avocado
  10. Cilantro
  11. Queso Fresco or Monterrey Jack (optional)
  12. Chipotle Tabasco (optional)
Instructions
  1. I used the tortilla instructions printed on the back of Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour package. The recipe is from Fork & Beans

  2. To make the tortilla, whisk together the flour and salt. Then add the oil and warm water and knead dough until it’s smooth. Then roll into 6 balls.

  3. To make the tortilla flat use a tortilla press or press between two pieces of parchment paper. Try to get as thin as possible. Then heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is warm, place the tortilla on the skillet and warm for about 1 minute until bubbles form then flip and cook for another minute. Now you’re tortillas are ready to go.

  4. Once the tortillas are ready to go, now all you have to do is dice the onion and cilantro. Cut the avocado and bust out the queso fresco or Monterey Jack.

  5. To prepare the crickets you can use them straight out of the Entomo Farm bag or lightly warm them on a skillet. They’re already roasted technically. I suggest trying them without seasoning first. Then next time you can experiment with a dusting of traditional taco style seasoning. I like The Domestic Man’s taco seasoning recipe here.

  6. Now assemble your tacos and enjoy!

That's So Primal http://www.thatssoprimal.com/

10 Primal Things to do This Summer

10 Primal Things to do This Summer

Summer is upon us. Hopefully you’re enjoying it and taking the time to enjoy your family and getting out in the sun. But for those of you having some trouble trying to break away from the routine and really get into the spirit of summer – I’ve compiled a list of 10 primal things to do this summer. Some of them may seem pretty simple and obvious but if you take the time to do them I guarantee you’ll build some fun memories and you’ll get out in the sun and hopefully unwind a bit.

1. Go Swimming

Pretty obvious one right here but you should make some time to dip in a pool or go to the beach. Whether you have a pool or your family has a pool or you go to the public pool. Try to just get wet and cool off and have fun with the kids or turn it into a workout. Mark Sisson wrote a timely post last week about the importance of swimming. Swimming is my preferred “moving” workout as I go about three times a week to a public pool near my work. I love it. You should try it too.

2. Camp in Your Backyard

If you have kids they’ll love doing this one, but even if you don’t have kids this can still be something fun to do. Plan it for a night that isn’t too hot and just pitch a tent in your backyard or try to find a state park. You can use this as an excuse to just chill outside and cook some good food over a fire and maybe play some card games near the campfire at night. Even if you missed the Great American Campout – you can still camp in your backyard anytime!

3. Take Your Kids to a Splash Pad

Not sure if splash pads exist everywhere, but they do where we live. My wife has been taking our toddler to the splash pad during the day and she loves it. It’s a good way to break up your day and let the kids run around and tire out! Just google areas around you that have splash pads as they are normally free and a great way to cool off during the summer.

4. Smoke Some Meat

I’ve never gotten into smoking food as I’m normally too impatient – and because I like to rely on my Dad’s method for doing ribs. But recently I’ve bene experimenting with a combination of his recipe and smoking in my Weber. It’s something fun to do on the weekends as you get to spend a little extra time outside around the grill. You don’t need to have a fancy smoker either. Just look on youtube for tutorials on how to do it. I’ve been experimenting with some wood chips my parents got me using my Weber. It’s simple and adds great flavor to meat.

5. Grow Something

Our garden has been going crazy since about April but even if you don’t have a garden you can pick up something from Home Depot and start taking care of it. Whether its flowers or a box of herbs. Growing something is a great way to get outside the house after work and enjoy some sun. Plus you’ll have super fresh herbs for spaghetti or honey roasted veggies.

6. Draw with Chalk Outside

Here’s another one that the kids will love or even if you don’t have kids – adults can still have fun with this too. Buy some chalk and just go to town outside. You don’t have to be a great artist or anything just have fun drawing pictures like you used to do when you were a kid. Our toddler likes drawing with chalk outside — or likes it when I draw Disney characters for her. Some of our friends threw some chalk paint on their wall in their backyard and their kid loves it.

7. Go on a Hike

I’m always pushing hiking. It’s a great way to get moving and to get outdoors. It doesn’t have to be a gnarly hike either, just try to find some trail local to you and head out with a buddy, kids, spouse – and just enjoy the time outside. Maybe try to plan this one for a day that’s not blazing outside, or plan it into the evening so you can see the sunset.

8. Take a Nap

Nothing wrong with naps. Take a nap inside. Take a nap outside. It’s summer. Relax. There are numerous health benefits of napping. A short nap from 20–30 minutes will leave you feeling rested and alert. Read more about the health benefits of napping here and start napping.

9. Go to a Drive In

Not sure if drive ins still exist everywhere anymore but there is a nice one close to where we live. Plan an evening to go out to a drive in if you have one near you. They’re the perfect summertime thing to do because the weather is nice and kids are out of school. Be sure to bring your own primal snacks or even homemade popcorn (#notpaleo).

10. Read a Book

I have a hard time finishing books. The funny thing is I read a million things online but I read very little books. I want to challenge myself to read at least one book for summer and I want to challenge you too. Could be a physical book or something on a Kindle. Whatever works for you. You could start with this book or this book.

Hopefully you found some of these ideas inspiring. They’re pretty simple things to do and I think they’ll be fun for you and your whole family. Feel free to let me know in the comments what you’ve been doing over summer to break away from the routine and get outside!

The Primal Pantry Paleo Bar Review

The Primal Pantry Paleo Bars

This review of The Primal Pantry Paleo Bars is a little different from my typical Paleo protein bar reviews, because these bars were given to me as a gift from my mother in law while she was on a trip to South Africa and because they really aren’t “protein” bars. Sure they have protein in them from the nuts and stuff but these particular ones aren’t marketed as protein bars. Though this company does have some protein bars coming out that I hopefully will be able to get my hands on to review.

So nevertheless these are bars marketed at the Primal community so I thought it would be fun to review these. Of course we will be reviewing the three categories like we always do: Nutritional Profile, Affordability, Taste. Let’s get to it!

Nutritional profile

The Primal Pantry Paleo Bar

I think the best bar that we can compare these to are Larabars. Primarily because they both have the same ingredients more or less, and aren’t specifically marketed as protein bars. So let’s take a look at how these bars break down to the typical Larabar.

Larabar Coconut Cream Pie
Total Fat: 10g
Total Carbohydrate: 31g (Dietary Fiber 5g, Sugars 24g)
Protein: 3g
Ingredients: Dates, Unsweetened Coconut, Almonds, Cashews, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

The Primal Pantry Coconut & Macadamia Raw Paleo Bar
Total Fat: 14.8g
Total Carbohydrate: 16.8g (Dietary Fiber 2.8g, Sugars 14.9g)
Protein: 3.8g
Ingredients: Dates, Coconut, Cashews, Macadamia, Almond Oil

Both of these bars have a lot of good things going for them. They’re both made with minimal ingredients. They both taste amazing but where I see these Primal Pantry bars taking the cake – is that they are a little less heavy on the carbs. The Primal Pantry bars I think use a little less dates than Larabar uses. You can definitely tell by the taste since The Primal Pantry bars are noticeably less sweet – and it shows in the nutritional profile. I still love Larabars for the occasional treat but I like that these Primal Pantry bars are a little higher in fat and lower on carbs making the Primal Pantry bars a little less of a treat kind of bar and more of a functional bar providing good fat and not a huge dose of sugar.

Affordability

The Primal Pantry Paleo Bar

So how does the cost break down for both of these bars? This is where Larabar will probably stand out since you can get them pretty cheap at any Target in the US. The Primal Pantry is based out of the UK so it’s a little harder to get your hands on some cheaply.

Larabar Coconut Cream Pie
Price per bar: $1.04
Price per 16 bar box: $16.63

The Primal Pantry Coconut & Macadamia Raw Paleo Bar
Price per bar: $2.28
Price per 18 bar box: $41.00

Woah! That’s a pretty big difference in price. However it’s expected since these aren’t readily available in the US like I said. Not sure how much exactly they are at the typical market in the UK (any readers from the UK know how much these are?) I wouldn’t necessarily say go out and spend your $40 on these bars since they don’t really offer that much protein. I would say you should go buy some Exo bars or Primal Kitchen bars for that price. That way you’ll get more nutritional bang for your buck.

Anyway, they were free to me since they were a gift from my mother in law! But it sure would be nice is these were readily available in the US – say like Target or something like Larabars are. That way we would have a nice low sugar high fat option Primal bar that we could pick up easily.

Taste

The Primal Pantry Paleo Bar

They may be expensive for us over in the states, but they sure do taste good!

The Primal Pantry Coconut & Macadamia Raw Paleo Bar
Not even kidding these taste almost exactly like my favorite Larabar – Coconut Cream Pie. These bars just have way less sugar. This one was definitely my favorite. Very subtle coconut flavor mixed with dates and macadamias. And since the carbs were lower on this bar than Larabars you can definitely notice that these are less sweet, which I did’t mind.

The Primal Pantry Brazil Nut & Cherry Raw Paleo Bar
Very soft and not too chewy. Not too sweet either. I didn’t really taste much cherry. More of just the brazil nut flavor which wasn’t bad. This was probably my least favorite of the three.

The Primal Pantry Hazelnut & Cocoa Raw Paleo Bar
One again not too sweet – which isn’t bad. Nice cocoa flavor throughout. Just the right softness and not too chewy. There were a good amount of Hazelnuts throughout this bar and I just so happen to really like hazelnuts. This bar tasted great.

Conclusion

It was cool to try these bars – so thank you Suzanne! I really like the taste of these bars and that they are a lower sugar Larabar. I just really wish they were more affordable and in a Target or something over here. Thanks Primal Pantyr for making such a tasty bar. Thanks for reading everyone!

Buy some for yourself:
The Primal Pantry Store
Amazon

Hazelnut Zucchini Brownies

Hazelnut Zucchini Brownie

I’ve been trying to stay on top of the zucchini in my garden, but as I pointed out in my post about tips for a backyard garden, It’s been pretty difficult! So I’ve been on the lookout for recipes experimenting with zucchini. After some googling and experimenting I came up with the perfect dessert that puts to good use all that zucchini from the garden: Hazelnut Zucchini Brownies!

Backyard Garden

We’ve been roasting and sautéing the zucchini with dinner as much as we can, but that gets a little boring after awhile. So I’ve been wanting to make some sort of zucchini brownie but all the recipes I’ve been seeing online call for almond butter. Unfortunately I just used the last of my almond butter on some protein cookies that I made last week. So then I looked up recipes for almond flour and zucchini brownies and I found this one – I was all ready to go then I realized I was out of almond flour! So – I happened to have a bunch of hazelnut flour on hand from making buns from this book and I said hey lets try to sub out the almond flour for hazelnut flour. Bob’s blog said you can sub it out 1:1. So that’s what I did and man these brownies turned out super fudgy and moist! So this recipe is a tweak of the one I linked above and it turned out great. It’s super easy to throw together and it makes good use of that zucchini coming out of your ears from your garden. Enjoy!

Zucchini
Our zucchini is growing like crazy right now!

Shred and chop, chop, chop
Shred and chop, chop, chop

Ingredients ready to go
Ingredients ready to go

Skillet before oven
Skillet before oven

Skillet after oven
Skillet after oven

Brownie plated
Brownie plated

Ready to eat
Ready to eat!

Hazelnut Zucchini Brownies
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1½ cups shredded zucchini
  2. 1 cup hazelnut flour/meal
  3. 5 oz dark chocolate, 85% or higher cocoa content
  4. ¼ cup coconut oil
  5. 2 eggs
  6. ¼ cup honey
  7. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  8. ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  9. 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  10. ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.

  2. Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. My microwave has a setting for melting. If yours doesn’t, just do like 15 seconds over and over and keep checking on it until it melts. Once it’s melted add the coconut oil and honey to the bowl and throw it in the fridge while you put together the rest of the stuff.

  3. Shred the zucchini then chop it even finer and put it in a bowl.

  4. Then mix the rest of the ingredients all together in the bowl with the zucchini: the hazelnut flour, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla extract, baking soda and salt. Then add the chocolate mixture after its cooled down a little bit.

  5. Once you got it all mixed well in a bowl dust a skillet or glass dish with hazelnut flour then pour the mixture into the skillet or dish. I’m partial to my skillet and I pretty much do everything in it so that’s why I went with my cast iron. Bake for 25–30 min and let cool for at least 5 minutes before you cut into it.

  6. Enjoy!

Adapted from Real Healthy Zucchini Brownies
That's So Primal http://www.thatssoprimal.com/

7 Tips for Backyard Gardening

7 Tips for Backyard Gardening

When we first moved into our house we were so excited to have such a big backyard that one of the first things we did was run to Home Depot to get stuff for a backyard garden. A backyard garden is a great way to get in the sun and dirt and switch up your daily routine. We have been doing a garden for the past few years and I’ve learned a few things along the way that I wanted to share. Granted I could still learn way more, but these are just some things that seemed to stick out over the years of trying to operate a little backyard garden. Most of my help comes from this book which is specific for my area of Southern California. If you’re not in Southern California try to find a guide specific to your area. So whether you already have a garden or would like to start one, here are 7 tips I have for running a mini farm in your backyard.

Kale

1. Plant only the things you will actually eat

When we first got our square foot garden going we made 3 boxes. 2 shallow boxes and 1 deep box for root veggies. It was a great learning experience but I soon realized as our crops started to grow that I didn’t really like most of the stuff I was growing. Sure it was nice to experiment growing and eating things that are new, but it’s hard to be devoted to a whole garden if you don’t even like the stuff growing in it. So this year when we got our garden back up and running, I decided to only plant the things that we were going to eat. So we have a whole box for herbs, another box for veggies, and our deep box for roots that was taken over by our daughter so she could plant flowers. The veggie box only has the stuff we eat and is easy enough to grow in the backyard: kale, romaine, summer squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, watermelon and pumpkins. Sure there are other veggies we love to eat like cauliflower, but it takes so much time to harvest and it only yields one head of cauliflower – whereas we go through too much cauliflower to try to grow it in the backyard. The crops we did plant are perfect to pick off when you need them and they still keep coming back.

2. Install a drip line

This was a lifesaver for us and our crops. When we first started our garden 3 years ago we were going out there everyday with a watering can or hose and it became very stressful if we missed a few days and our crops would start to suffer. Especially when we went on vacations for a week or more at a time – our crops were destroyed by the time we came back. So I hit up my dad for help to install a drip line and it was super easy to run soaker hoses and a timer. Now our garden is hands free and flourishes even when I fail to give it attention.

3. Check on your garden every day

Now just because you have a drip line doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out your garden everyday. It’s always good just to get outside and get in the sun, especially if you’re stuck in an office all day looking at a computer, but more than that you need to check to see how your crops are doing. There may be snails tearing up your romaine or there can be those scary green worms attacking your tomatoes. You need to be out there everyday killing all those things that aren’t good for your garden. You don’t want to resort to spraying your precious beyond organic crops with something to ward off bugs – so you and your fingers need to be the “pesticide”. Just pinch them and kill them or if you’re a hippie you can collect them and release them in a field or something. I prefer to pull the snails off my romaine and throw them as hard as I can at the wall. I get angry when snails ruin my burger buns or taco shells.

4. Don’t go crazy washing your crops

This one is a little controversial because even if you don’t use pesticides in your backyard garden, your soil or municipal water may contain contaminants. What we’re looking for here is some of the good soil based probiotics to still remain on the crops. So go ahead and wash off the snail juice that’s all over your romaine or bird poop on your squash, but don’t freak out if you can’t get off all the dirt from your crops. You’ll be getting more soil based probiotics which is what we need most. Most probiotics you can get in a pill or from fermented stuff isn’t soil based. The best way to get soil based probiotics is to eat a little soil still left on your crops before you eat them. Just be sure to use the highest quality soil in your square foot gardens and do your own composting.

5. Actually eat it

The whole point of a garden is to grow food that you actually eat. It’s easy to get in a routine of tending to your garden and have it be self sustaining with the drip line and all but the whole point is that you’re growing food to eat for you and your family. So try not to let backyard gardening turn into a drag or a chore – let it be a fun thing and actually eat what you’re spending all your precious time and water growing.

6. Experiment with different recipes

Anyone whose grown zucchini before knows how to experiment with different recipes because once your zucchini starts to take off, you’ll have a hard time keeping up with cooking it all. You’ll also go crazy if all you do is make zucchini noodles for your spaghetti alternatives. Try to use your zucchini (or other veggies) in recipes you’ve never tried before. Feel free to have fun and experiment and if something turns out terrible – well now you know to never try it again.

7. Get your kids involved

Like I said at the beginning of this post, we converted our deep box that was intended for root veggies into a flower garden for our 2yr old. At the beginning of March we went out there and my wife helped our daughter plant a bunch of flower seeds we picked up from the store. So far it’s been really cool to see the flowers grow and for her to get excited about her garden. Our daughter is also really into the raspberries and strawberries we have growing. We pick them right off the plant or vine and we eat them right there on the spot. Getting your kids involved with a backyard garden is a really fun thing to do that gets you outside the house and into the dirt and sun.

Garden

Hopefully you found some of these tips helpful and will inspire you to get started on a backyard garden! If you have any tips for growing a backyard garden feel free to share them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!