The Ultimate Edible Insect Meal Starter Plan

Here's a simple meal plan with edible insects including all the meals you need for a whole day of being awesome.

Amy Gardner
Essentials
meal plan

By now, you’ve heard all about the benefits of incorporating edible insects into your diet.

They’re sustainable, economical, and packed with nutrients that your body needs.

But with all this knowledge, the general population has yet to fully embrace insects as a food source.

Why?

For many people, it’s all about the “yuck” factor. They can’t get past their repulsion at the thought of eating creepy crawly things. 

In general, most Westerners are comfortable maintaining a distance from their food source. We don’t want to see a whole cow that has just been butchered. We simply want a neat and tidy package of hamburger to appear on the supermarket shelf. We’re not interested in buying chicken that actually looks like a chicken. We’re much better off not knowing where that nicely wrapped leg or breast came from. 

Cows on grass

For that reason, it’s especially hard to overcome our squeamishness about frying up a grasshopper and swallowing it whole.

Another problem is that we just don’t know how to incorporate insects easily into our diet. We can’t imagine ditching our favorite breakfast cereal in favor of dried crickets, or sacrificing our Friday night pizza for sauteed mealworms.

But it doesn’t have to be that hard. Insects are easy to prepare, and in most cases, you won’t even realize you’re eating them. 

Here is a simple meal plan for easily including edible insects in your diet without grossing yourself out.

Breakfast

They don’t call this “the most important meal of the day” for nothing!

Breakfast sets the pace for your entire day. It helps with weight loss by jump-starting your metabolism first thing in the morning. It has been shown that eating breakfast every day lowers your risk of heart disease and diabetes. [1]

health barbell

Experts suggest that the healthiest breakfast is low in sugar and high in protein. [2]

At the same time, breakfast poses a challenge. As people are just waking up and rushing to head out the door to work and school, it’s tempting to skip breakfast entirely. 

Some of us resort to smoothies or protein shakes as an easy way to give your body what it needs first thing in the morning.

If this is your preferred breakfast choice, go ahead and try making this delicious veggie smoothie with cricket protein. 

Easy Blueberry & Veggie Smoothie With Cricket Powder

blueberry and veggie cricket powder smoothie

Ingredients and procedure

Simply blend the following ingredients together in your blender and enjoy.

  • 2 tablespoons of cricket powder (20g)
  • 2 tablespoons of flax seeds 
  • 2 handfuls of frozen veggies (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots)
  • 1 small handful of frozen blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 250 ml of water
  • Sweeten to taste with stevia

Top with 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs or chopped nuts (almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts). 

Benefits

What we love about this recipe is that your blood sugar stay stable and you can get often get away with not eating for another four to six hours.

This allows you to make choices based on what their body needs—not on uncontrollable hunger that makes you reach for whatever is nearby.

unhealthy foods

To keep your blood sugar stable at every meal. You want to include fat, fiber, protein, and greens. When you apply that formula to a smoothie it looks like this: 

  • 1 scoop of protein (cricket powder, buffalo worm powder, pea protein—all are fine, as long as they come from a high-quality source).
  • 2 tablespoons of fiber (flaxseed, chia, psyllium).
  • 2 handful of greens (spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower).
  • Optional ¼ cup or a small handful of fruit (to mitigate that blood sugar spike.) 
  • 2 tablespoons of fat for topping (nuts, seeds or cacao nibs)

If you get bored, you can always try mixing it up with different kinds of proteins, veggies, fibers, fruits, spices and toppings. The combinations are literally endless with this formula!

And if smoothies just aren’t your thing, you can always try adding some roasted crickets to your oatmeal, along with a sliced banana. Ground oats are packed with fiber and antioxidants, so they are among the healthiest choice for cereal lovers.

Morning Snack

Dieticians agree that spreading out your food intake with small meals throughout the day is healthier than filling up on three big meals. [3]

If you try to make it from your 6 AM breakfast to noon lunch without eating, you may find yourself overcome with hunger pangs that drive you to mindlessly binge-eat.

Carefully planning a small mid-morning snack can help you feel partially full throughout the day and stave off that crazed stress eating.

be smart


The best foods to get you past a mid-morning slump are those that meet your cravings, but without excess sugar and fat.

It’s time to bring out a really yummy treat...roasted grasshoppers.

Roasted Grasshoppers With Chili, Lime & Salt.

Chapulines on avocado salad

Ingredients

  • 100-200 g of grasshoppers
  • 4 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp lime zest
  • 1-2 lime wedges
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped

Procedure

  1. Prepare the grasshoppers by cleaning them and then boiling them thoroughly (until they turn reddish).
  2. Remove the grasshoppers’ heads and wings.
  3. Heat oil along with some of the garlic, pepper, chilies, lime juice and onion.
  4. Cook grasshoppers for 30 minutes in the oil over medium heat, until they are crispy and brown.
  5. Dry them on a paper towel.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining seasonings.

Benefits

Once prepared, these can easily be taken with you for snacking at your desk or on the go.

It can take some time to get used to the idea of consuming a whole grasshopper, but when you discover how tasty these are, you will quickly get over your squeamishness.

In fact, these are so delicious that the Seattle Mariners had to call in an emergency order of them when supply could not keep up with the demand at the concession stand during games. [4]

grasshopper cartoon

In Mexico, this delicacy (which they call “chapulines”) has already been a source of enjoyment for decades. 

Not only are roasted grasshoppers a tasty treat, they are also a very nutritious one. 100 grams of grasshoppers provides 35-48 grams of protein, significantly more than the same amount of fish or beef. They’re also an excellent source of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C and vitamin D. 

Lunch

This meal is important because it keeps you going through the day. 

If your workday is hectic, you may be tempted to skip lunch, but this is a bad idea.

Without lunch, you are headed straight to that mid-afternoon slump...and it’s attendant cravings for fast, cheap, unhealthy food.

no thank you obesity

The best lunches are simple, convenient, and balanced with a mix of protein, greens, fiber, and fat. 

How about a BLT? [5]

Bee-LT Sandwich

Bee-LT sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 small handfuls of bee larvae
  • 1 tsp of butter
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 slices of wholegrain bread, toasted
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 leaf of lettuce
  • 2 slices of tomato

Procedure

  1. Sautee the bee larvae* in the butter, along with a few drops of honey, until the larvae looks crispy and golden brown.
  2. Remove the larvae from the pan and mix it with egg white, salt and pepper. 
  3. Return the mass to the pan and press together into a solid mass. 
  4. Spread mayonnaise and place the sliced tomato and lettuce on the toasted bread.
  5. Place the firm bee patty on top of lettuce and tomato. 
  6. Place the other slice of wholegrain bread on top and serve.

*If you get your bee larvae in the comb you can, but are not required to go through this process to clean them first:

  1. Freeze the whole combs to solidify the larvae and harden the wax. 
  2. Then break the combs** down by shaking them in a large bucket.
  3. You will have many loose larvae and small chunks of wax and now comes the process of going through by hand to sort the bees from the chaff.

**Break down a small piece at the time, while leaving the rest in the freezer. When the larvae unfreezes you end up squeezing them into mush because they are so soft.

Bee-LT sandwich

Benefits

The sorting is a labour-intensive process. The upsides are you don’t have to go through this process. Traditionally, these combs were eaten whole – larvae, pupae, honey and all – and in that form they are one of nature's most nutritionally complete foods.

The flavour of bee larvae is something of egg and honey, and warm honeydew melon. They are fatty on the tongue and deeply savoury with a lingering sweetness. This makes sense, since all this little thing has ever eaten is honey, so how can it not be delicious.

roasting bee larvae with egg white

Bee larvae is a versatile ingredient, which can easily be added to a variety of foods. In addition, it has been found comparable to beef in the amount of protein it yields. [6]

And with tomato, lettuce, and whole-grain bread, you’ve got a meal high in protein, veggies, fibre and fats. (We’re considering the bee larvae a nutritional substitute for meat, since it functions in the same way here.)

Besides that, this sandwich can be whipped up easily in your kitchen and thrown in your cooler bag to take to work. 

Afternoon Snack

Do you have a tendency to suddenly feel like you’re starving around 3 PM or so?

If so, you’re not alone.

According to a 2013 article in Today’s Dietician [7], more than two-thirds of adults snack twice or more daily. 

Based on this information, afternoon snacking is inevitable for most of us.

Is that bad? Not necessarily.

It all depends on what you choose to eat. 

hungry man holding stomach

If you fill up on empty calories (i.e., potato chips, popcorn, or even crackers), you’re not doing your body any favors.

But if you use your afternoon snack as an opportunity to load up on much-needed protein and nutrients, it can help curb your appetite and control cravings.

And it helps, of course, if you munch on something that also satisfies your taste buds.

How about some healthy protein rich oven baked mealworms?

Oven Baked Mealworms Spiced with Homemade Tex-Mex.

roasted mealworms in a jar

Ingredients

  • 500 ml of water
  • 300 g of frozen mealworms (Will provide 100 g of roasted mealworms)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon of fine salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of brown sugar
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper

Procedure

  1. Bring water to boil in a pot. Add the mealworms and boil for 4,5 minutes (skip the boiling if your mealworms already have been blanched). Drain the water and place the mealworms in a bowl with olive oil. Mix until the mealworms are covered and transfer the mealworms onto a parchment paper in a baking dish. 
  2. Heat the oven to 160 degrees celsius and place the mealworms inside until crispy, around 8-14 minutes
  3. Remove the mealworms from the oven and transfer to another bowl together with the rest of the spices. (PRO TIP: For best results blend all the spices into a fine powder first)
  4. Spread them out and let them cool before your transfer them into an airtight container and store at room temperature.

Benefits

These mealworms are soooo delicious and easy to make. 

Besides, they can stay crispy for up to 12 months, if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. 

mealworm cartoon

So there is no excuse not to make a huge batch of this delicious snack.

Besides that, mealworms are rich in protein and healthy fatty acids including omega 3’s. This makes them an excellent choice for a snack to get you through the day without slamming your body with all the things it doesn’t need.

Dinner

Similar to the other meals, the ideal dinner meal contains proteins, greens, fibers and fat. 

This helps to maintain a steady blood sugar level and will not have you looking in the cookie jar 30 minutes after finishing your dinner. 

hungry man eating a berliner with jam

How about a Vietnamese inspired stir-fry?

Vietnamese Stir-fry Sesame, Cabbage, and Carrots Topped with Oven Baked Black Soldier Fly Larvae.

Vietnamese stir fry with black soldier fly larvae

Ingredients

  • 200 g of sesame seeds
  • 200 g of Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL)
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil 
  • 1 onion
  • 40 g of ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 head of white cabbage
  • 500 g of carrots
  • 4 tablespoons of fish sauce 
  • Juice from 1 lime 
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 red chili
  • 1 spring onion
  • Handful of fresh cilantro

Procedure

  1. Dry roast 200 g of sesame seeds on a pan. Remove from heat and set side aside for later.
  2. Bring water to boil in a pot. Add the BSFL and boil for 4,5 minutes (skip the boiling if your BSFL already have been blanched). Drain the water and place the BSFL onto a parchment paper in a baking dish. 
  3. Heat the oven to 160 degrees celsius and place the BSFL inside for 10 minutes. 
  4. Take the BSFL out and stir them around and bake them until crispy, for another 8-12 minutes.
  5. Remove the BSFL from the oven and transfer to another bowl.
  6. Add sesame oil together with onion to the pan.
  7. Fry for 5 min on medium high heat and add minced ginger and garlic.
  8. Let it fry for 2 more minutes and the chopped carrots.
  9. Let the carrots fry for 5 min and then add chopped cabbage.
  10. Fry until translucent and then add fish sauce and lemon juice.
  11. Remove from heat and serve with roasted sesame seeds, baked BSFL and fresh red chilies.
Vietnamese stir fry with black soldier fly larvae

Benefits

Black soldier flies are some of the best insects out there for consumption.

They're clean, they're easy to grow to maturity, and they're full of protein. You can easily find some and try them for yourself. 

BSFL contain up to 43% of protein and are rich in calcium and other nutrients.

Those that have tried the black soldier fly larvae say that when cooking it, they smell somewhat like potatoes. When you eat them, they taste nutty and meaty, with a texture of soft meat. 

Dessert

Remember when you were a kid, and dessert was the part of the meal that you were most looking forward to?

Well, those days are here again.

Most dieticians agree that giving up dessert is bound to backfire, increasing your longing for forbidden cookies, cake and ice cream.

Boy eating ice cream

So indulge in some dessert, while at the same time giving your body another dose of essential nutrients by adding… Buffalo Worms. 

Raw Brownie with Buffalo Worm Powder and Vegan Banana Cocoa and Coffee Ice Cream

date brownie with vegan banana ice cream and meal worms

Ingredients (For 6 brownies)          

  • 300g datemass (Deglet Nour or Medjool)
  • 30 g of buffalo worm powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Vegan Banana Cocoa and Coffee Ice Cream

  • 4 frozen bananas
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • 1 teaspoon of instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Procedure for the Raw Brownies

  1. Mix the buffalo worm powder, cocoa, cocoa nibs, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add the datemass and knead into one uniform mass with your hands.
  3. Form 6 small brownies with your hands and place each brownie on a microwaveable plate

Procedure for the Vegan Banana Cocoa and Coffee Ice Cream

  1. Add the frozen bananas, water, coffee and cocoa powder to the blender and start blending.
  2. You will have to stop the blender and scrape down the sides of the blender and then start it again.
  3. Repeat until you have a smooth uniform and creamy mass.
  4. Place one brownie in the microwave and give it 10-20 seconds on high heat, remove and top it with the ice cream and some cocoa nibs or freeze-dried mealworms.
date brownie with vegan banana ice cream and cacao nibs

Benefits

If you are still intimidated at the idea of edible insects, this is an easy way to introduce them to your diet by adding them to a familiar food.

Brownies are a universal favorite of, which most of us have fond memories from our childhood.

That makes it an ideal way to get used to eating insects as an addition to foods we all know and love.

Besides, this version is way healthier than the regular sugar-laden and rich brownie, but just as tasty, if not even tastier! 

buffalo worm cartoon

Like the insects mentioned here, buffalo worms are a powerful source of protein and nutrients. They can even be eaten alive, but freezing them and roasting them makes them more appealing.

A Good Starting Place

Armed with a plan, you can begin incorporating edible insects into your diet as part of foods that you already enjoy.

Another easy way to get started with edible insects is by purchasing protein bars made with cricket powder, or substituting a small amount of cricket powder for flour in recipes for cookies or muffins.

As you get accustomed to edible insects in your diet, you can work your way up to more ambitious foods. 

Before you know it, you will be an edible insect connoisseur...as well as one of the healthiest people you know.

Which recipe will you try first?

Let me know in the comments below.

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