Truly Nolen’s Thanksgiving Cookbook: Insect Inspired Holiday Favorites

Truly Nolen's Thanksgiving Cookbook: Insect Inspired Holiday Favorites

Gearing up for cooking a grand Thanksgiving feast this year? Truly Nolen suggests trying some new additions to your turkey dinner traditions. While different cultures have enjoyed consuming insects for centuries, most of the US is just now getting accustomed to the idea of adding fried, dried and chocolate covered bugs to our menus.

Spurring interest in insects as sustainable food sources

Initiated by a 2013 United Nations Food and Agriculture report, Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security, a growing interest in eating more insects is simmering in current food trends.  As a potential solution to feeding an “estimated nine billion people globally, by the year 2050,” insects offer a surprising amount of nutritional value. As a sustainable food source, scientists are still working out how the sustainability issue works, considering farmers still need to use water and land resources to grow the same crops to feed insects as they do livestock and chickens.

Insects provide nutritional solutions to predicted global food shortage

In addition to eating bugs as a protein source, many insects provide nine essential amino acids and offer good sources for “B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acid, alpha linoleic acid.”  Also, because diners eat entire insects, even when eating muffins, breads and other baked goods made from ground insect flour, they benefit from the nutrient-rich exoskeletons, as well as, the protein from muscles.

Over 1,900 insect species are consumed by two billion people in different cultures around the world

Known as “entomophagy,” the practice of eating insects, edible insects include beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, termites, mealworms, ants and some bees, as well as many others. In Mexico, crickets, or “chapulines,” are enjoyed roasted with garlic and lime juice or served with guacamole. Mealworm tacos are considered a tasty treat south of the border as well. Crickets, commonly ground to make a nutritional flour are served fried as a bar snack in Thailand. Fried, sun-dried or steamed in banana leaves, termites have been consumed for eons in South America and Africa.  With over 1,900 insect species consumed by two billion people in different cultures around the world, some insects are said to resemble nuts in flavor and that crickets taste somewhat like shrimp when fried and like sunflower seeds when roasted.

Insect farm sources make excellent time-saving choices for beginning bug chefs

In lieu of harvesting your own insects, you might want to save prep time by ordering insects from a reputable insect farm. Choose from a variety of pre-roasted, dried or fried beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, mealworms, waxworms, ants and other insects. For dessert, chocolate covered insects add flavor and nutritional value to cake and pie toppings, or can be served as is. For those who just can’t get their appetites around the idea of eating bugs, insect flours, powders and seasoning salts add a nutty, richer dimension when substituted for traditional ingredients.

Insect farmers offer a wide variety of insects online

These sites offer a wide range of insect products for your Thanksgiving dinner:

With these taste notes and insect sources in mind, Truly Nolen suggests some sweet and savory twists on traditional favorites for your Thanksgiving dinner festivities. We can’t think of better conversation starters.

  • Appetizers
    • Pumpkin spice crickets make crunchy seasonal cocktail snacks.
    • Lightly battered and pan-fried dragonflies served with a remoulade sauce add an exotic touch to your feast.
    • Add crunch and flavor to your spinach artichoke dip with roasted beetles.
    • Grasshopper kebabs are an attention-getting starter.
  • Salads
    • Bee larvae, grasshoppers, crickets and other insects can take the place of bacon bits in salads.
    • Gelatin salads make perfect dishes for extra flair and flavor, by adding waxworms.
  • Side dishes
    • Adding grasshoppers to your cornbread stuffing gives a traditional dish more flavor and nutrients.
    • Crunchy crickets on top of your sweet potato casserole take the place of nuts.
    • Cranberry sauce gets a tangy twist with citrus seasoned mealworms.
    • Add crunchy insects to your green bean casserole for more flavor.
  • Desserts
    • Creative chefs can do a lot with roasted and chocolate covered insects.
    • In pecan pies, on top of pumpkin pies, and as the crusts for these and other baked holiday favorites, your guests will also enjoy edible insects in cookies and brownies.

If a developing trend in eating insects piques your interest this Thanksgiving, your options for entertaining your friends and family with insect-infused recipes abound. Truly Nolen wishes you and yours a happy, healthy Thanksgiving. Should eating insects be in your plans this holiday season, bon appétit! For all other insect and household pest concerns, contact us to schedule a free pest inspection, or schedule one online. Happy Thanksgiving!

We leave you with some food for thought . . .

Girl Meets Bug’s Grasshopper Kebab Recipe

If you feel like you’re coming to grips with the whole eating insects thing . . . then show off your skills with grasshopper kebabs. Crunchy, tasty, and really revolting looking, this will start filtering out the truly dedicated bug bakers.

Ingredients:

  • 12 large grasshoppers or similar edible insect
  • 1 large red bell pepper cut into chunks
  • 1 white onion cut into wedges

For the marinade:

  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp honey
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp mixed garden herbs of your choice (eg rosemary, mint or thyme for a fresh summer feeling or oregano and basil for a more Mediterranean flavor)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Pinch ground pepper

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a glass bowl or baking dish. Add the insects, cover and leave in the fridge overnight. When ready to cook, remove the insects and gently pat them dry. Skewer the ingredients alternating between pepper, onion and insects so skewers are nicely arranged. Finally, drizzle some olive oil over the kebabs and cook a few inches above a fire for just under 10 minutes, or alternatively, under the grill turning regularly until all the ingredients are a golden brown and crispy.

Roaches: Scary, Gross and Possibly Zombies

interesting and weird facts about roaches

From their pre-historic origins, for over 280 million years, these dreaded creatures have been wandering the globe. Over 4,000 species exist worldwide, with one species or another either creeping around in your basement, flying right at you, dropping on you from trees and ceilings in the dark of night or others scattering in throngs of thousands, when caught invading your kitchen, cockroaches are one of our most terrifying pests.

Huge cockroaches live in South America and they can fly

While gargantuan South American cockroaches, the stuff of nightmares, grow up to almost 4 inches long with a 6-inch wingspan, the most common cockroaches in the US include American cockroaches (also known as: palmetto bugs, water bugs and fudgies), German cockroaches, Oriental cockroaches and brown-banded cockroaches.

Cockroaches transmit dangerous pathogens, cause respiratory viruses and allergic reactions

Not only do these creep show characters give us the heebie-jeebies, some transmit respiratory viruses, such as the Hantavirus, provoke asthma attacks and cause allergic reactions. Spreading over 30 human pathogens, in addition to a variety of parasitic worms and viruses, cockroaches can spread food-borne illnesses by transmitting Salmonella and Ecoli viruses picked up on their legs as they roam around in waste and decaying food scraps. And just in time for Halloween, here’s some more facts about cockroaches to enhance their squirm factors.

A cockroach can live for a week with no head

Often remarked that roaches will be the only creatures that survive in a post-apocalyptic world, according to a PestWorld.com article, cockroaches can live for a week without their heads. Because of their circulatory system, they can breathe without their head or mouth. In fact, they are able to breathe through small holes in each body segment. But because they need mouths to drink, cockroaches die from thirst in a week or so with no heads, during which they stumble around like zombies. And because they are cold-blooded, cockroaches with their heads intact are able to survive a month without food.

Submerged in water, cockroaches can survive up to 40 minutes

Thinking you can flush your problems away? Think again. Like that scary monster that just won’t die, a cockroach can hold its breath underwater for 40 minutes. Seems these creatures practice holding their breaths to regulate water retention. American cockroaches, in addition to their large sizes, their reputation for flying right at people, as well as, allegedly chasing them around their homes are also attracted to beer, according to PestWorld.com. Attracted to the hops and sugar, American cockroaches may also use the beer as a source of water and food!

New, invasive cockroach can survive freezing temps

According to NBCnews.com reporter, Frank Eltman’s 2012 article, “Invasive Cockroach Resistant to Freezing Cold Found on High Line,” winter can’t even stop some cockroaches. Observed in the High Line, a raised park that runs along Manhattan’s West Side, an invasive Asian cockroach, Periplaneta japonica can survive freezing temperatures.

With their ancient lineage, cockroaches have developed scary skills

As one of the oldest insects in history, cockroaches have developed some spooky skills over time. Cockroaches can spread viruses and pathogens throughout homes in very little time. Plus, as the US’s most common roach, German cockroaches mature in little over a month, enabling them to cause allergic reactions and outbreaks of other illnesses throughout the US. To top it all off, they are quick! Adult cockroaches can run up to three miles an hour and baby cockroaches can run just as fast as their parents at one-day old. Creepy!

Truly Nolen, your roach control experts

Unlike ghouls, goblins, mummies, monsters and man-eating arachnids, cockroaches won’t disappear into the dawn of a new day, like the creatures of haunted house fame. While DIY products on the market promise to eliminate cockroaches in your home or business, Truly Nolen suggests contacting a professional pest control company to safely and effectively address your cockroach concerns.

Technicians, trained and certified in control and treatment measures for different types of cockroaches keep your home and family in mind, using eco-friendly and naturally occurring methods and materials whenever possible. For on-going seasonal protection from all household pests, ask about our Four Seasons approach to household pests that creates a pest-free barrier around your home, using our innovative, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system.

Along with a professional pest control company’s protocols, homeowners can help deter roaches and other pests. Homeowners can take some common sense measures to keep cockroaches out of their homes. Prevention tips include:

  • Sealing cracks and crevices around your home’s foundation.
  • Regularly cleaning and sweeping food prep and dining areas.
  • Carefully inspect and/or discard all cardboard boxes or bags brought home from the store to ensure you’re not inviting a hitchhiking cockroach.
  • Tightly sealing all dried food items in glass, metal or hard plastic containers.
  • Storing all open food in the fridge or in tightly-sealed containers.
  • Keeping all outdoor trash receptacles clean and sanitized.
  • Removing all debris and unkempt vegetation from house exteriors.
  • Repairing all screens and sealing cracks around entryways.
  • Repairing or replacing all leaky faucets and water prone areas.

Halloween can be frightening, but not as scary as cockroaches. For expedient and expert solutions to your roach and other creepy pest concerns, contact your local Truly Nolen location to schedule a free pest inspection today! Happy Halloween!