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3 recipes our food editor tried



The invitation came by email.

Montclair State University invited me to lunch. On the menu: cicadas.


It turns out that Cortni Borgerson, assistant professor of anthropology at the university, has been marinating, sautéing, coating, boiling, rolling, and slicing beetles since working on her PhD in Madagascar 15 years ago. There she feasted on Sakondry, also known as the bacon beetle, a nutritious (high protein) alternative that she and her colleagues hope to replace the consumption of the endangered lemurs in the island nation.

Now in New Jersey, living in Montclair, she teaches and studies all about sustainable food sources, environmental health, and nutrition – which apparently means insects.

Insects are, according to Borgerson, “twice as rich in protein as beef,” and unlike cattle, lamb and pigs, they have no negative impact on the environment. And because it’s finally cicada season in the northeast, Borgerson eats and serves the three-inch-long, red-eyed beetle to friends, family, and now – because I’m the food editor of The Record and – me.

No doubt you’ve heard the Brood-X cicadas appear in New Jersey after living underground for 17 years.

“It’s the largest recurring cicada in the world,” said Borgerson, a 36-year-old mother of two. “And Northeast America is especially blessed.”

Dr.  Cortni Borgerson, assistant professor of anthropology at Montclair State University, will prepare and eat cicadas Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

In New Jersey, Brood-X cicadas have been sighted in Princeton, including South Jersey; Borgerson said that the insects are due to the use of pesticides, the large number of trees felled (trees are the bread and butter of cicadas) and the great development of the area (excavation through concrete is impossible).

More coverage:Is it a cicada year in New Jersey? Brood X appears

So Borgerson went foraging at Princeton, where the cicadas are busy shedding their skin, unfolding their wings, hardening their new skin, and looking for a mate (that deafening noise is the males’ mating call; they die shortly afterwards) . There she harvested cicadas for our food, plucked them from trees and carefully tossed them into plastic containers. She looked for cicadas in the teneral stage, that is, immediately after they had assumed their adult form and were still pale white. Tenerife cicadas, she said, are the most delicious. (However, seafood allergy sufferers should not eat it.)

Dr.  Cortni Borgerson, assistant professor of anthropology at Montclair State University, will prepare and eat cicadas Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

Back home, she quickly froze them.

“They’ll last two weeks in the freezer,” she said. “You shouldn’t leave them out – they spoil like leaving lobsters on the counter.”

Eating cicadas is healthy and has benefits

She hopes that in the future, eating bugs will be normal for us. It is common to more than 2 billion people around the world (ants in China, grasshoppers in Mexico, bee larvae in Vietnam, beetles in the Amazon, crickets in Cambodia and Thailand).

Insects, she said, are nutritious (cicadas are low in calories, high in iron and protein, for example), sustainable (they don’t harm the environment and eat little), and a great way for us to feel connected to Mother Nature.

“We’re going to see a big boom in insect eating in the near future,” predicted Borgerson, comparing his potential rise to that of plant-based burgers. “It’s coming,” she said. “When I find bugs in the refrigerated section of my supermarket, I know we made it.”

Dr.  Cortni Borgerson, assistant professor of anthropology at Montclair State University, will prepare and eat cicadas Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

How to prepare cicadas to eat

Borgerson prepared most of our meals at home before we met in a campus kitchen. In a long summer dress, she unloaded bags filled with avocados, cream cheese, sushi rice, nori, sriracha and cooked cicadas. We wanted to have sushi for lunch – cicada sushi. But no, we wouldn’t eat the cicadas raw, assured Borgerson.

She opened two stainless steel containers and revealed a pile of small cooked bugs lying on paper towels. One contained cicadas that were quickly fried after marinating in gluten-free tamari, lime juice, and a few drops of sriracha (“I love it hot,” she said). The other contained cicadas that had been cooked quickly as if in shallow water.

Did I want to lock the door? Have I got a little squeamish?

No way. I couldn’t wait to put one in my mouth.

So i did.


How do cicadas taste?

Yum! The little beetles are surprisingly meaty, wonderfully crispy, a bit nutty and delicious all round. Some say they taste like shrimp, others like asparagus. Thank goodness nobody says they taste like chicken. I popped a few more.

Borgerson made some maki rolls for us with cicadas cooked in both directions, as well as avocado and cream cheese. If only she brought some sake.

I left happy, fed up, wondering if I should take time to go to Princeton this weekend. Some of us do pretty much anything to have a delicious, nutritious – and, when I think about it, free – lunch.

Get a fork and knife – cicada recipes for you

Here are three recipes courtesy of Cortni Borgerson of Montclair State University

Tempura cicadas

Singing sushi

Dr.  Cortni Borgerson, assistant professor of anthropology at Montclair State University, will prepare and eat cicadas Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

heat Frying oil.

Spread thinly Spread the sushi rice evenly on the nori sheet.

Set up tempura Cicada, avocado and cream cheese on the underside of the leaf. Roll the sushi tight.

Immerse the role Pour into the tempura batter and fry until golden brown.

Set the role smear on a paper towel or cloth until cool enough to cut.

Plate and drizzle with Sriracha cream sauce.

Serve warm.

Flaming cicada fondue

1 shot of rum

Heat the chocolate in a water bath while stirring and slowly adding small amounts of water or milk until a nice melting consistency is achieved, which is ideal for dipping.

For in a fondue pot and surrounded with bowls of fruits and cicadas.

Pour the rum over it and light it with a long match / lighter.

Once the fire burns out, dive into the cicadas and fruits.

Serves: 4th

Share cool cicada Facts and enjoy the epic end to your science and family evening.

Esther Davidowitz is the Food Editor for To learn more about where to eat and drink, subscribe today and subscribe to our North Jersey Eats newsletter.


Twitter: @estherdavido

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Healthy Eating

One Major Effect Garlic Has On Your Gut, Says Science



Your gut is arguably one of the most important things to look out for when it comes to your overall health, as it can affect your risk for things like excessive weight gain, gastrointestinal disorders, and even cancer.

As more research is done, experts find that Food and nutrition play a huge role in maintaining your gut health. In fact, foods like yogurt, sprouted grains, salmon, and garlic have all been shown to make a positive contribution.

Particularly noteworthy is garlic. Not only because it is delicious, but also because it has been used medicinally for thousands of years. One important effect of garlic on your gut that researchers recently discovered is its Ability to act as a prebiotic for your gut microbiome.

But why is it so important? Well, maintaining a balanced gut microbiome is vital as it is the group of bacteria, fungi, and other components that live in your digestive tract that directly affect things like your digestion, immune system, and even your mental health!

Read on to learn exactly why prebiotic foods like garlic are necessary for maintaining a healthy gut.

First, what is garlic made of?

Garlic may be small, but it’s actually a complex food, with many different types of nutrients and compounds that make it a common medicinal meal supplement.

According to Nutrients, garlic cloves are mostly made up of carbohydrates, but they also contain protein, fiber, amino acids, water, and organosulfur compounds (which are also found in broccoli, onions, and cabbage).

Most of the carbohydrates in garlic are fructose polymers known as fructans. Although the health benefits of fructans are constantly being researched, many experts consider them “health-promoting food ingredients”.

For example, a report published in the Scientific World Journal states that fructans are known to promote better immune health, act as antioxidants in the body, and potentially act as prebiotics in the gut.

RELATED: Secret Side Effects of Eating Garlic, Science Says

How garlic helps your gut


It is important to note that much of the current research on garlic and gut health is conducted through animal testing, so more specifically related to human health needs to be discovered.

However, current knowledge about garlic and human health is positive and shows many specific benefits for the human gut microbiome.

According to Food Science & Human Wellness, the fructans contained in garlic act as “prebiotics” in the intestinal microbiome and promote the production of “good” intestinal bacteria (also known as bifidobacteria).

Prebiotics can do this by passing through your digestive tract without actually being digested, which allows them to be used as nourishment for the good bacteria in your gut, helping to keep the other bacteria in your gut at bay.

In addition, prebiotics are known to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cancer and other serious diseases, according to the Encyclopedia of Food and Health.

So it’s easy to see that garlic really does have some amazing gut health benefits, and while more research needs to be done, the current results are promising!

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Healthy Eating

Craving food vs. choosing food – FIT Talk With Tania



Photo: Contributed

When we use food to create hormonal balance instead of dieting, amazing things happen to our health.

When it comes to food, here in North America and in all of the First World countries we have choices – an overwhelming variety.

Aside from the rush for toilet paper over the past year, how many times have you gone to the grocery store and seen empty shelves? It never happens.

Some call it a blessing, some blame it on their poor food choices.

Regardless of where you sit on this food spectrum, we know for sure that we should be one of the healthiest nations on earth. But we are not. As a wealthy First World country, we have an abundance of food, but the vast majority of the population is nutritionally starved. One wonders how that can happen. It all depends on the choice.

Many diseases such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, digestive problems and leaky gut are all referred to as lifestyle diseases today. Why? Because the lifestyle that the individual has chosen over time is what caused the disease.

It would therefore seem logical that if our decisions could have a negative outcome, it would seem reasonable that they could elicit a positive response as well. And there is science to back it up.

A study published on the NCBI website by the National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health, shows how diet and lifestyle changes are key to reversing these lifestyle ailments and restoring general health.

“But Tania,” you say, “there is heart disease in my family, so sooner or later I’ll get it.”

So why not do it as late as possible?

And to address the genetic elephant in the room, our DNA only controls about 20 percent of the result of our health. Some scientists are now saying that it is even less. This means that we have about 80 percent control over the outcome of our health. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

So why do most of our population continue to make poor food choices?

There are two aspects that play a role in how and what we eat – physiological and psychological.

The way our bodies are made up, our physiology requires us to ingest food. When we deprive our body of what it needs – restricting calories, removing food groups, forgetting to eat, skipping meals, eating junk food – blood sugar crashes and appetite hormones like leptin and grehlin are out of whack. .

However, the brain – the psychological component – still needs nourishment.

When we withdraw the energy it needs from our body, Grehlin goes into full swing and causes the brain to tell the body that it needs food quickly. Leptin, which normally tells us when we are full, is switched off.

Hello cravings and overeating. And then people are most likely to resort to packaged, processed, and / or sugary foods rather than healthy, healthy foods. It is a good thing to ignore cravings for bad food, but if you don’t refuel with good food on a regular basis throughout the day (for whatever reason – time, working late, dieting), your body will get its own Muscles take it away to form glucose and send it to the brain. Oh, and for your information, in case you’re wondering, it won’t take away from your stored fat.

It is quite difficult to make good food choices when hormones and “hangry” feelings are working against you when you demand to be fed as soon as possible. The thing is, you can get these hormones to work in your favor, to work with your body and brain to get rid of cravings, overeating, and spontaneous snacking. Believe it or not, you do it with food. The thing is, when food is used to restore hormonal balance, health happens.

Hormones are balanced when blood sugar levels are stabilized. And the way to stabilize blood sugar is to eat small, macro-balanced meals every three to four hours throughout the day.

I call this all three PFCs. Simply put, it’s a balanced mix of high-quality protein, healthy fat, and colorful carbohydrates combined within an hour of waking up and then every three to four hours throughout the day until about an hour and a half before bed.

It’s a simple concept that requires a little organization and preparation to get started, but the benefits are well worth it.

Blood sugar levels become normal, hormones are balanced, menopausal symptoms are minimized or eliminated, inflammation is reduced, joint pain is relieved, digestion is improved, cholesterol and blood pressure are normalized, the immune system is improved, it could help reverse some diseases, the Metabolism will turn on and stay on and the body will release stored fat and burn it for energy.

Just a little trivia for you – Did you know that for every pound of fat, there are 3,500 calories of stored energy waiting to be consumed? And as soon as the stored fat is broken down, will the excess weight that you possibly carry also be released?

It’s a wonderful side benefit that occurs when you stop dieting and focus on creating health.

Do you want to create health in your body? Join the 8 Weeks is All it Takes Facebook group today.

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Healthy Eating

The Surprising Snack You Should Avoid Because It Causes Bloating And Fatigue Throughout The Day



Snacking is a normal and healthy part of any diet, as long as you choose the right snacks. When deciding which foods to include in your diet to bridge the gap between meals, it is important to choose nutrient-rich ingredients that can help boost your energy levels and support an increased feeling of satiety to help you achieve the Avoid consuming excess calories throughout the day.

However, not all high macronutrient density snacks are actually ideal for weight loss, and some can make sweeping claims while they may get in the way of your weight loss success or even cause weight gain, inflammation, and discomfort. If you are struggling with a tight and bloated stomach after snacking, there comes a point where nutritionists agree that you should consider eliminating it from your diet.

We are giving away a clean, environmentally friendly hand soap package from Cleancult


Protein is hands down one of the most important nutrients to include in any balanced diet, but the way you consume your protein is important to consider. While protein bars are a simple snack, they are generally not well suited to promoting weight loss and wellness, and are often full of preservatives, excess carbohydrates, and added sugars, but they can make inflammation in your body worse.

“Unfortunately, the quality of most bars on the market is very poor and should not be considered healthy,” warns registered dietitian Trista Best. “The vast majority are made up of refined carbohydrates, sugar and gluten, all of which can lead to gas and fatigue . “

If you’re snacking on a protein bar, chances are you’re looking for a quick protein boost and enough energy to get you through to your next meal. However, opting for a bar over a naturally occurring source of protein can come with a number of side effects, many of which are uncomfortable for the body. “As the body works to process these ingredients, it becomes inflamed, especially the intestines, and this inflammation leads to gas and fatigue, among other things,” says Best.

Although gas isn’t directly related to weight gain, it can make your body feel uncomfortable and negatively affect your mental health. If you feel that your clothes are tighter you may be inclined to ditch your healthy eating plan, but it is better to identify the foods that are causing these problems rather than assuming your weight loss plan will fail.


Since protein bars are often filled with additives and excess sugar, they can also have an inverse effect on your metabolism, making it difficult to burn fat at rest and consequently, weight gain over time. This snack may go well with your healthy diet as it provides one of the most important macronutrients you need to streamline your diet, but at the end of the day, getting your protein from more natural sources like chickpeas will serve you better Salad, lean meat, or even Greek yogurt.

These foods are more likely to keep your body energized while also being low in calories, sugar, and unhealthy preservatives, making them better at limiting inflammation, fatigue, and weight gain.

If you’ve just finished a difficult workout or are severely low in calories for the day, a low-sugar, high-protein bar may not be the worst option for getting a quick burst of energy. However, make sure that you don’t rely on this highly processed snack in your daily diet to banish gas, unnecessary fatigue, and discomfort and try to find more natural alternatives to give your body the energy it needs needed to make it between meals.

As with any food, you can enjoy protein bars in moderation and still see success with your healthy diet, but contrary to popular belief, in order to feel optimal about your body, they shouldn’t be a part of your diet. A good rule of thumb is to eat as many natural, whole foods as possible, and there are a variety of different sources that will benefit your body in the long run.

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