acorns yum (native nutrition) this information was gathered at various places surfing the net.

it is included here with references and gratitude to the point of origin and links where ever possible. aaoob storable foods takes no responsibility for the accuracy of these articles, but provides them as 'of interest' articles for those involved in food storage or acquisition of alternative food sources. acorns acorns the white oak acorn (quercus sp.) the slow-growing white oak tree has provided countless pieces of fine furniture as well as fuel for warming hearths for many years. but modern society has completely forgotten the fruits of these often more than 200-year-old trees. the acorn, the fruit of the white oak tree, was a staple of the american indian for centuries. prepared properly, it provided breads, nutmeats, and even a tasty desert! there are two types of acorn-producing oak trees - the red oak and the white oak. both are edible, but the white oak is so far superior that once you�ve tasted it, you probably won�t want the red oak again. the white oak acorn has thick scales on the crown, a smooth shell and white meat. red oak acorns have a yellow meat and a downy lining. additionally, the white oak tree bears leaves with rounded or no lobes, usually between 5 and 9 in number. all acorns contain tannin - a substance once used to tan hides. you must leach this prior to eating. one of the reasons for the white oak�s popularity is that it contains far less tannin than the red oak. leaching the white oak takes about an hour, the red oak may require all day. to leach the acorn, first remove the meat from the shell. you may boil the acorn for 10 to 15 minutes to soften the shell, if needed. cut the cap off, and slice the acorn in half. remove the meat. indians would place the meats into a wicker basket and let it soak in a running stream for a day or two. with modern bacteria occupying most of america�s waterways, this can no longer be considered safe. euell gibbons described the following method: put many holes in a coffee can. fill the can with nut meat and place it under the tap in your sink. allow the water to run just fast enough to keep the nutmeats covered. allow this to run overnight. another method comes is to put the white oak meats into a pot with enough water to cover. bring the water to a boil, then drain. repeat 3 times or till the bitterness is gone (the water should be clear). once you have leached the nuts, dry them on a cookie sheet in a low oven (about 200�f) for 2 or 3 hours - till the nuts become brittle. remove from the oven and cool. you can now grind the meats into a protein and fat rich flour, eat them as a tasty nut (salt as desired), or make a tasty acorn dessert. used with permission of mark a. harris. how to use acorns for bread and food there are many species of oak trees. oak trees are found throughout.

they prefer open woods and bottom land. normally, they are divided into two major groups: red oak - the red oaks have deeply scalloped leaves with very pointed tips. the acorns from the red oak are very bitter. the acorns require two growing seasons to mature, have a hairy lining on the inside of the shell, and the nutmeats are yellow in color. red oaks are also members of the black oak family. (photo: oak trees - quercus spp. provide acorns rich in protein and oils) white oak - the white oak also has leaves with deep scallops, but the tips are rounded. the acorns of the white oak are less bitter than those of the red oak, and they require only one growing season. the inner portion of the white oak acorn shell is smooth, and the nutmeat is white in color. the chestnut oak is considered part of the white oak classification. nuts: the nuts are gathered during the fall from september to october. when processed properly, acorns have a pleasant nutty flavor. acorns are an excellent source of energy, protein, carbohydrate, and calcium. when collecting acorns, one should not be surprised that many of them must be discarded due to insects or mold, so more should be collected than are needed. if you spread a sheet of plastic under the tree and use only those acorns that fall within a one-day period, this seems to reduce bug infestation, an especially important problem for acorns that are to be stored in their shell. the ripe tan-to-brown acorns, rather than the unripe green ones, should be gathered. the bitterness in acorns is caused by tannic acid which is water soluble. to remove this unpleasant taste, shell the brown, ripe acorns and remove any corky skin layers, dice the meat; and boil the chunks in water from 15 to 30 minutes until the water turns brown. then pour off the water and repeat the process until the water clears, indicating that the tannic acid has been removed. periodically taste a bit of the acorns until you no longer detect any bitterness. (native americans would let the crushed acorn meat soak in a fast-moving, clean stream for several weeks to remove the bitterness.) during the last boiling, salt water can be added; then the acorns can be deep fried or mixed in a soup. also, finely chopped acorn meats can be added to bread and muffins, or the soft acorn nut can be added as a protein booster to cooked greens. after the leaching process, acorn meat can be frozen. to make flour, the boiled acorn meat can be split in two and dried by slowly baking in a 200 degree oven with the door cracked to allow moisture to escape. or, they can be dried in the sun. they are then crushed or ground and used as a thickener or as flour. another method is to roast the fresh acorns to work well in a grinder or blender. after grinding, the course flour is placed into a cloth bag and boiled to leach out the tannic acid. acorn flour can be used alone to make an acorn bread, but it is not very pleasing to most tastes. acorn flour is more palatable when mixed with wheat flour or corn meal-one part acorn meal mixed with four parts corn meal for corn bread, or one to four parts wheat for bread. the

acorn meal can also be heated in water to make a nutritious mush. or add enough water to make a thick batter. add a dash of salt and sweetener to improve the taste. allow the batter to stand for an hour (or until thick) then pat into pancakes and cook or twist and bake on an open fire. the leached acorns, after they are roasted until brittle, can be ground and used as a marginal coffee substitute. in their shell, the dried acorns will store for a time. some native americans stored acorns for several years in bags buried in boggy areas. caution: in the identification and use of wild edibles as a food and herbal healing source, care and attention to details should be exercised, as some plants are toxic. always use several field guides to insure proper identification. better yet, you should be trained by and expert. used with permission of byron kirkwood, b & a products. the above information was condensed from the book god's free harvest successful harvesting nature's free foods by ken larson. rhema publishing p.o. box 789 suwanee, georgia 30024 attn: ken larson acorns from: barbara sykes sugared (honeyed) acorns use either sugar or honey for a sweet acorn treat. dip (which have been leached and dried as described above) syrup or a 2:1 sugar to water solution. thoroughly dry pan. these will keep pretty well in a tin or glass jar holiday treats or gifts. the acorn meats into boiling them on a greased and make nice

acorn bread this holiday black bread must become a tradition in any house where it has once been tried! mix a cup of the ground acorn meal with 3 teaspoons. of baking powder, a tsp of salt, 3 tablespoons of sugar or honey, and a cup of white flour. separately, to a beaten egg add a cup of milk and 3 tablespoons of oil. stir this gently into the dry mix, then pour into a well-greased pan. bake your dough at 400�f for 30 minutes. top with butter when it comes out of the oven. serve anytime, but there exists no flavor quite like hot, homemade bread! note: pour the dough about 2/3 deep in muffin tins for some tasty muffins. bake them for 20 minutes and serve them with elderberry or dewberry jelly (if you still have any!). pancakes! mix half a cup of white flour with a cup of acorn meal, 2� teaspoons of baking powder, and � teaspoon of salt. separately mix a beaten egg with

1� cups of milk and 3 tablespoon of oil. pour just enough liquid into the flour mix to make a good batter. spoon the batter into a greased frying pan. fry till golden, flipping once. top your pancakes with your favorite syrup and serve hot! enjoy! the forager note: this article originally appeared in the november issue of the forager: the newsletter of edible wild plants. if you�d like more info about the forager, email your mailing address to tim_sykes@msn.com.

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