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Acorns: More Than Just Squirrel Food

Acorns

Today, acorns might not be viewed as the tastiest nut, but they have certainly proven to be a great source of energy to our ancestors given their high fat content. The ancient Greeks and Japanese used to eat acorns in times of famine. Since acorns have a long shelf life, they can be stored underground for years, which is a common behavior among squirrels as well. 

Are Acorns edible?

Acorns are not edible for human consumption in their raw form as they contain tannins that are responsible for their bitter taste and toxic nature. However, treatment methods like leaching (soaking nuts in cold water) remove most of the tannins from acorns which not only make them suitable for consumption but add a nutty and sweetish flavor to them.

Image Credit: pasja1000 from Pixabay 

What Do Acorns Taste Like?

Raw acorns are very bitter and gritty and must be processed prior to eating. Acorns that are leached or roasted are nutty and sweet. For some people, the taste of leached acorns is similar to that of boiled potatoes. While many oak species give bitter-tasting acorns, some produce sweeter nuts like European white oaks.

How to Cook Acorns from Your Yard

Leached and cooked acorns can be eaten whole or ground into flour to make several dishes. Acorn meal has been traditionally used for breakfast gruel while acorn flour can be used for making bread, pancakes, muffins, pasta, and dumplings. 

Image Credit: 165106 from Pixabay 

Try making the following recipes using acorn flour and wheat flour in 1:1 to get all that nuttiness and nutrition of the acorns.

●      Boston Brown Bread

●      Irish Soda Bread

●      Hermit Cookie Bars

The easiest way to consume acorns is roasting them as it gives them a nutty crunch. You can try out our recipe for candied nuts using leached acorns which makes for a great healthy snack. In some parts of North America, people like to add acorns into their soups, and stews. Similarly, roasted acorns make a good side for grilled fish, chicken, and meat. 

How to Store Acorns?

Since acorns are high in fats, they must not be stored in warm conditions to prevent them from going rancid. To store whole acorns, dry them in direct sunlight while they’re in their shells, and store them in your pantry for up to 3 years. Similarly, you can store acorn flour in a tightly sealed container kept inside a freezer for up to several weeks.

Feature Image: klimkin from Pixabay 

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