Processing local oak acorns

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By an Edhat Subscriber

Do Edhatters have any experience processing acorns from our local oak trees? I gathered some on my hike through Stevens Park and want to learn how to prepare them properly.

What I did was to boil the shelled kernels and change the water several times. This didn't do much to the taste, so I let them soak overnight, which literally made the water black. I repeated this again, but still got quite a bitter taste when I try them.

Are our acorns particularly high in tannins? Any suggestions?

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LarryMichael Oct 03, 2017 07:54 AM
Processing local oak acorns

Now is a good time to harvest the acorns to plant out in the early spring. Rinse them in tap water and put them in a plastic bag in the fridge. Leave it open a bit and keep an eye on them. In the early spring, just make a hole in the ground and plant a couple of seeds in each hole. We have planted hundred of oaks in this way on larger properties. Using a battery drill and an augar after a spring rain, we drill hundreds of holes and drop a couple of seeds in each hole. Step on it a bit and move on to the next. You can plant, without bending over, as many as you like. In wild areas with grazing animals, try and plant the seeds in spots that are overgrown. This will help hide the seedling until it can grow above the "browsing" line of deer, etc.

Bug Girl Oct 03, 2017 07:39 AM
Processing local oak acorns

honest-food(dot)net(slash)how-to-eat-acorns has a very nice how-to. Each tree has different amounts of tannins even within the same species. Coast Live Oaks yield pretty good flavor, but you must leach the tannins out and it takes time. First, collect the acorns, and sort through them, discarding any with holes in them, these have bugs. Then, shell them. Then coarseley grind them. The Chumash would put them in this stage into baskets that they would weigh down, in the creeks flowing through the area, slow movement of fresh water on it would slowly leach the tannins out. Some people put the acorns at this point in a large jar in the fridge filled with water. Shake the jar a few times a day, and replace the water each time it turns black. These are the tannins that give it that bitter taste that you're trying to get out. Once the acorns have stopped leaching, you can drain them and dry them out, spreading them out in the sun (traditional) or in a dehydrator, or spread on a cookie sheet in your oven on the very lowest setting (or just the pilot light) and turning them frequently to prevent actual toasting/roasting, and keep the drying even. Then you can grind them up into acorn meal. They are labor intensive! But a nutritious food source.

new2sb Oct 02, 2017 10:38 PM
Processing local oak acorns

I know a couple of squirrels who are nuts about them just plain raw.

REX OF SB Oct 02, 2017 09:15 PM
Processing local oak acorns

I honestly didn't know you could eat them. What do they taste like?

patrick Oct 02, 2017 07:43 PM
Processing local oak acorns

As I recall, the natives dried them first, ground them then rinsed them in water, for a long long time. You might google ‘acorn meal’. On a related note, our oaks are having a bumper crop of acorns this year.

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