When you live in nature, starch is one of the hardest things to get and it is one of the best ways to feel full. It is made up of the sugars you need to obtain energy and, when it is not used, it is stored in the body as fat. This gives you reserves that you can use later when you need it, which is very useful when you have a lucky break in your search for food.
But did you know that there is an extremely common source of starch on your feet almost every fall? They are acorns! If the squirrels can eat them, why can not you? You probably asked the question and # 8220; Can you eat acorns and # 8221; and you would be a little right.
Ways to use acorns
There are three main methods in the use of acorns:
- picking them up like nuts right on the ground,
- making acorn flour,
- Cook in acorn oil.
Acorn gathering is probably the easiest part of the process, since all you need to do is find an oak in your area and observe the soil. The best ones would have already fallen and are ready to be taken. The best time to find a lot of acorns is between September and early spring and this covers the wide varieties of oaks that may exist in your area, as some fall off later than others.
Therefore, always pay attention to fresh acorns so that you have an abundant supply. Even if you find some acorns that have buds one to two inches long, they are still good to eat as long as you discard any meat that has begun to turn green.
One thing you should look for when you collect your acorns are the holes. If there are already small holes in the shells, then they are already infected with the larva of the oak weevil and should be discarded immediately. You do not want to eat these
Knowing the oaks well will help you determine how you can cook and eat the acorns you have chosen. Take samples of leaves in May and acorns and compare them with the images online to know the type of oaks in your area. This is important, as it can indicate the level of tannins in your acorn.
For example, acorns that are low in tannins can even be eaten raw. So, if you’ve been wondering and # 8220; Can you eat raw acorns and # 8221;, then the answer is yes, depending on the type? It will also tell you what each type of acorn is for, since they have a wide range of properties.
For example, in terms of fat content, acorns can vary from 1.1% to 31.3%; the protein can be from 2.3% to 8.6%; Carbohydrates can be from 32.7% to 89.7%. These are extremely wide ranges that provide multiple uses for different types of acorns. A more fatty acorn is better for making a meal like ground almonds, while an acorn rich in carbohydrates will make the flour drier.
Types of oaks to look for.
If you are looking for the y # 8220; sweetestand # 8221; acorns (this means that they have the lowest level of tannins and can be eaten raw), so you should consider these types of oaks:
- East white oak coast
- Oak emory
- Pin oak
- Oak of the valley
- Oak blue
- Oak strawberry
- cork oak
- Acorn oak
If you are looking for the larger acorns you are leaning toward, then you should look for:
- Oak of the valley
- East white oak coast
- Oak strawberry
- California black oak
For acorns that are high in fat, then you want to find:
- Oriental red oak
- Live oak
- Coastal oak
- Interior living oak
- Roasted oak
- Black oak
How to peel acorns
It seems that the acorns are extremely hard, which makes the questions are edible acorns in the first place. After all, they fall hundreds of feet on the hard ground and still can not break. But there is a secret to opening these acorns, and once you learn how, you will be amazed at how easy it is.
The bombing of the acorns will probably be the slowest part of the process, but in the end you will be generously rewarded for it. Their covers are a little elastic and are quite resistant to any normal type of nut cracker.
So the best thing is to use a hammer. First, if there is a cap still on your acorn, remove it. Then place this flat end on a hard surface and hit the end of the acorn with your hammer. Be careful when hitting it, since your hammer can easily slip and, instead, get your fingers. For extremely sharp points, such as the cork oak and valley oak, hit the side of the acorn instead.
This process is much easier if you choose to dry your acorns, as the shell becomes a little more brittle and easier to break. The best way to dry them is to put their acorns in shallow pans so they do not start to move. Even the oldest acorns will be easy to break when they have dried a little.
If you decide to make flour, then the race of your acorn matters. The red oak acorns seem to have a skin that does not want to come off, so they should be boiled first. This skin can be a bit bitter, so boiling it to eliminate it will definitely improve the flavor of your flour. They should be boiled a handful at a time, since allowing them to cool between the coatings will harden the skin again. With other types of acorns, you should wrap them in water, as this helps the meat oxidize faster and give your acorn flour a much lighter color.
Tannins are the bitter substance in plants that make acorns taste bad enough. Tannins can also make you feel nauseated and constipated for a few days, so it is best to get rid of it before you start eating acorns. You can do it through the simple process of boiling. The acorns can be placed directly in a pot with boiling water, and then they should be changed once the water darkens. It is about the tannins that are extracted so that the acorns are safer to eat.
Depending on the type of acorn, you will have to change the water between three and five times so that most of the tannins are removed. If you want the least amount of changes, choose acorns between # and # 8220; sweetand # 8221; list mentioned above.
Here is a useful video that details the process of preparing the acorns to eat:
Once they are free, you will need to dry them quickly or they will begin to rot. You can do this by using a dishcloth and patting or spreading them on a cookie sheet and leaving them in the sun to dry. Roasting them in the oven also works quite well. If you have already prepared your acorn meal, then you should store it in jars in the refrigerator, as the fat content in the acorns will begin to deteriorate rapidly if kept at room temperature.
An alternative method to extract tannins does not require any kind of heat, but it will take much longer. The acorns should be ground first in flour and then placed in a dry, non-reactive container. Mix one cup of water for every three cups of flour and then place them in a refrigerator or cold place. Shake the container every day for at least one or two weeks, wait an additional twelve hours and then empty the water and tannins. This is known as cold leech and is good for making acorn flour that you can use in baked goods.
A good video detailing this process can be seen above.
Making acorn flour
If you want to make acorn flour to use in cooking, then you will have to prepare them properly. What you will need is at least a gallon of acorns, cooking leaves or a dehydrator, something to break the nuts (nutcracker, mallet or hammer), a flour mill, corn flour grinder or potato grinder and a sieve.
Prepare the acorns as you normally would by boiling them until the tannins have been removed. Then pass them with your mallet or hammer until they are in smaller pieces. You want to have the shells and the skin separated from the meat of the acorn so that they do not alter the flavor of your flour. Then use your potato crusher or shredder while they are still wet so you can get a powder texture.
You want to crush the pieces as best you can to make the most of your acorns. Spread the flour through the biscuit trays and let them dry in the sun or in your dehydrator. Once it is dry, you may want to reposition it in a food processor to make sure it is as good as it can before sifting it. This eliminates any grain that may remain. Store your flour in an airtight container in a dark and dry cabinet or in the refrigerator.
Making acorn oil
Pressing acorns to obtain oil may seem like an impossible task, but it can be done. The oil represents almost a third of the weight of the acorn and can be used for a variety of purposes. However, one of those is not eating. Hunters have been using acorn oil to attract animals, as well as to mask their own aroma in the forest.
Here is a video that details other uses for acorn oil:
Check all the previous YouTube videos for useful tips.
Other ways to eat acorns
If you are wondering if there are other ways to make acorns edible, then you have come to the right place. Due to their versatility, once processed, acorns can be used in many things, such as:
- Acorn crisp: all you have to do is follow any recipe for crisp peanuts and replace the peanuts with processed acorns. Then, just let it cool, and you’ll have a delicious healthy snack that can take you anywhere. Having this prepared in advance can give you the energy boost you need when you start to feel exhausted.
- Acorn bread: while the acorns are leeched, wait until they are halfway between dry and wet and pass them through the blender, the grain mill or grindstone between two rocks. Allow the flour to air dry for a few hours in the sun and then grind it again to make sure the flour is well. Then use any bread recipe you can know. It will not be as soft and fluffy as wheat flour, and it will tend to be more crumbly.
- Acorn cookies: after making acorn flour, you can try these delicious cookies by exchanging your wheat flour for acorn flour. You will need three cups of acorn flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, two eggs, two teaspoons of vanilla extract, one cup of white sugar, one cup of butter, one cup of brown sugar , and a cup of peanut butter.
Mix the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl, and then the softened butter and peanut butter in another bowl. Add vanilla and sugars to the butter mixture and mix well until blended. Add the eggs, mix again and then add the flour mixture until smooth. Roll the dough into balls and place in an ungreased baking dish and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees or until they begin to brown. This recipe makes approximately 48 to 60 cookies.
- Acorn coffee: This will not have the same dose of caffeine as coffee, but it can serve as a substitute for coffee if you are looking for something that has a similar flavor. Roast the acorns with leeched for thirty minutes at 400 degrees until they are dark brown. Then, add a teaspoon of roasted acorn to an eight-ounce cup of boiling water and let stand for about five to ten minutes. You can choose to add milk and sugar, or drink it black. Above is a quick video showing how to make acorn coffee.
Dietary benefits of eating acorns
Acorns provide many health benefits that people probably did not know before. Like most nuts, they are a fairly dense food, which means you’ll feel fuller for longer. They are not as high in fat as other nuts, but they are rich in carbohydrates, as well as vitamins and minerals.
It has even been shown that the properties of acorns help control blood sugar levels, which is ideal for those who suffer or are prone to diabetes.
The acorns definitely have more use than we give them credit, and now you know the question, can you eat acorns? It takes a lot of patience to get the most out of these tough nuts, but there’s no reason to simply throw them away when you’re likely to have them in abundance in your backyard.
In fact, you may have more than you know how to do, so why not start using these nuts and include them in your diet? Maybe the lack of them will keep the squirrels out of their yard for once, now that they are taking their food supply.