For many thousands of years, the humble acorn has been food for people from all over the world. From the Native Americans, to the people of Korea, acorns have long been a staple in the diets of ancient people. Sadly, however, modern society has almost forgotten about the fine nuts from the big, mighty oak trees, which are just as edible and nutritious as they ever were.

Acorns are the fruits of the oak trees as well as their close cousins in the family of fagaceae. Most of the trees in this family produce edible fruits, or nuts, though most are not very tasty at all. The red and white oaks have the best tasting nut-meats. According to experts the white oak variety is the best tasting of them all. A good rule-of-thumb is: “The bigger the cap on the acorn, the more bitter it will be. “

Acorns contain tannins. This makes them very bitter to the taste. The tannins need to be leeched out of the acorns before they get close to tasty, by human standards. The best way to remove the yellow colored tannins is to soak them in water, and changing the water every so often. Once the water becomes clear, the acorns are ready to be prepared for consumption. This method is simple, but effective. This is also the best for keeping the nutritional integrity, and the starch quality intact.

From the prepared acorns, many food staples are made from the meats, such as flour, starch, mush, breads and other baked goods. Acorn flour is being used more often by people with gluten sensitivity, as it does not contain gluten, but instead is laden full of nutritional value. Acorns contain protein, carbohydrates, fats, phosphorus, calcium, niacin and potassium. It is advised by professionals to replace no more than 50% of flour with acorn flour. This is due to its blandness.

Other than flours and starches, acorns are being used in many sorts of food items, including an acorn and cocoa spread. To quote Peter Becker, “NewTella is a sweet breadspread just like Nutella, the famous hazelnut creme, except that all ingredients are locally available, it has less sugar and the only fats are from the acorn. “ He uses apple juice and sugar with pectin in his product to make it sweet and supposedly delicious. This writer has never tried it, but will be on the look-out for a jar, which can be found upon his website – http://www.newtritionink.com/index1.html

If you would like to try acorns as a food for the very first time, it is advised to use a commercially made flour, which you can find through specialty food retailers, and possibly shopping websites such as http://www.amazon.com . Below is a simple acorn bread recipe that you may wish to try, from the website, http://www.eattheweeds.com/nuts-for-acorns/ . This writer knows that she will be very soon.

Acorn Bread

* 2 cups acorn flour

* 2 cups cattail or white flour

* 3 teaspoons baking powder

* 1/3 cup maple syrup or sugar

* 1 egg

* 1/2 cup milk

* 3 tablespoons olive

Bake in pan for 30 minutes or until done at 400 degrees.

The author of http://www.eattheweeds.com/nuts-for-acorns/ also suggests: A far more simple form of acorn bread is to make a thick acorn porridge out of cold processed acorn flour. Take a large tablespoon of the porridge and drop it into cold water. This causes the porridge to contract. Take the lump out of the water and dry.

In conclusion, yes, acorns are edible. They have been eaten for thousands of years by people all over the world. They are easy to prepare by anyone and more information can be easily found on-line including recipes, history of their usage, as well as stores for buying acorn products. In this more health conscious world, one might want to take a second look at an acorn the next time they take a nature walk.

Bibliography

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn

http://www.aaoobfoods.com/acorns.htm

http://www.eattheweeds.com/nuts-for-acorns/

http://www.newtritionink.com/index1.html

Source:
1. Acorn
2. How to Use Acorns for Food: 10 Steps (with Pictures) – wikiHow

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