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Making Acorn Flour

Find out how to make flour from acorns

Making Acorn Flour

foraging | recipes

Collecting acorns to turn into acorn flour

Acorns cannot be eaten straight from the oak tree since they contain a lot of tannins which make them test very bitter and also make them poisonous - however acorns can be processed into acorn flour with a bit of work. Acorns contain protein, carbohydrate, and fat, together with vitamins and many minerals; fortunately the tannins are water soluble so they are not difficult to remove.

Collect and Dry Acorns

Collect a big bag full of acorns making sure you leave behind any with small dark holes in them since they have been damaged by worms. Also return any acorns which float in a bucket of water since they also have bugs in them.

Put the good acorns in the oven at the lowest possible temperature with the door ajar to dry out the acorns and kill any insects you brought home with them. Then break off the shells and discard.

Grind the Acorns

Now the acorns need to be ground up using either a food processor, a sturdy blender (with water), or a meat grinder if you are lucky enough to have one. The resulting mush of acorns needs to be rinsed many times in order to extract and remove all of the tannins.

Put the mush into a piece of cheese cloth or muslin, and pour clean cold water through it 2-3 times per day. Depending on the variety of acorn (and the amount of tannins in them) this process can take anything from a few days to a couple of weeks. Every day or two, take a tiny taste of the mush to see if it is still bitter. When it is no longer bitter, the tannins have leached out, and the acorn flour is nearly ready. Don't keep on soaking the acorns once the tannins are gone, or you will lose some of the delicious nutty flavour that acorns have.

Acorn flour being dried in the oven ready for storage

The tannin-less acorn mush now just needs to be thoroughly dried. Spread it out on a tray and put it in a very low oven with the door slightly ajar, occasionally turning the acorns until they are dry. Your acorn flour can be stored in jars, and used in recipes in place of wheat flour.
Alternatively, if you have some freezer space free, just squeeze the mush tightly with cheese cloth to get rid of the vast majority of the liquid, and then freeze suitably sized portions in zip lock bags.

Cooking with Acorn Flour

Acorn bread - bread made from acorn flour in place of wheat flour

It is best to include an equal measure of wheat flour when using acorn flour, since acorn flour alone does not hold together very well. You can make delicious acorn pancakes, acorn bread, and acorn muffins with this flour.

Article Published: 09:51, 24th Nov 2010

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