Use Acorns

Acorn season is here. Last week we shared how to forage and process acorns. Now here are a few ways to use them.

Acorn Safety

Reminder. Do NOT eat raw acorns. They are high in chemicals called tannins, which are great for tanning animal skins but are not so good for your intestines. Tannins are naturally-occurring polyphenols present in many foods. Basic foods like wine, chocolate, beans, and black tea contain tannins. You just don’t want too much of them.

savor-the-southwest-acorn-brownie
Brownies can be paleo if you use acorn flour. Add some hazel nuts too for a yummy treat.

Acorns are Paleo Perfect

Acorns are rich in fats, which is great for energy in the cool months. These nuts are also rich in protein, carbohydrates, and a reasonable amount of soluable fibers, which makes them ideal snacks or your paleo lifestyle. Best of all, if you are trying to switch to paleo, acorns offer options for paleo baking! Read on.

Roasting Acorns

Once you’ve leached the nuts as described last week, you need to roast your acorns. Place your acorns on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and into 325F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The Parchment will help keep them from burning. No parchment paper? I have cut open paper bags and done this at 300F – but it is not recommended. Better to just use a plain cookie sheet.

Stir your roasting acorns around every 5 to 7 minutes so they wont burn. Remove them from the oven when they are lightly roasted and a pale golden color. Don’t let them get very brown unless you are using them for a coffee substitute (below).

savor-the-southwest-acorn-coffee

I have also roasted on the stove top and over a camp fire in a cast iron skillet. In this case you do have to keep the nuts moving almost constantly so they don’t burn.

Eat Your Acorns

Eat your nicely roasted acorns just as they are as a nutty snack! Yum. Or you can add them to your cooking anywhere where you’d use nuts.

Acorn Coffee

If you are making an acorn coffee, follow the roasting steps above but keep roasting for a little bit longer until you get darker golden to richly browned acorns. Grind in a coffee grinder and use about as much as you would normally.

savor-the-southwest-acorn-oak-flour
Meals and flours.

Acorn Meal and Acorn Flour

Toast your nuts golden so they grind better. Grind your flour in a grain mill or flour grinder (if you have one). If you have a Vitamixer, invest in a “dry” top for grinding dry items. It’s how we do our mesquite and carob pods.

Just starting this whole home feeding trail and don’t have any of those specialty tools? You can also use a food processor, blender, or coffee grinder. Then there is a good old fashioned mortar and pestle. This last gives your upper body a nice work out. It’s how all of our ancestors did it, in all the areas where oak trees grow.

savor-the-southwest-grind-acorn

If you wish a fine flour, you will need to take the product of your grinding – a mixture of crumbs and flour – and put this through a colander and then a sieve. You can put the crumbly bits back into your grinder or use them to make a delightful nutty granola-like cereal.

It’s best to store your acorn flour in an airtight container and use fairly quickly (best within four to six months).

savor-the-southwest-sourdough
Sourdough is one way to turn grains into a more paleo-friendly food.

Acorn Pancakes

Some paleo folks will make spelt sourdough, and I like one cup of starter and one cup of acorn flour for breakfast – or dessert – pancakes. Caution! These are nutrient dense. Just start with eating two and wait a half hour. That might be a full meal right there.

Baking with Acorn Flour

Acorns are a nut not a grain, so anything you will make will bake up differently.

First. Just like mesquite! I have found that you can use acorn flour anywhere you would use mesquite meal. We have these recipes on our site:

Mesquite One Minute Muffins

Mesquite Apple Muffins

Second. For recipes that have a naturally low amount of flour, such as brownies, just use your acorn flour 100 percent. Also works for mesquite flour.  Full on paleo treats!

savor-the-southwest-mesquite-forage

Third (not so paleo). Baking more traditional baked goods you will need some wheat flour for the gluten.

For corn bread, substitute the acorn meal for the corn meal and leave in the wheat flour.

Or for a “whole grain” dark bread, use up to 50 percent acorn flour in place of the wheat flour.

For a cake, use up to 20 (maximum 25) percent acorn flour. After that the structure of the cake gets too crumbly.

savor-the-southwest-acorn-oak-forage-nut
You too can be rich and eat richly of the bounty around us!

Stay in touch

Hope this post inspires you! We would love to know what you think! Or what you have tried!

Let us know in the comments (way down) below or find us on Facebook. 

Here’s Our Cookbook!

savor-honey-bookMay we suggest our dandy little cookbook?   Christmas is coming 😉

Using Honey in New and Savory Ways offers 36 pages of tips for using honey in your cooking, as well as in all manner of dishes. A steal at only $6!

We hope you will help support some local Southwest folks!
From the review:
“Honey is for more than desserts and this book can help! Using honey in cooking savory dishes helps engage all your taste buds and adds a layer of added flavor to everyday dishes – plus holiday fare.”

Beekeeper?  We offer volume discounts – because if you sell honey in local markets you might want to offer some of these books as well.

Cover image to this post: Artemisia ludoviciana courtesy W. Anderson.

Legal Note

© Article copyright Savor the Southwest // Jacqueline A. Soule. All rights reserved. You must ask permission to republish an entire blog post or article. Okay to use a short excerpt but you must give proper credit. You must include a link back to the original post on our site. No stealing photos.

Disclaimer

The authors of this website have researched the edibility of the materials we discuss, however, humans vary in their ability to tolerate different foods, drinks, and herbs. Individuals consuming flowers, plants, animals or derivatives mentioned in this blog do so entirely at their own risk. The authors on this site cannot be held responsible for any adverse reaction. In case of doubt please consult your medical practitioner.

Legal Notes

© Article copyright Savor the Southwest // Jacqueline A. Soule. All rights reserved. You must ask permission to republish an entire blog post or article. Okay to use a short excerpt but you must give proper credit. You must include a link back to the original post on our site. No stealing photos.

Disclaimer

The authors of this website have researched the edibility of the materials we discuss, however, humans vary in their ability to tolerate different foods, drinks, and herbs. Individuals consuming flowers, plants, animals or derivatives mentioned in this blog do so entirely at their own risk. The authors on this site cannot be held responsible for any adverse reaction. In case of doubt please consult your medical practitioner.

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