This recipe came to me via my friend Richard Cleveland, teacher of primitive living skills in western North Carolina. Check out his site, LoveTheEarth.com, and sign up for a class or two, they’re highly educational and loads of fun!
Acorns ! Acorns are very abundant this year. I’ve gathered several baskets of them. Why? To make acorn bread of course ! That’s right, acorns can be made into a delicious and extremely nutritious bread. It amazes me that people ignore this abundant food source. It does require some preparation though. Here’s how you do it…
*** Gather about a half gallon of acorns, preferably from the same tree. Remember to only take what you need. Avoid acorns that have a small hole in them, as they probably contain a small grub (good fishing bait). I usually harden them off for a few days in the sun. Remember to bring them in at night and keep them dry. You can store extras for a few years in the freezer, which will also kill any grubs present. Freezing them in a paper bag is best.
When you’re ready, remove the nutmeats from their shell and break them into small pieces. Discard or cut away any insect damaged areas…(not a big deal). Acorns contain bitter tannins that need to be removed before eating. White oaks contain less than Red oak species. Boiling is the quickest way to remove the tannins. Since you broke them into smaller pieces they’ll release their tannins quicker (more surface area). Boil them for 10 minutes or so, until the water starts to turn orange. Taste a small piece to assess your progress. They’ll probably still be too bitter at this point. Strain them, and put the hot nuts into another pot of already boiling water. Usually it takes several boilings to remove enough tannins to enjoy them. Repeat the process until they taste good. Remember… DON’T place the acorns into cold water during the transfer process as this tends to lock the tannins in. When they taste good, strain them, smash them up a bit and follow the recipe b elow.
Acorn Bread Recipe
- 1 cup processed acorn nuts
- 1 cup whole grain flour (I use 1/2 cup corn meal & 1/2 cup flour)
- 3 T. oil
- 1 t. salt
- 1 T. Baking Powder
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 1 cup Milk
- 1 egg
Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Drizzle with honey…makes one 5×9 loaf. Serves 4-6. Don’t turn your back… it disappears quick!
***Since you’re using wet acorn meal, I usually add a little more dry flour if the batter is a little thin or add milk if too thick. If you’re a banana bread or muffin maker, you’ll know what to do:) Experiment, it’s fun!
Ripe acorns can be found on the ground, under Oak trees, in September. Acorns can be shelled and eaten raw (provided they taste sweet), or baked and salted like hazel nuts. Acorns and all parts of the oak tree can taste bitter due to a compound called tannins. When present in high amounts tannins can be toxic. Bur Oaks are usually low in tannins, but if they taste bitter, don’t eat them raw. Tannins can be removed from acorns by soaking the acorns in water for several days.
Add To Your Emergency Preparedness Kit:
- Flour - Know that flour, already ground, will turn rancid within a year. Keeping ‘Wheat Berries’ in your kit will last much longer but you will need a means by which to grind them to make them into flour. Try grinding some yourself to see if you’re up to doing the work… or, if you prefer to rotate your stash of flour every 6 months.
- Baking Powder
- Powdered Milk – If you’re not likely to be around any milking goats or cows.
- Powdered Eggs – If you’re not likely to be around any laying chickens or ducks.
Other Articles on Simple Cooking and Outdoor Skills:
Native Plant Landscaper, Gardener, Labyrinth Design, Feng Shui Practitioner, Aromatherapy / Essential Oils, Big Fan of Nature and Living Simply.
"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly."
~ R. Buckminster Fuller