Acorns are what you might call the food of last resort.
They’re what’s left after all other food sources have been consumed and what’s eaten when no other options are available.
But they also provide several benefits that make them worth considering as an emergency or survival food source.
Squirrels often eat it, and people have been eating them for centuries.
In this blog post, we will cover what acorns are, what they taste like, and some of the benefits that can make them a valuable food resource.
What are Acorns?
Acorns are small, round nuts that come from Oak trees.
The acorn is the most important forest tree in North America, East of the Rocky Mountains.
Acorns were an important food to Native Americans before sugar cane was introduced into New England during colonial times.
They can be eaten as food or used in baking and cooking recipes.
Acorn coffee is made by grinding up the acorns into a powder form and mixing it with other ingredients like chicory root, rye flour, roasted barley tea leaves, etc.
, to give an earthy, nutty flavor to the coffee.
Acorn flour is made by grinding up acorns into a meal form, and it can be used as an alternative to wheat or other flours in many recipes, such as bread, pastries, sauces, soups, etc.
Acorn oil has been cultivated for over 70 years, is very healthy with a high smoke point, and contains several Omega- fatty acids.
Acorns can also be used as animal feed for cows, pigs, or horses.
Can You Eat Acorns?
Acorns are not considered a food source because they contain tannin, an astringent that causes inflammation of the mouth and digestive tract.
When foraging, be sure to wait until acorns have turned brown.
This way, you can make them safe for human consumption by leaching the tannin out with hot or cold water, depending on your needs afterward.
Make sure you first leach off the tannins by soaking in water overnight or for 24 hours at least.
Remember not to over-harvest and leave plenty of nuts behind so that wildlife has some left too.
Nutritional Benefits of Acorns
Acorns are one of the most nutrient-dense foods in nature.
They’re high in protein, fiber, and fat; contain significant calcium, iron, and vitamin C; have a low glycemic index (GI); help maintain blood sugar levels.
Acorns are also an excellent source of manganese, which can help improve carbohydrate tolerance by enhancing insulin action.
They also contain the enzyme quinone reductase, which is involved in protecting DNA from free radicals.
Acorns are especially beneficial after exercise, as they’re a good source of protein and fat, which are important for muscle recovery.
They can be boiled or roasted to enhance their flavor.
Roasting them in the oven is preferable because it doesn’t require any additional oil but still gives you that crispy texture on the outside while maintaining some chewiness inside.
A word of caution: Since acorns are high in tannins, which can interfere with protein absorption and may cause digestive issues for some people, it’s best to mix them with other foods or soak them overnight before cooking.
How to Leach Acorns?
Leaching acorns is the process of removing tannins and other bitter substances from them, so they are less astringent.
Tannins can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in some people who consume an excessive amount of raw or undercooked acorn caps due to their naturally high concentration.
There are many ways to leach acorns.
One way is to boil them in water until they are soft and then discard the liquid that results from this process.
Another option is steaming, which can be done on a stovetop or by pouring boiling water over them and covering them with a plate for about 20-30 minutes.
Another way to leach an acorn is to mash it up and place it in a cloth bag.
Pour boiling water over the acorns and leave for about 20 minutes or until they are soft, then remove from heat.
What Do Acorns Taste Like? Do Acorns Taste Good?
Acorns taste a little bitter, and they have an intense flavor.
Other than that, nothing sets them apart from other nuts like almonds or pecans when it comes to the flavors you can expect.
The texture is also pretty similar; acorn-flavored foods will be crunchy but not difficult to chew on.
If anything, you’ll find that acorns are a lot like chestnuts, which also have a distinctive flavor and texture.
When deciding what to do with acorns, it’s worth considering the other ingredients in your dish.
Acorn flour can be used for baking all sorts of goodies, but this might not work if many chocolates or sweet spices are involved in the recipe.
Instead, go for dishes that use more savory ingredients, such as onions and mushrooms.
Eating Roasted Acorns
The acorn is a nut that can be found in North America, Asia, and Europe.
It’s typically not eaten raw because the tannins make it too bitter, but cooking them will help remove some of those flavors.
Roasting an acorn doesn’t take much time or effort at all.
You need to place your trimmed halves on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes (375 degrees Fahrenheit).
To take your roasted acorns up a notch, try adding sugar or honey before roasting.
You can also add salt after they are done cooking if you’d like.
Once removed from the oven, let cool completely before eating.
Some people enjoy eating roasted acorns plain, while others say they taste best with butter.
You can also mix them into your favorite oatmeal to get a healthy and tasty breakfast.
How to Store Acorns?
Make sure the acorns have been shelled from their green husks.
This is often done by putting them in a bucket of water for 24 hours to let the outside layer separate from the nut inside and then drying it off with a paper towel or something similar before storing.
Either way, you’ll want to make sure the inside of the nuts is dry before storing them so they don’t mold.
It’s best to store them in a single layer in an airtight container like a plastic bucket or metal can.
The container should be kept out of the sun and heat.
Just remember, acorns are only good for up to six months before they start going bad, so it’s important not to forget about where you put your last batch.
In conclusion, acorns are a healthy and accessible food source.
Many people would be hesitant to try eating them because they don’t know what it tastes like, but you should now know necessary to consume acorns safely after reading this article.
Acorns are a great survival food for anyone who can find or harvest them as long as you follow these simple steps.