How To Make Acorn Flour (Our 7 Steps For Newbie)

Foraging is part of an off-grid lifestyle. How many times have you thought of picking acorns?

Are they edible, and do you know how to make acorn flour? Acorns can be eaten in different ways, and making flour is just one.

Acorns are fruits of an oak tree. Raw acorns are not edible because of the high tannin levels in them. But after leaching them, you can benefit from their nutritional content and other health benefits.

We will discuss how to make acorn flour in this post, including a procedure for leaching and using these fruits. Read on for detailed information.

Are Acorns Edible?

Are Acorns Edible?

Yes. Acorns are edible and can be used in many different ways. You can eat acorns whole, grind them up to make flour, or mush them to extract oil.

Also, the tannins can be leached. Once leached, you can roast acorn and add salt to taste. Roasted acorns make a delicious snack for any day.

However, never eat raw acorns because they contain tannins that can cause food poisoning if consumed in large quantities. Consider removing the tannins through boiling or soaking in water.

Types Of Acorns

Acorns are fruits of an oak tree, and each fruit contains one or two large seeds covered by a protective shell in a cup-shaped cap.

Every oak tree species produces a distinctive acorn. The acorns vary in shape, size, color, and size, giving the various acorn types.

According to shape, acorns can be round or oblong. But you can also find some with either pointed tips or rounded tips.

By color, acorns can be brown, dark brown, reddish-brown, purplish red, white, or black.

We cannot exploit all acorn types because they are as many as the species of oak trees on the planet.

Nutrition Value Of Acorns

The nutritional profile of acorns depends on the oak tree species they came from. Generally, they are packed with essential nutrients.

You will find potassium, iron, vitamins A and E, and other equally vital minerals in these fruits.

Acorns are also rich in proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber. Over 60 beneficial plant compounds have been identified in acorns, which improve human health.

They are known to lower the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and cancer.

However, acorns have their downside. You should be careful when preparing them for food. Raw acorns are unsafe when consumed in large quantities.

They contain tannins that inhibit the absorption of some essential nutrients. Some people have also reported nausea and stomach upset after eating raw acorns.

In severe cases, acorns can trigger allergic reactions. If you are allergic to tree nuts, you may need to avoid eating acorns.

People eat acorns for their nutritional benefits. If you intend to prepare them, look for mature, brown acorns with caps intact. These have low tannin levels compared to green, unripe ones.

Materials And Tools To Make Acorn Flour

Materials And Tools To Make Acorn Flour

Making acorn flour is a time-consuming process. The hardest part is usually in foraging for the acorns themselves.

And since they are the main ingredient, you just have to find them. Collect the following materials for making acorn flour:

  • Acorn (as much as you need)
  • A large jar
  • a bucket (large enough to carry the acorns with leave sizable headspace)
  • Blender (any other grinding equipment will do)
  • Nutcracker
  • Food processor
  • Water
  • Colander for sifting
  • A piece of cotton cloth
  • Woodstove and a cooking pot (necessary only if you will do hot leaching)

7 Steps On How To Make Acorn Flour

Making acorn flour is a DIY task. You can complete it in just 7 steps if you already have the needed materials.

Usually, most of the time will be spent foraging and sorting out acorn nuts. But once that is done, all other steps take a shorter time and are straightforward. Let us get into the details!

Collect More Acorns Than You Think You’ll Need

Collect More Acorns Than You Think You’ll Need

Collecting acorns is the first step and takes most of the time. It involves foraging for the acorns in the wild.

Let’s note that all varieties of oak trees produce edible acorns. However, the quality of your acorn flour will depend on the acorn type used.

The best acorns for flour come from white oak, bur oak, and red oak. Others are not suitable for this procedure because they are either bitter or have thick skin, needing more preparation time.

Also, consider collecting more acorns than you need. That is because not all of them will be intact for making flour. Some are either rotten or destroyed by pests.

After the acorn collection, you have to sort them out. The first method is visual inspections. Discard any acorn with a damaged shell or small dark holes in them.

The second approach involves using water. Add enough water into the container and toss anything that floats to the squirrels. Retain the sinkers only.

Crack Your Acorns

Crack Your Acorns

Native Americans used rocks to crack acorns. You can also use the same approach if you don’t have a nutcracker.

But the base rock should have a groove to hold the nut and the other one used for hitting the acorn. Most acorn nuts will easily crack if they are dry.

Once cracked, observe the color of the acorn. Toss away any black piece or that which crumbles easily on your hand.

It is rotten and will not give you quality flour. You should only keep hard brown nuts for the next step.

Dry Your Acorns, Shells, Skins & All

Dry acorns easily open themselves. Spread them out in the sun or where they get plenty of air.

Proper drying prevents rotting and gives you quality flour. You can use a dehydrator or an oven to speed up the drying process but set it to low heat.

Separate The Acorn Skin And Shells From The Acorn

Acorn shells are not thick and easy to crack. Your nutcracker should make it even easier to shell with a bit of arm strength.

Shell them in a bowl of cold water or another way, depending on the leaching method you intend to use.

Leach Your Acorns To Remove Tannins By 2 Ways

Leaching is an essential step when making acorn flour. It helps to wash away tannins from the acorn. You can leach your acorns in two ways, cold water leaching and hot water leaching.

How To Cold Leach Acorns

Prepare the acorns for leaching by chopping them into smaller pieces. You can also do this using a food processor or follow the traditional two-stone method.

If using a food processor, soak the acorns in a bowl overnight to soften them. That will reduce the work of your food processor and prevent overheating.

Cold leach your acorns through the following steps:

  • Wrap the chopped acorn pieces with a cotton cloth and place them in the sink or a water trough.
  • Fill the sink or trough with water and let the setup sit for at least 30 minutes.
  • Drain the water and squeeze out all water from the chopped acorns
  • Repeat steps 1 through 3 one more time
  • Taste the chopped acorns for the presence of tannin. If they are still bitter, do another round of soaking. But this time, increase the soaking time to about an hour. You may need to repeat this process until tannin is washed away, but you should not overdo it.
  • Spread the leached chopped acorns on a cookie sheet and let it dry overnight. They should be still damp but not soaking wet.

How To Hot Leach Acorns

Bring the shelled, chopped acorns to a boil and continue boiling for about 45 minutes before changing water. Repeat the process for about 6-7 hours or until your acorns are free from tannins.

Tannin-free acorns have no bitterness and astringency. If your sense of taste is not acute, ask a trusted fellow to taste them for you.

Hot leaching is faster than cold leaching and works best in a large pot on a wood stove. However, it will change the texture of your acorns.

Also read: 8 Important Tips When Cooking On A Wood Stove

Mashing Leached Acorns To Make Acorn Flour

Put your acorns in a mixing bowl and use a potato masher to mash them into a powdery texture. You should repeatedly mash them until you can no longer see pieces of acorns.

Alternatively, you can use a blender to mash the leached acorns. In that case, add a small quantity of water and blend until you have a fine pulp.

Remember, leached acorns are damp. That means you need to dry them if you intend to store them for future use.

Drying will prevent rotting. But if you want to use them immediately, you may not need to air them out to dry.

Spread the mashed acorns onto baking sheets or dehydrating racks to dry them. But if using an oven, keep it to a low heat setting.  

Grind Into Acorn Flour, Sifting “Acorn Grits”

Once again, you can use stones like Native Americans to mash or grind your leached acorns. But if you have a food processor, you will do it faster and more efficiently.

Finely ground the dry mashed acorns into flour. Once done, transfer it into a colander and shift. Collect your acorn flour on the bowl and acorn grits on the colander.

How To Store Acorn Flour

If you plan to store your acorn flour for a long time, dry them and keep it in a sealed container. You can then place the container in a cupboard, fridge, or freezer.

Acorn flour has a shelf life of up to two years. That is subject to the storage conditions and fat content.

The more the fat, the shorter the shelf life. Acorn stored in a freezer will also last longer than the one in a pantry.

What Can You Do With Acorn Flour?

Acorn flour is versatile with many uses in different recipes. You can replace up to half of the flour in any baking recipe, including cookies, cakes, bread, etc.

Acorn flour is also ideal as a soup base to thicken stews and make burgers and falafel. You can never run out of options when your acorn flour is ready!

Acorn Facts

  • Acorns are fruits from an oak tree.
  • Acorn contains tanning, which is unsafe for human consumption
  • Leach acorns before you use them in any way and avoid eating raw acorns
  • Acorns are highly nutritious and rich in minerals, vitamins, proteins, carbs, and other essential food compounds.

Also read: 12 Recipes that Use Acorn Flour – Detailed Guide

Wrapping Up

All acorn fruits are edible, but some are sweeter than others. Consider acorns from the white, burr, or red oak. Also, remember to pick only fully mature acorns with caps intact.

Unripe acorns have high levels of tannin and should be avoided. Lastly, leach acorns before eating them.

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