If you think acorns are only for squirrels, think again. Acorns are tasty and nutritious and also easy to harvest. You can gather them from oak trees in the fall and roast them to make a delicious snack. However, you need to treat them before roasting, since they contain tannin, which is slightly bitter. The acorns of white oak are less bitter than the ones from red and black oaks.
Shell the acorns. Crack them using a nutcracker and boil the whole kernels in water for about 15 minutes. Throw off the water and add fresh water and boil again for a few minutes. Repeat the process until the water in the pan no longer turns brown, which can take as long as two hours. Alternatively, soak the acorns for three to four days and keep changing the water to remove the bitterness. You can taste test the acorn each day to check for bitterness. Boil them for 10 minutes and throw away the water.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse and spread the acorns on clean towels to let them dry, then spread them on a cookie sheet and place the cookie sheet into the oven.
Roast them for about one hour. Remove them from the oven and use them in recipes or just chop them up and eat them. You can even grind them and make porridge. However, taste the acorns to make sure that there is no bitterness before using it in any recipes. You can dip the acorns in honey to offset any lingering bitterness.
- "Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants"; Bradford Angier; 1974
- "The Oxford Companion to Food"; Alan Davidson, Tom Jaine; 2006