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Picture of How to Process Acorns and Make Acorn Flour

In this instructable I will show you how to process acorns and make acorn flour. You will learn how to prepare acorns to eat. Acorns are a very abundant food source but it seems few people know that they can be eaten. I have talked to several people who didn't even know you could eat them. Acorns have been eaten for thousands of years, and were a comfort food for many Native Americans. They are a good source of protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates and other healthy minerals. However, you can't just eat them right off the tree, they need to be processed first. Acorns contain tannins in them which make them very bitter and potentially toxic to humans. The tannins need to first be leached out of the Acorns then they can be eaten, Red Oak Acorns contain the highest level of tannins. In this video I will show you one method on how to process them but there are a few others. I will briefly talk about the boiling method as well. It can be tedious to process them but oh so satisfying. The acorn flour can be used in muffins, pancakes, breads, etc. It is very easy to do, if I can do it, you can do it. Let's get started!


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Follow the easy steps below or watch the video tutorial or do both. :)

Step 1: What You Will Need

Picture of What You Will Need

You will need:

  • Acorns (White Oak, Live Oak, Red Oak, etc.)
  • Water
  • Large Bowls
  • Nut cracker or meat tenderizer
  • sheet pan (lined with silicone mat, parchment paper, etc.)
  • wooden spoon
  • air tight container for storage (Tupperware, mason jar, etc.)
  • Patience. :) lol

vbanaszak7 months ago
I assumed they would be edible but I never tried to eat one since I didn't see it done.
Bobt100 vbanaszak7 months ago
Ten billion squirrels can't be wrong.
In The Kitchen With Matt (author)  Bobt1007 months ago
hahaha very true!
Same here. I thought they were just good for pigs otherwise they'd give you stomach ache. A good lesson learned today. Thanks for that
You are very welcome! :)
Yeah! They are definitely edible, just takes a bit of work to make them edible. :)
Very Interesting! Can you describe the taste? Great Instructable!
Thanks Matt! Great name by the way. :) It by itself is kind of bland tasting with a slight nuttiness to it. If I was going to just eat them as is instead of making acorn flour I would have seasoned them with a bit of salt.
gnomeone7 months ago
I remember from elementary school lessons that Native Americans made flour from acorns. Thanks for jogging that memory. : ) We have two oaks of different types in our yard. I would love to be able to try making acorn flour. I won't have a chance to even gather the nuts. The squirrels get them before the nuts fall off the trees. We haven't gotten any pecans from our trees in years thanks to those little rodents. : (
Yeah I learned about them in school as well. A lot of the rocks in the mountains would have divots in them from where the Native Americans would pound acorns and other things. Pesky squirrels. We had almond trees growing up and never got any thanks to them.
We had hopes of a hawk helping get rid of the squirrels but there are just too many squirrels and not enough hawks. I counted 14 of the rodents in my front yard one year.
Darn! Looks like you might need an army of cats? haha
The neighbor's cats don't have much luck in capturing any of the squirrels. Probably more cats is not going fair well either. More cats might make the dogs in the neighborhood happier though. : )
hahaha well it looks like you will just have to sit out there with a soft pellet gun and teach those little squirrels a lesson, and then after they get hit so many times with pellets they will learn. lol
I think I will have give up the acorns and pecans to the squirrels. My husband tried the pellet gun method you suggest. Didn't slow them down one bit. : (
I guess here in Dixie the squirrels rule.
There is a solution to your squirrel problem. You can make your own red hot-pepper spray and spray around the base and the trunk of the trees. It makes their little paw pads burn from the hot pepper. My neighbor had a peach tree and the first year it fruited the rascals stole all the peaches. She used this homemade red hot pepper spray on the tree the following year and enjoyed all the peaches. If your tree can be accessed by a fence, etc. you have to get a little more creative to keep the squirrels out of it. There are youtube videos on making your own hot pepper spray. Good luck.
Thanks. That is a solution that might help on the oak trees but the pecans trees are to close to telephone lines and a neighbor's fence. Not so sure the neighbor's wandering cat would fair very well with the pepper spray though. : )
Very clever idea!
ChrisM9887 months ago
I wonder if you could make acorn butter?
I imagine you could. I was thinking the same thing a few weeks ago. I will have to research that more.
First of all, where do you FIND acorns? Always seeing them in the cartoons, but never in real life.
Search the internet to see what the Oak tree leaves look like, they're pretty unique and areas with oaks tend to have very large mature trees nearby. You'll find the acorns dropping in the fall season. Several trees at my house drop thousands of acorns, someone should write an instructable on how to gather them all before the squirrels do!
Yes!! The squirrels love acorns!! haha
Thnx, In The Kitchen With Matt & Kenstruct. You learn something new everyday. In this case, that squirrels are evidently faster than people.
LOL yes squirrels are smart little pests. lol
You will have to find oak trees. :) Depending on where you live you may or may not have oak trees around. Like Kenstruct mentioned, the internet will be able to tell you about your specific location. :)
XofHope7 months ago
This looks like a lot of work and I doubt I'll ever come around to try it, although I'm quite curious about the results. Acorn bread was a staple food of the Celtic and Iberian people of Hispania, prior to Roman rule, so I imagine other European populations may have used it too.
In The Kitchen With Matt (author)  XofHope7 months ago
It is a lot of work, but very fun learning a new skill. And you know exactly what is in it. haha. The time consuming part is cracking open the acorns, but if you just sit down in front of the TV it really isn't that bad. Then the rest of the time is non-active soaking or drying time.
Gadisha8 months ago
Thanks for sharing, very interesting!
I knew that acorns could be eaten but didn't know how to process them... I sometimes make chestnut cake in autumn, this Instructable makes me wonder what acorn cake would taste like ;)
ANDRELAS8 months ago
Now I find out after living 10 years long ago under 4 100 ft oaks.
hehehe :)
happydupa8 months ago
Really interesting and you're right, I had no idea humans could eat acorns. Along the same lines, are you aware of a way to process Buckeyes? I have a mature tree that drops many hundreds of them each fall. Never know what to do with them.
IMG_20181027_145646851_HDR.jpg
Here is a cool video on it I found. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kQ9sA5ONxA
Buckeyes are toxic! Do not eat!!
They are toxic if you don't process them. :) Native Americans have eaten them for years. Here is a neat little video on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kQ9sA5ONxA
We don't have those here in Arizona. haha. But according to this info they can be eaten. https://www.doityourself.com/stry/information-about-buckeye-nuts
ableabe8 months ago
Hi Matt, I know American Indians ate acorns, but I was under the impression that they ate only corns from White Oak. The leaves of the White Oak have rounded edges, and the meat of freshly fallen corns are not very bitter at all, though I'm sure your recipe will provide a much milder product. Years ago, I tried boiling red oak corns, but I didn't peel them, as you suggest. The result was that it was impossible to get rid of the tannin, after countless changes of boiling water. I wasn't able to even get clear water. After reading your recipe, I conclude that the shells contain a hopeless amount of tannin, and they must be peeled. Thanks much for this information.
In The Kitchen With Matt (author)  ableabe8 months ago
Yeah you can definitely eat acorns from most if not all oak tree varieties. White oak and Live Oak, definitely have less tannins. And yes!! The little skin shell that is left on the nut sometimes, definitely needs to come off. Unfortunately it makes it a bit more tedious of a process. You are very welcome!
obillo8 months ago
I'm with happydupa--please help re processing buckeyes. And thank for the good instructions re acorns Free food--who can beat that?
In The Kitchen With Matt (author)  obillo8 months ago
Unfortunately there are no buckeyes here in Arizona so I don't have access to them. But here is a pretty cool video on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kQ9sA5ONxA
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