Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Had Any Acorns Lately?

           I live in northern California. So did hundreds of Native Americans 3,000 years ago, and their grinding rocks are all over the place, even in people’s yards! Here’s a photo I snapped on a recent walk:

           These granite slabs were the perfect place for them to grind acorns into meal. I can just picture them gathered together to prepare food and, of course, chat. 

Having tons of oak trees about is a bit like living in a nature museum in France, where there are tiny French berets all over the ground.

It made me wonder: Why don’t we eat acorns? You see virtually every other nut for sale, but not acorns.

          I have done the research for you, and here’s the answer for your inquiring mind. Acorns contain a bitter tannin that can be toxic to humans, horses, cows, and dogs. BUT… you can leach them with water to make them edible. How do you do this? You peel them, grind them in a blender until you get a fine powder, then soak them in water again and again until the water remains clear.

          Indians had no blenders, so they dug a shallow pit near a creek, then spread the flour in the bottom of the pit. Then they’d pour water over it until it was sweet.

          Now you’re ready to go acorn crazy. You can use this flour for pancakes, baking, or mush. Keep the flour in the freezer.

          Just don’t tell the squirrels where to find it.

You can find all kinds of cool recipes on my Youtube Mom channel. Not for acorns, but lots of other fun treats!

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