Jan 9, 2013 at 3:18 pm #1297831
I was watching a documentary about native peoples and apparently they would often make a type of acorn bread out of ground acorns.
Here's a good link:
The technique is basically to separate the shell from the acorn and then take the core and grind it into a powder using a bedrock mortar.
You then soak the acorn flower in hot water to remove the tannins and bitterness.
It seems interesting to harvest in certain areas where it's sustainable. I don't think there are many black oaks at higher elevation so that might be a problem.
This could also be used in a survival situation as plan B if you run out of food.
One could use a shirt to hold the acorn meal and then use it as a filter to drain the water until there are no more tannins.
You can then take the meal and make it into a type of bread / tortilla and cook it over a hot rock or frying pan.
It seem that the gathering of the acorns and treatment could take a while so not very efficient in terms of time unless you enjoy it…Jan 9, 2013 at 3:50 pm #1942294
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
I have processed acorns before but I haven't done anything with them. There are 2 large valley oaks at my dad's house that I have gathered from. The easiest way I have found to leech the tannins out is to grind up the meal in a blender and place the meal into a nylon stocking. You then run water over it and keep squeezing the meal around. The tannins will come out easily. Once the water stops leaching out tannins, it will turn clear and you will know that it's ready. This happens quickly.
Out in the woods, a good option would be to put the meal in a bandanna or shirt and then place the shirt in a running stream. The natives used to put the acorn meal into baskets and put the baskets into streams.
Trying to bake acorn meal with just water is going to taste bad. Save that for a survival situation. If you have some baking powder you could make a sort of bannock with the acorns, I think that would taste pretty good.Jan 9, 2013 at 4:27 pm #1942306
That's what I was thinking… If there are starches in the acorns one could use yeast too.
But apparently the Native Americans would just make a flat bread.Jan 9, 2013 at 5:23 pm #1942323
I've processed and made acorn flatbreads from oaks in my local canyons. It is incredibly labor intensive. Unless you have a village to back you up, I wouldn't count on getting much food out of it unless you have some serious time on your hands. You mentioned survival; I'd try my luck stoning squirrels in oak trees and digging for grubs at their trunks long before I started processing acorns.Jan 9, 2013 at 5:53 pm #1942327
@maynard76Locale: New England
If you can't just pick it and eat it , its not "survival" food.
Anything that needs processing especially something like acorns is juts old fashioned food better made at home in your spare time.
forgot to add that you need to pick the acorns at the right time of year-just before they fall or just after. Any other time of the year they won't be available at all.Jan 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm #1944467
@brooklynkayakLocale: Atlantic North East
There are different types of acorns. I don't remember the exact details at this time, but some acorns are very difficult to make edible. The tanin content is so high you have to to rinse for days on end.
Other acorns can get by with just two or three soak/rinse cycles.
Unless you plan to stay in one place for a long time and are starving, I don't recomend them as food, they taste horrible even after a lot of work rinsing.Jan 17, 2013 at 10:45 am #1944689
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
"If you can't just pick it and eat it , its not "survival" food."
Oh, I would disagree with that. Survival food is any food you eat in a survival situation. What the Indians called "Starvation food." There are a lot of edible plants that require some degree of processing.
That said, I agree that most acorns require a RIDICULOUS amount of processing. But then, so does manioc, and it's a staple in many parts of the world.
I remember reading about some sort of acorn that could be safely eaten raw, but I forget which one. And I probably couldn't spot it among it's less-tasteful cousins, anyway.Jan 17, 2013 at 10:57 am #1944691
These damn plants make it so hard to eat them!!!Jan 18, 2013 at 12:41 am #1944928
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
I don't think they are labor intensive, just time intensive. If you having nothing to do at night, you could work on them by the campfire.
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