Acorns represent Just like a fine wine, acorns are better when aged. According to Maidu Indian knowledge, acorns should be cured for approximately a year before leaching. This can be done by keeping them in a dry, well-ventilated basket and shaking them at least once a month to rotate the acorns. Curing dries the acorns and allows the red skins covering the nut to come off easily. The red skins contain high quantities of bitter tannins so this process also shortens the leaching time.
Collecting and cracking acorns can be a fun family activity!
1. Collect acorns from the ground in the fall.
2. Keep only the acorns without holes and store in a basket in a warm, dry location (ideally near a wood stove or heater) until spring.
3. Crack and remove shells with a hammer.
4. Remove the red skins by heating nuts at 200 degrees for 10 minutes, then scraping skins off with fingers or a knife.
5. Roughly grind nuts and leach according to preferred method (see options below)
NOTE 2 cups shelled nuts = approximately 1 cup flour
METHOD 1: BOILING
– Estimated Time: 2 hours – Shell acorns using a hammer and remove thin red skin. – Grind to a fine powder in food processor. – Place in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. – Change water and return to a boil. – Repeat several times, watching for clarity of water and tasting for lack of bitterness.
METHOD 2: GLASS JAR
– Estimated Time: 1 – 2 weeks. This is the simplest method but takes the longest amount of time.
– Shell acorns using a hammer and remove thin red skin. – Grind to a fine powder in food processor. – Place in a mason jar, cover with water, and label with the expected completion date. – Change water daily until clear, tasting for lack of bitterness.
METHOD 3: RUNNING WATER
– Estimated Time: 1 hour – Shell acorns using a hammer and remove thin red skin. – Grind to a fine powder in food processor. – Place ground acorns in a large bucket in the sink. – Run warm (not hot) water continuously over the acorns, allowing bucket to overflow. – Stir occasionally, tasting for lack of bitterness.
NOTE – After leaching, dry the flour in the sun for several days or bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes. – Grind nuts finely, if using for flour. – Use immediately, refrigerate or freeze for future use, as Oak nuts are perishable.
TIP For added flavor and nutrition, try sprouted Oak nuts. Soak in a glass jar for 2 days, then cover jar with cheesecloth and rinse twice daily until sprouts begin to emerge. Follow preferred leaching method listed above.