Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gathering Acorns to Eat

Clicking on the local radio station we tuned into the Saturday Shopper to listen to items that were offered by local people and items that some were looking for.  One caller stated that he would "like to harvest hickory nuts" - this caught our attention, since we have quite a few hickory trees on the property.   We wondered what was the value in hickory nuts since we have never eaten them and our curiosity grew as we realized we also have tons of oak trees which were throwing down acorns as if it were raining.
So I set myself to the task of finding some nuts ... all I found of the hickory nuts were old ones from previous years that would be no good for eating purposes.   So either they haven't fallen yet or the squirrels were very, very good here.   What I did find is plenty of Acorns - these fall from the Oak tree and this bucketful all fell from one tree.
So what do I do with a bucket of Acorns?   I did some research and learned quite a bit.   The Native Americans used the acorn as a stable in their diet by taking them from acorn to flour and baking in breads, etc.   The process starts by peeling the acorn and then "leaching" them.  I found several different techniques for leaching and the reason this is done is because acorns are bitter and contain a high tannic acid content.
So they go through a soaking in water to release this tannic acid (turns the water brown) and this is done several times.   Then they are dehydrated or dried and ground into flour.   More detailed information can be found by google searching acorn harvest if you would like to try this.   Since I gathered a whole bucket full and there are more out there, I will be working on this here.  
Some of the acorns already started to sprout and I will plant them either outside in the forest or maybe a pot so I can watch them grow and maybe even give as a gift to someone.
The Oak is on the left and on the right is a Hickory Tree.   Hard to image these trees started from such a small seed.   Never thought I would be baking up a loaf or two of Acorn Bread!
Now for those Hickory Nuts ... where are they hiding?

5 comments:

  1. You might want to ask the squirrels about the hickory nuts. LOL I've never heard of acorn flour- sounds interesting. Be sure to post how all that works out! Thanks for stopping by and commenting earlier! I'm following you now!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, I landed here via the Lady Blogger Social Tea Party and am your newest follower. I have no idea what a hickory nut is either. lol

    Bella Vida by Letty
    Have a great day.

    ReplyDelete
  3. sounds interesting! I agree with EmptyNester - let us know how it turns out!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've heard of acorn flour, but I was under the impression that it's very bitter. I'd love to see a post on the bread once you make it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a bowl soaking in water .. I peeled the skin off and have been rinsing the water daily. It's called leaching to get rid of the bitter tannic acid. So I am experimenting to see if I will use the whole bucket or if indeed they remain bitter....testing, testing :-)

    ReplyDelete