Last summer at Deep Creek Lake, I took my five-year-old niece on a little guided nature walk. The guide paper pointed out several oak trees, white and red varieties. It also mentioned that especially the white oak acorns were an important source of carbohydrates for Native Americans. Whoa! This information needed additional investigation!
Sure enough, the Internet (click on link) expanded my knowledge nicely. First, one has to leach the acorns to get rid of the bitter tannins. I used the cold leaching method, which takes several days. After cracking the shells off the acorns and cutting out any bad spots, I ground the nuts in a food processor with a little bit of water. Make sure not to use too much water, as it makes a mess. Also makes sure to grind the acorns as small as possible. The bigger chunks of acorn still had some bitterness after I dried the flour (picture above). I sorted quite a few of them out before grinding but the flavor was still a tiny bit bitter.
I made this acorn cake. It is delicious and was a great treat at the end of The Farmer’s birthday celebration yesterday evening!
Is anyone else feeling squirrel-y?! I’m ready to forage for more acorns!