Been a very good year for acorns this year and while we were out walking through the local woods I’ve been given instructions to pick up berries, nuts and flowers for a school project. So we had a small bucket for collecting into. After a while we came across a nice Oak at one of the entrances. It was laden with acorns with many having fallen off. So I had to pick the ones from the tree whilst she picked the ones from the floor.
My memory of acorns is a bit hazy but I remember that green means not ready and brown means ripe. Heavy and tough is good whilst light and soft means not so good. They also get some bugs in them so you need to be careful with that. Anyway she was not interested in the details for her project and thus we soon had a bucket full without making much of a dint on the tree from a mixture of fallen and picked acorns.
When we got home however she stuck them on a shelf and forgot about them.
So a week later I asked about the acorns and she was away on another project. The apple, or in this case Acorn, does not fall far from the tree.
So I thought about these acorns and decided I was going to make something from them rather than just throw them away. So I took the bucket down and sorted them out from the other items we had collected. Of course now I was interested in bugs so I also removed any that had holes in the shells. Finally removing all the hats and the little acorns to leave me my collection of acorns.
I then peeled them all with a knife. This was a fiddly task as we had not just picked the large acorns but some of the small ones as well but eventually the deed was done.
UK acorns contain a large amount of tannin which is not good for you so you must remove that before you can do anything with the meat. There are several ways to do this but the one I used was to put the acorns in a pot, fill it up with water and boil it. The tannin leeches out into the water which you pour away. Repeat the water treatment until no more tannin appears in the water. It took a few refills to get them to this state but there wasn’t that many nuts in there.
When you have leeched all the tannins out simply stick them into an oven at 250 for an hour or so until they are nicely roasted.
Then simply eat them. They make a nice change if you like nuts and can easily be processed for consumption in other ways. Nobody seems to do much with acorns but sweet chestnuts are popular. I’ll collect some more acorns and make some flour from them and something with the flour in another article.