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Who's Eating Acorns

 
Posts: 37
Location: Thorndike, Maine
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Here's the first round of acorns from he northern red oak. Drying in the sun, I'm hoping to at least double what you see here with hopes to get me well into summer/fall of 2018. I find the process of cracking and leaching no more difficult then maintaining a sourdough starter and incorporate this once important food into my diet as much as I can.
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Northern red oak acrons drying in the sun
Northern red oak acrons drying in the sun
 
pollinator
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Who is eating acorns ? well round here squirrels
We have european common oak -quercus petraca and What the French call Marsh oak- Chene das Marais- quercus palustris any idea if these are edible

David
 
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Location: Penticton, Canada
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Frank, what process are you using for leaching? We have 5 large oaks across the street from us but I've only used the acorns a couple times. Would like to find a way to make this efficient.
 
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Id like to hear more on this if you would not mind . More about the processing and how you use them  Larry
 
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Location: Wealden AONB
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David Livingston wrote:Who is eating acorns ? well round here squirrels
We have european common oak -quercus petraca and What the French call Marsh oak- Chene das Marais- quercus palustris any idea if these are edible

David



All acorns are edible, some just have more tannins than others. These need leaching out which is very easy to do as the tannins are water soluble.
There are different methods, choice depends on what you want to do with your acorns. Hot leaching is the most effective (I have read), however this method is no good if you want to make acorn meal for baking. I'll try and find the linky thing that I was reading.
 
Abbey Battle
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Frank Giglio
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Yes, all acorns are edible, but they all require leaching before consumption. Many say "sweet" acorns (white oak group) do not require leaching, but note, all were traditionally leached before consumption.

Once the acorns are dried, they are stored in 5 gallon buckets with gamma lids. Fully dried acorns can last several years without going rancid.

I then run them through the DaveBuilt cracker, then pick through and shell what didn't come out through the cracker. The acorns are then milled and placed in a large bowl. Cover with cold water and let stand, changing out the water 1-2 x daily for 5-7 days, or until a taste brings out no tannins.

You can use the meal wet or dehydrate for flour. I then store the completed flour in the fridge in jars until needed.

Hot leaching only requires you to shell the nuts then boil 7-8 times replacing th water each boil. What I enjoy about this is although the nuts are a bit bland, you get the texture of a nut. Made a killer crisp topping with the hot leached acorns.

Besides baking, I utilize acorns for many areas of cooking. I use it for stuffing, polenta like meals, use in place of bread crumbs, batter for fish fry, and mini bean-acorn burgers. IF you are gluten free and use almond flour, acorn is a more sustainable replacement.
 
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The easiest way to leach is to grind acorns into a meal with a blender and water and then pour into a colander lined with a cotton cloth, place in sink and run water through it while stirring occasionally , takes about ten minutes for white oak types, double for red oak. I drilled extra large holes in a colander  just for this purpose so water moves through fast and shortens the leach time. I use a t shirt for the cloth.
 
pioneer
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Ray Moses wrote:The easiest way to leach is to grind acorns into a meal with a blender and water and then pour into a colander lined with a cotton cloth, place in sink and run water through it while stirring occasionally , takes about ten minutes for white oak types, double for red oak. I drilled extra large holes in a colander  just for this purpose so water moves through fast and shortens the leach time. I use a t shirt for the cloth.



I'd love to see a demonstration on this method of leaching. I've seen a video demonstrating this method for leaching buckeyes (Aesculus sp.) after they have been cooked for half an hour, but I have yet to see it for acorns.
 
Ryan M Miller
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Frank Giglio wrote:Here's the first round of acorns from he northern red oak. Drying in the sun, I'm hoping to at least double what you see here with hopes to get me well into summer/fall of 2018. I find the process of cracking and leaching no more difficult then maintaining a sourdough starter and incorporate this once important food into my diet as much as I can.



How do you keep squirrels from stealing your acorns when drying them like this? I would rather dry the acorns in a food dehydrator to keep them safe from animals.
 
pollinator
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Can pigs eat unlimited amounts of acorns?
 
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Wildlife that consume acorns as an important part of their diets include birds, such as jays, pigeons, some ducks, and several species of woodpeckers. Small mammals that feed on acorns include mice, squirrels and several other rodents.
 
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Ryan M Miller wrote: How do you keep squirrels from stealing your acorns when drying them like this? I would rather dry the acorns in a food dehydrator to keep them safe from animals.


You'd think that would be a problem Ryan, but I've had my entire large deck covered in acorns I was drying and never noticed any issues with squirrels.  Perhaps I was lucky?  Perhaps it was because the years I've done this have been heavy mast years and the squirrels would rather pick up their own under the trees?  I have no idea why that wasn't a problem, but it wasn't for some reason.
 
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