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Uses for acorns

Discussion in 'Everything Else Sufficient Living' started by Doug, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Aug 7, 2010
    Doug

    Doug Sustainable Newbie

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    Well, my wife and I are 23 years old with 2 kids and we just purchased a house last November. I have been working on a plan to become as self sufficient as possible. This year was hard since it was the first summer there and I had no idea what my soil or yard was like plus it was a very hectic first half of the year with the birth of our daughter so the garden and fruit trees have been put off until next year but I have it all planned out already.

    I have noticed, though, that I have a very large amount of Oak trees in my yard and the surrounding bit of woods that is mine. This means I also have an even larger amount of acorns at my disposal. Now the economical part of me can't hardly let these acorns go to waste sitting on the ground so I was wondering if there are any good uses for them other than crafts. I did find several pages about acorn bread and I will definately attempt to make some this year but I would also appreciate any other suggestions if anybody has any.
  2. Aug 7, 2010
    SKR8PN

    SKR8PN Late For Supper

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    :welcome

    You didn't say what part of the country your in, but around here, we use acorns for bait. Whitetail deer and squirrel bait to be precise. :drool
  3. Aug 7, 2010
    PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Humble Ambitions

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    :welcomez

    I am interested in what responses you get too. I have never had a notion about using acorns for anything. But i sure do have a lot of oak trees.

    I'll have to look for the thread you mentioned about acorn bread. How interesting!
  4. Aug 7, 2010
    Wifezilla

    Wifezilla No-Carb Queen

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    Google ACORNS and RECIPES.

    Acorns were a native american food staple. You do often have to soak the nuts to remove tannins unless you get a good white oak with sweet acorns. As a kid I used to eat them raw :D
  5. Aug 8, 2010
    freemotion

    freemotion Food Guru

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    I've researched acorns quite a bit. I am very allergic to tree nuts myself, so I won't be trying them out. But I still can't let them go to waste.

    Pigs.

    In Spain, acorn-finished pork is a delicacy selling for $25/lb US. I can handle that...for free. I picked up and dried a sackful last fall and have been feeding my pigs a handful a day to get them used to the taste. Yesterday a branch blew down from one of my oaks and it was LOADED with green acorns...so into the pig pen it went. It was clean as a whistle this morning, not an acorn in sight.

    Looks like a banner year here for acorns.... :woot

    As far a people food....MEN had a good article with details on how to prepare them some years ago, and you can probably find it by searching their site. I'd bet Backwoods Home has something, too, but I can't remember.

    The main thing I remember from my research is that white oaks have the least tannins, and white oaks have leaves with rounded lobes and no points. Red oaks have the most tannins and have points on the leaves. The two types will cross-pollinate each other, so the amounts of tannins will vary, but this is a general rule.

    The higher the tannins, the longer they will keep. The lower the tannins, the less bitter and easier to prepare.

    There is a type of oak in CA and the West coast that has so little tannin in it that it can be eaten without soaking. Since I am on the East coast, I don't remember anything else about that tree.
  6. Aug 8, 2010
    ORChick

    ORChick Almost Self-Reliant

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    Thats interesting about the western oak, free; I haven't heard that. I do remember learning about the local (Calif. coastal) Indians in grade school, and how they would leach the tannins out by putting the acorns in a hole dug in the sand by a river - the running water would wash the tannins away apparently - I don't remember any details about the process. I also remember reading that acorns were gathered in Europe during the two world wars when food was so scarce. It was a food of last resort, as I understand it; better than starving, but not by much.
  7. Aug 8, 2010
    2dream

    2dream Flibbertigibbet

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    I have a bumper crop of acorns every year and did some research a couple of years ago. I remember reading about soaking to get the tannin out, then letting them dry out, grind into flour.

    But, everything I read about acorns sounded like a lot more work than I had time for plus it also sounded like anything made from them was not the tastesty thing in the world. I kind of got the impression it was a waste of time unless you were really in desperate need.

    :caf Watching to see if anything good comes along.
  8. Aug 8, 2010
    freemotion

    freemotion Food Guru

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    That is why I will be processing my acorns into bacon! Just like we process table scraps and unusable food into eggs and chicken, the acorns will become good, yummy pork.
  9. Aug 8, 2010
    mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Lovin' The Homestead

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    My nephew has roasted them and then eaten them. He said they were pretty good.

    ALSO: if you crush them up and boil them then strain them away, you can use the liquid as treatment for poison ivy!
  10. Aug 8, 2010
    mrbstephens

    mrbstephens Lovin' The Homestead

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