It turns out that, just like many other nuts, acorns can be made into flour and used in cooking. This can be a somewhat involved process, so we’ve taken the time to outline this fun and creative way to make flour at home.
The most important thing to remember here is to only gather fallen acorns. Acorns that are still on the branches aren’t ripe yet, so they won’t do for food. Also, don’t keep acorns that have tiny holes in them or ones that are cracked. These are either rotten or food for worms.
What do witches and bad acorns have in common? They both float in water.
Pouring the acorns you gathered into a pot full of water is one way to sort the good ones from the bad and will save you time later when you’re harvesting the meat. Toss the acorns that float to the top and keep the ones that sink.
Once your wet acorns have dried, you need to shell them to get to the good part– the meat. To do this, grab a hammer and a small 4×4 plank of wood. Hold each acorn so that the pointy tip is facing down, and give it a gentle but solid hit on the top, creating vertical cracks.
After you crack the shells, use your finger nails or a smooth prying tool to remove the meat. The float test should have worked fairly well in determining good meat from bad, but it’s still a good idea to look for black splotches on the meat that you don’t want. Just cut off the bad parts or discard the nut altogether.
Take your good acorn meat and put it in a blender. Usually 2 cups at a time is a good idea, depending on the size of your blender. Fill the blender to the top with water, and blend on high for approximately three minutes.
When three minutes are up, take a short, washed stocking that hasn’t been worn, fit it around the top of the blender, and pour the contents through the stocking into a bowl or sink (some people save the acorn juices for other purposes).
Next, run the stocking containing the blended acorns under tap water and knead it gently until the water coming from the bottom of the stocking is clear and no longer brownish-yellow. This step removes the undesirable bitter-tasting tannin found in acorns.
Remove the clumps of blended acorn from the stocking and allow them to dry. Once they’re good and dry, sift them through a sieve or colander, using a spoon to break up the clumps.
If the flour still isn’t dry after this, you can spread it out on a cookie sheet and bake it in the oven at 170º F for a couple hours. After this, just dump the flour through a sieve or colander. Use a spoon to break up any clumps created by the oven.
Acorn flour has a number of applications, but most people use it as a substitute for wheat flour in pancakes and cookies. Experiment! Use acorn flour in your favorite recipes to see which ones it’s best for.