Patriot Knowledge Online
Thank you for logging into Patriot Knowledge Online (PKO).

Home of the Citizen Soldier.

The wonderful acorn!

View previous topic View next topic Go down

The wonderful acorn!

Post  Paladin on Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:59 pm

One of my favorite survival food staples (especially in my area) is the simple acorn! For millennia the acorn has been a food staple, but unfortunately, the acorns use as food has largely disappeared. The acorn has large amounts of proteins, fatty acids and carbs. I've been told that a handful of acorns will provide the protein equivalent of 1 lb of beef! I very often eat acorns during the fall hunting season when they are fully ripened. Some years they will taste a bit bitter due to tannic acids, but this last fall, for example, the scrub-oak acorns had a fantastic hazelnut flavor.

Acorns are safe to eat in all regions, although the red oak acorn should only be consumed in limited quantities due to higher tannic acid levels that can cause damage to the kidney. However, the tannic acid CAN be leached out of the acorns and make them safe for eating. The below link provides some great information on acorns as food and preparation of them.

http://www.grandpappy.info/racorns.htm
avatar
Paladin
Subject Matter Expert
Subject Matter Expert

Posts : 69
Join date : 2013-01-19
Location : Southern Utah

Back to top Go down

Re: The wonderful acorn!

Post  Paleolithic on Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:00 am

Acorns are safe to eat as stated but you must leach them of the tannins before consumption. This will not only make them taste better, it will make them safe to eat in large quantities.

It is easy enough to harvest and eat them as a staple if you're in the right part of the US. This is why it is important to leach them. In large quantities the tannic acids can harm your kidneys and liver, such as what could happen in long term survival situations.

First I collect my acorns.



You can dry them if you want, and some people prefer that method as it makes fleshing them easier. I find it to not really be all that difficult to separate them. I pretty much smack them with a rock and separate the shell from the flesh. If you open up an acorn and find a small white worm, or a few small white worms, you can eat them. Those worms are known as the acorn grub and are actually a fairly pleasant to eat. They don't have much texture to them but taste a bit like an acorn without the bitter tannins.



It is possible to leach the acorns whole like this, but doing so takes quite a long time. So, to speed up the process, the acorns need to be smashed up. I put them in by coal-burned bowl and use a rock to smash up the acorns to about the consistency of corn meal. When they're to this consistency you can begin the leaching process. You can leach the acorns in a bucket of water or in a burlap sack securely placed in a river. Depending on the species of oak, you can leach out quite a lot of acorns in a day and make them safe for consumption. Red oak will take longer than white oak as mentioned. If using a bucket method, simply stir up your acorns every time you go past them in their bucket and change out the water every hour until the water runs clear. The water will be a dark brown at first and slowly fade to clear as less and less tannins are in the water. You can save this tannin rich water for later use in vegetable tanning hides

avatar
Paleolithic
Subject Matter Expert
Subject Matter Expert

Posts : 41
Join date : 2013-01-17
Location : Earth

Back to top Go down

Re: The wonderful acorn!

Post  Paladin on Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:17 am

Awesome information! Yeah, we have Gambel's (scrub) oak out here. I've always been told its safe to eat without leaching due to very low tannin levels. It's a variety of white oak. I'll have to do some more research on it to be on the safe side! Again, thanks! great info.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercus_gambelii
http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/trans-p/nature/images/oak.html
avatar
Paladin
Subject Matter Expert
Subject Matter Expert

Posts : 69
Join date : 2013-01-19
Location : Southern Utah

Back to top Go down

Re: The wonderful acorn!

Post  Paleolithic on Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:05 am

Paladin wrote:Awesome information! Yeah, we have Gambel's (scrub) oak out here. I've always been told its safe to eat without leaching due to very low tannin levels. It's a variety of white oak. I'll have to do some more research on it to be on the safe side! Again, thanks! great info.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quercus_gambelii
http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/trans-p/nature/images/oak.html

Yea, I do think you are correct that there are some acorns out there that you can eat "raw". I haven't researched them specifically, but my father told me the same info and I tend to trust what he says when it comes to edible plants. Like you're saying, it depends on the species of oak. I just tend to leach them all to be safe and get rid of any bitter tannin flavors. I'm thinking even if it's minute amounts of tannic acid in them, for the sake of long-term staple foods (as used by primitive peoples or in a survival situation) it's best to leach them out anyways and avoid future complications.
avatar
Paleolithic
Subject Matter Expert
Subject Matter Expert

Posts : 41
Join date : 2013-01-17
Location : Earth

Back to top Go down

Re: The wonderful acorn!

Post  ParamilUSMC on Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:52 am

Awesome information, but now we need two more threads about how to make that bark basket pictured in your post Paleolithic, and another about vegetable tanning. Very Happy

Like boiling, wouldn't leaching take away some of the nutrients that you are trying to get from the acorn in the first place? Just curious.
avatar
ParamilUSMC
Veteran
Veteran

Posts : 137
Join date : 2013-01-17
Location : North East, subject to change

Back to top Go down

Re: The wonderful acorn!

Post  Paleolithic on Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:58 am

lol okay, I'm working on it. Smile I've got two deer hides, a skunk, and a few squirrel hides I need to tan.

I cold leach my acorns. Boiling acorns can sometimes "fixate" the taste of the tannins in the acorns. It will remove it sure enough, but you may end up getting stuck with bitter tasting acorns.
avatar
Paleolithic
Subject Matter Expert
Subject Matter Expert

Posts : 41
Join date : 2013-01-17
Location : Earth

Back to top Go down

Re: The wonderful acorn!

Post  NY_Brewer on Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:58 am

Thanks for the information! Surprisingly I've never thought if eating acorns. Is there a way to tell if they're ripe/ready?

Also, just a suggestion... When brewing, quite a few beers can obtain tannins during the brew process and from additives later on. The most effective way to rid your brew is using 0.5 TSB of powdered gelatin per 5 gallon mash. Not sure how it works, it's just one of those things you do that you know works lol. Might be helpful if leaching does in fact remove nutrients. After leaching, you could simply add some gelatin (if it's feasible to pack and carry), and just make a stew or soup out of it...

Something to test out in the backyard anyhow.

NY_Brewer

Posts : 16
Join date : 2013-01-27

Back to top Go down

Re: The wonderful acorn!

Post  Paleolithic on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:43 am

ParamilUSMC wrote:Awesome information, but now we need two more threads about how to make that bark basket pictured in your post Paleolithic, and another about vegetable tanning. Very Happy

Like boiling, wouldn't leaching take away some of the nutrients that you are trying to get from the acorn in the first place? Just curious.

Some how I missed the nutrients portion.

Yes, you're going to lose some nutrients, but it's better than liver and kidney failure.
avatar
Paleolithic
Subject Matter Expert
Subject Matter Expert

Posts : 41
Join date : 2013-01-17
Location : Earth

Back to top Go down

Re: The wonderful acorn!

Post  Paleolithic on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:46 am

NY_Brewer wrote:Thanks for the information! Surprisingly I've never thought if eating acorns. Is there a way to tell if they're ripe/ready?

When the acorns fall off the tree they're good to go. They turn an acorn brown color. The lighter greener ones are too young (though I take 'em anyways) and if they turn a very dark brown they are either dried or may have died. If they died you will know when you smash them open and find black acorn meat with some worms in it. Discard acorn meat, eat worm.
avatar
Paleolithic
Subject Matter Expert
Subject Matter Expert

Posts : 41
Join date : 2013-01-17
Location : Earth

Back to top Go down

Re: The wonderful acorn!

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum