Acorns contain chemicals called tannins which have a bitter taste and can be toxic to humans.
But by leaching acorns to remove the tannins, they can be made safe to eat.
Leaching acorns is a simple process;
- Remove the acorn from the shell.
- Soak the shelled acorns in hot or cold water.
- Once the water turns brown, drain it off and soak again in fresh hot or cold water.
- Repeat this process until the water is clear.
Roasting is probably the easiest way to cook acorns.
- Leach in HOT water
- Place the damp chunks onto a baking tray and sprinkle with salt.
- Toast for 15-20 mins on a high heat.
- When the colour starts to darken, they’re ready.
- Cool and enjoy!
Acorn coffee was popular in the UK during WW2, when getting hold of fresh coffee was really difficult. It is naturally caffeine free.
- Leach with HOT water, then lay the acorns out in an ovenproof dish.
- Roast on a low heat to dry slowly – this should take 1½ to 2 hours.
- Move the acorns around the dish regularly to stop them catching.
- The acorns will start to turn brown as they dry – you can choose whether you want a light or dark roast.
- Once roasted to your preference, remove the acorns and cool.
- Grind and use like you would real coffee
Acorns are enjoyed by many woodland creatures. Mice, squirrels and birds forage for acorns in autumn and store them over winter. So, …
If you are going to forage for Acorns, please follow the simple guidelines:
- Always be sure you are sure of the plant before you pick it and never eat any plant you are unsure of.
- Leave plenty behind for wildlife.
- Make sure you have permission to pick
- Only pick where plants are plentiful