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Foods -- Nuts and Seeds

How can acorns be made to be more palatable to eat?

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Collect the acorns in the fall, when ripe. Remove shells and caps. The shells will come off easier if you slit with a sharp knife. Boil the acorns whole for at least two hours; changing the water each time it becomes light brown in color. This boiling removes the bitterness caused by the acorns' high content of tannins, and it will make them pleasantly sweet. You will find they will be quite dark brown in color after they are boiled. Toast them in a 350 degree F oven for another hour. They can then be eaten as they are or ground into flour. The sweetest acorns come from white, burr and chestnut oaks. The black, pin and red oak acorns are the more bitter acorns.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University. (August 2004)

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