Acorns are a forgotten food. What was once a vital component of hunter gatherer people, is now simply a festive fall decoration, or worse, a nut that scatters across well kept yards, pissing off folks trying hard to keep their lawns pristine. It is said that acorns once made up of 50% of the California native's year round diet. Although I am fairly new to processing and consuming acorns, I am baffled how very few people utilize this nutritious food.
Because of the tannins found in acorns, they must be processed through cold or hot water leaching to make them palatable. After shelling, the nut is then ground up and submerged in water for 24-48 hours. After this process, the pulp is ready for use as a wet pulp, or can be dried and used just as you would flour.
Acorn flour is denser than most flours and is best used with another flour like freshly milled wheat or in this case, sprouted buckwheat. The resulting recipe is bit more dense then a typical white flour/sugar brownie, but I would bet the nutritional profile of these are far more superior then the standard version.
I have been fortunate enough to cater for several weekend workshops held by Arthur Haines, a Maine based botanist and wild food enthusiast. The video below provides great information to those looking to incorporate acorns into their diet.
- 2 cups, freshly ground buckwheat
- 1 cup leached + dried acorn flour
- 2 cups yogurt
- 3/4 cup soft butter
- 1.5 cups Rapadura or maple sugar
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla powder or extract
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup cacao powder
- Mix together the flours, salt, cacao, and baking powder. Set aside.
- Place the softened butter and sugar in a stand up mixer and whip until smooth and creamy.
- Add the in eggs and vanilla. Blend well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Starting with the dry ingredients, alternately add the yogurt and flours until all is incorporated.
- Spread the batter into a parchment lined and greased 9x13 baking dish.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when pierced into the center of the brownie.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.