How to Roast Acorn Nuts

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California Native Americans held fall acorn festivals for this staple food.
California Native Americans held fall acorn festivals for this staple food. (Image: Leszek Kobusinski/iStock/Getty Images)

Acorns, or nuts from the oak tree, and are an important food for wildlife, but you can eat them roasted as a snack. While acorns have a bitter taste from the tannins they naturally contain, they've been eaten by the ancient Greeks and early Asian cultures, though they were usually soaked and peeled first to remove the tannins. Once you’ve removed the tannins, you can roast and eat the acorns.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Kettle
  • Baking sheet
  • Paper towel

Shell and peel the acorns.

Boil the shelled acorns in a pot of water for about two hours. Replace the water every time it turns light brown and keep the water boiling. Boil a kettle of water as you boil the acorns, so you always have fresh boiling water for water changes.

Remove the nuts from the boiling water and pat them dry with a paper towel.

Spread the acorns onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don’t want to eat the acorn nuts whole, try grinding them into a meal and using it in bread or porridge. White oak acorns can be roasted without soaking, as they have fewer tannins.

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References

  • The Cook’s Thesaurus: Nuts
  • Spirit of the Harvest: North American Indian Cooking; Martin Jacobs & Beverly Cox; 1991
  • The Essential Acorn, Hazelnut, & Chestnut Cookbook; Johnny Jumbalaya; 2006
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