Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
October 7, 2000 - Issue 20

The bitterness in acorns is caused by tannic acid which is water soluble. To remove this unpleasant taste, shell the brown, ripe acorns and remove any corky skin layers, dice the meat; and boil the chunks in water from 15 to 30 minutes until the water turns brown. Then pour off the water and repeat the process until the water clears, indicating that the tannic acid has been removed. Periodically taste a bit of the acorns until you no longer detect any bitterness. (Native Americans would let the crushed acorn meat soak in a fast-moving, clean stream for several weeks to remove the bitterness.) During the last boiling, salt water can be added; then the acorns can be deep fried or mixed in a soup. Also, finely chopped acorn meats can be added to bread and muffins, or the soft acorn nut can be added as a protein booster to cooked greens. After the leaching process, acorn meat can be frozen.

To make flour, the boiled acorn meat can be split in two and dried by slowly baking in a 200 degree oven with the door cracked to allow moisture to escape. Or, they can be dried in the sun. They are then crushed or ground and used as a thickener or as flour. Another method is to roast the fresh acorns to work well in a grinder or blender. After grinding, the course flour is placed into a cloth bag and boiled to leach out the tannic acid.

Acorn flour can be used alone to make an acorn bread, but it is not Acorn flour can be used alone to make an acorn bread, but it is not very pleasing to most tastes. Acorn flour is more palatable when mixed with wheat flour or corn meal-one part acorn meal mixed with four parts corn meal for corn bread, or one to four parts wheat for bread. The acorn meal can also be heated in water to make a nutritious mush. Or add enough water to make a thick batter. Add a dash of salt and sweetener to improve the taste. Allow the batter to stand for an hour (or until thick) then pat into pancakes and cook or twist and bake on an open fire.

The leached acorns, after they are roasted until brittle, can be ground and used as a marginal coffee substitute.

In their shell, the dried acorns will store for a time. Some Native Americans stored acorns for several years in bags buried in boggy areas.


    • 4 cups flour
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 2 tsp.. baking powder
    • 2 tsp.. ginger
    • 1 cup honey
    • 2 cups milk
    • 2 tsp. salt
    • 1 cup chopped acorns
    • margarine
    • 2 tsp. baking soda
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon:
Grease two loaf pans with margarine. Mix together all dry ingredients, thoroughly. Beat eggs, gradually adding milk. Add egg mixture alternately with honey to dry ingredients. Beat well. Stir in acorns and pour evenly into loaf pans. Bake in cardboard oven at 350 for 45 minutes or until golden. If bread is done, it will come out of pan easily when pan is turned over and tapped gently. If not, bake for another 10-15 minutes. Remove bread from pan immediately when done and cool. This spicy bread always tastes better the second day when its .flavors have had a chance to mellow and blend.


This holiday black bread must become a tradition in any house where it has once been tried! Mix a cup of the ground acorn meal with 3 teaspoons. of baking powder, a tsp. of salt, 3 tablespoons of sugar or honey, and a cup of white flour. Separately, to a beaten egg add a cup of milk and 3 tablespoons of oil. Stir this gently into the dry mix, then pour into a well-greased pan. Bake your dough at 400°F for 30 minutes. Top with butter when it comes out of the oven. Serve anytime, but there exists no flavor quite like hot, homemade bread!

NOTE: Pour the dough about 2/3 deep in muffin tins for some tasty muffins. Bake them for 20 minutes and serve them with elderberry or dewberry jelly (if you still have any!).


Mix half a cup of white flour with a cup of acorn meal, 2½ teaspoons of baking powder, and ¾ teaspoon of salt. Separately mix a beaten egg with 1¼ cups of milk and 3 tablespoon of oil. Pour just enough liquid into the flour mix to make a good batter. Spoon the batter into a greased frying pan. Fry till golden, flipping once. Top your pancakes with your favorite syrup and serve hot!


Use either sugar or honey for a sweet acorn treat. Dip the acorn meats (which have been leached and dried as described above) into boiling syrup or a 2:1 sugar to water solution. Thoroughly dry them on a greased pan. These will keep pretty well in a tin or glass jar and make nice holiday treats or gifts.



Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.

Canku Ota is a copyright of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the Copyright © 1999 of Paul C. Barry. All Rights Reserved.