How to make acorns edible

How to remove the bitter and rough taste of acorns

How to obtain unbittered acorns

Acorns are healthy nuts, but not all acorns are edible, there are some that are very bitter and should not be consumed. This bitter taste is due to its content in tannins, substances that in high doses can be indigestible.

Tannins are a type of indigestible substances (they are antinutrients that hinder digestion) They can cause belly pain if consumed in excess (gastric irritation and vomiting), although its bitter taste does not incite its ingestion.

To remove the bitterness of the acorns and to consume them, it is necessary to remove their tannins

Process to obtain unbittered acorns

cooked oak acorns
Oak acorns, during the process of “unbittering” or removing their bitterness

Acorn tannins are hydrolysable, that is, they react with water. Therefore, we can remove these substances with the following procedures:

  • Once collected, the acorns should be cleaned of plant debris, dried and consumed in a short time.
  • Before cooking, they can be submerged in water: when they float or have worms they should be discarded (preferably in the forest).
  • Peel the acorns carefully with a clean knife: The tender acorns must be peeled to remove the skin and the cuticle or internal skin.
  • Split them in halves or quarters: the more items, the better to detach them (crack or break the acorns). This chopping is important to accelerate the process of unbittering acorns.
  • Previously chopped, put the acorns to soak with plenty of water: This process of submerging the acorns in water is necessary for their tannins to transform and then be easier to remove (leaching). If possible, it is better to soak them  in warm or slightly hot water, and keep the soak at room temperature.
  • Change the soaking water 3-4 times a day, during 3-4 days: The time will depend on the degree of bitterness of the acorns. At the end of the process, acorns must have considerably reduced their bitterness.
  • Boil the acorns for about 20 minutes in plenty of water: Until they are soft and without bitterness. The resulting liquid is an excellent antiseptic (apply, cold, on wounds, cuts, etc.)
  • After this crushing process, long and boiled soaking, acorns can already be used in recipes. For example, they can be roasted with a little salt.

What flavor do acorns have?

They have a sweet and tannic nutty flavor that combines with many recipes.

Can you eat raw acorns?

Sweet acorns can be eaten raw, like chestnuts. However, acorns are better consumed cooked, so that they are more digestive. For example, toasted with salt, roasted in the oven, in stews, etc.

punto rojo More information on acorn

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

16 September, 2019

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