The common, ordinary acorn is one of the ancient foods of mankind. The first mention of acorns for human consumption was by the Greeks over 2,000 years ago. Over the course of human history it has been estimated that people have eaten more acorns than both wheat and rice combined. The acorn has served as an important famine food for many centuries. Acorns may be eaten alone or in a wide variety of acorn recipes.
Native American Indian tribes all across North America, such as the Cherokee, Pima, and Apache, used acorns as one of their primary staple foods in the same way they used corn. American Indians understood the food value of the acorn and how to prepare it for human consumption. Some Indian tribes would bury their acorns in the mud for many days and then dig them up and dry them in the sun. Other Indian tribes would put their acorns inside a reed basket with a few heavy rocks and then put the basket in a fast moving stream for several days. Both of these methods removed the tannin in the acorns and made them fit for people to eat. There is now an easier, more scientific method and it will be described in detail as you continue to read.
One tall mature oak tree can produce almost one-thousand pounds of acorns in one growing season during normal weather conditions. Acorns have a low sugar content and therefore help control blood sugar levels. They have a sweet nutty aftertaste. Acorn meal may be used in bread and stew recipes, substituting acorn meal for approximately one-fourth of the flour. Since acorns contain natural sweetness, reduce any other sweeteners in the recipe by one-fourth. Acorn grits can be used in place of nuts in cookie, brownie, and bread recipes. Acorns are a reliable source of carbohydrates, protein, 6 vitamins, 8 minerals, and 18 amino acids, and they are lower in fat than most other nuts. One handful of acorns is equivalent in nutrition to a pound of fresh hamburger.