Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Acorn Use as Food, Recipes

 Guest Post by David A. Bainbridge  



The proof of the pudding is in the eating, however, and it doesn't matter how nutritious the food is if you don't like it. I'm confident you'll like the flavor of acorns and will enjoy the recipes presented here. You can also explore new recipes on your own. Acorn meal can be used in many ways. Some ideas to get you started: acorn meal in place of corn meal; whole acorns, acorn meal, or acorn flour instead of chestnuts or chickpeas; in most recipes in whole or part as a replacement for buckwheat groats or millet, and in some cases as total or partial replacement of bulgur, whole wheat, or wheatberries. 

A Cautionary Note:
All recipes are for sweet acorns, either those varieties that are naturally sweet or bitter varieties that have been leached or neutralized. The considerable variation in acorn composition may make some adjustment in the recipes necessary, with less or more oil and less or more fluid. If your acorns are bland (many are) more spice may be added, or if the flavor is very good let it stand more on its own. Experiment to make recipes work with your acorns. Throw out spoiled acorns. They discolor and become a bit darker as they dry, but don't use ones with mold or decay. (Although some tribes enjoyed a special moldy acorn bread and treated acorns to
maximize mold.) 

Peggy Edward's Unleavened Acorn Bread
Grease 3 loaf pans. Mix thoroughly:
l cup oil 3-3/4 cups leached and ground acorn meal
5 beaten eggs 1-1/8 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/4 cups honey 1-1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
Add pine nuts, dried elderberries, currants and/or etc. Pour mixture into pans and bake at
350 deg F for 1 hour or more.

Catherine Gearing's Leavened Acorn Bread
1-2/3 cups milk 1 Tbsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar 1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup warm water
2 packages active yeast or
2 cakes compressed yeast
4 cups flour 3 cups acorn flour
Combine milk, sugar, salt, and shortening and beat until bubbles appear and shortening melts. Cool to lukewarm. Put water in a bowl. Mix in yeast. Combine flour and acorn flour, then add to mixture. Beat until smooth; add enough remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Turn onto a floured board. Knead 5 minutes or until smooth and
elastic. Put dough in a large greased bowl. Turn over to bring greased side up. Cover with damp towel. Let rise at 85 degrees F for 1-1/2 hours or until doubled. Grease two loaf pans, punch dough down. Turn out onto board and knead to distribute air bubbles. Divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf, and place in loaf pans. Cover. Let rise 1 hour. Bake at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Above 3500' elev., set oven to 475

Beat together in a bowl:
2 Tbsp. of cooking oil
3 Tbsp. of molasses
1 egg
Stir in:
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of acorn flour
Then add:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. double-acting baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. of ginger
Stir quickly until all the dry ingredients are moistened and the batter is slightly lumpy. Then pour the batter into a greased muffin tin and bake at 425 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the tin from the oven, allow it to cool five minutes, turn the muffins over and serve. 

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