Learning to make acorn flour.

Every year as a child, I gathered the large acorns from the chestnut oak trees on our property. Since I didn’t know they could be made into food fit for humans, I usually left them in piles. I’m sure they were greatly appreciated by the squirrels and deer.

If only I had known then what I know now! I found some foraging channels on YouTube and learned to turn them into food.

I followed the process, and have already tried acorn pancakes. My inner 12-year-old is cackling in delight!

With a little more work than just gathering them, acorns can be a wonderful food source! And as a homesteader, I’m loving having a crop I don’t have to grow myself. Foraging is absolutely a homesteading skill worth pursuing!

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Gathering My Acorns

Before acorns are good to eat, they have to be processed. Acorns have tannins that make them bitter and unpalatable, and can make you sick, too.

So you want to leach the tannins from the acorns. White oak varieties generally have fewer tannins than red oak varieties, but don’t let that discourage you if all you have access to are red oaks.

Large acorn meats in a metal bowl.

I really liked the series of shorts that Feral Foraging did on processing acorns, so be sure to check out his channel!

I learned that ultimately the best acorns to forage are the ones you have the best access to that provide a large harvest that’s easy to process. I have access to quite a few burr oak trees, so I started with those.

Last year there was an absolute abundance of acorns from those trees, but this year there weren’t near as many. I gathered what I felt I could reasonably deal with, especially since I’ve never done this before.

Drying and Processing

A young boy is cracking open acorns on a table.

I spread them in a box under a fan to dry out some. I attempted putting them in my dehydrator on the lowest setting, but those huge acorns wouldn’t fit, even after those huge caps were removed.

The boys then helped me to remove the rest of the caps, and then open the nuts. A couple of good hits with the hammer was enough to do the job. Burr oaks produce huge acorns, so it didn’t take us too long to have a bowl of acorn meat to work with.

Then I pulsed them with lots of water in batches in the blender. It’s an old blender, so I feel like a newer one would do better, but it got the job done.

A large mason jar and a pitcher with ground acorns and water in them.

I had to use two containers for the soaking process, and I definitely developed a preference. The half-gallon mason jar allowed me to pour off the liquid without losing as much starch. I lost quite a bit from the small pitcher.

I poured off the water and added more twice a day, tasting once a day to see if the bitterness was gone. By day three, mine were ready to go, but again, Burr oak acorns have less tannins, and it will likely take longer for a different variety.

Into the dehydrator they went. I was happy to find some silicone sheets that I could make work in my dehydrator so I could actually do this.

Ground acorns on a mesh sieve in a dehydrator tray on a counter.

After several hours, the crumbles were finally dry and I used my coffee grinder to grind them into flour. And let me tell you, the feeling of accomplishment I had from seeing that jar of my very own acorn flour was something else!

Cooking With Acorn Flour

Two days later, I made acorn pancakes following the recipe from Feral Foraging—I just added some vanilla. (You can find it in the comments in this short.) And they were pretty good, especially with some maple syrup!

I’m now dying to make them with blueberries. I think that will be phenomenal!

A person holding a mason jar full of acorn flour

I did try replacing a reasonable amount of flour in my homemade bread with acorn flour, but in this instance I don’t think it’s worth it. The change to the texture and flavor was too much for my boys to want to eat it.

I have plans to try making cookies with my acorn flour next. Fingers crossed!

Have you made acorn flour before? Or do you forage for wild foods? I would love to hear about it! Drop me a comment and let me know!

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