How to Prepare Acorns for Cooking


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Oak branch with acorns

Acorns are extremely nutritious and readily available to most of us, making them a healthful and convenient addition to many recipes. 

Note: Acorns do contain a bitter organic substance called tannin that must be leached out before eating. With a little patience, tannin is easily removed.

How to Leach Tannin from Acorns

  • Boil shelled raw acorns until the water is the color of strong tea.
  • Strain the nuts through a colander and discard the water.
  • Repeat step 1 until the water boils clear. This step may take an hour or more, depending on the variety of acorn.

How to Grind Acorns for Cooking

  • Spread leached acorns to dry on cookie sheets in a warm place. When partially dry, coarse grind a few acorns at a time in a blender.
  • Spread the ground acorns to dry on cookie sheets, then grind again in a blender.

Acorn Pancakes Recipe

Once you have prepared your acorns, try them in this recipe adapted from Sharon Hendricks. Source: Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension


  • One egg
  • 1 tsp. salad oil
  • 1 tsp. honey or sugar
  • ½ c. leached and ground acorns
  • ½ c. cornmeal
  • ½ c. whole wheat or white flour
  • 2 tsp. double action baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. milk

Directions: Break egg into bowl and add all ingredients, beating to create a batter. If batter is too thick, thin with additional milk. Pour batter onto hot, greased griddle and cook slowly until brown. Flip to brown opposite side. Serve with butter and syrup or jam.

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Once the acorns have been

Once the acorns have been leached and roasted, allow them to air dry thoroughly. Then grind them and mix with honey, hickory nuts, a pinch of salt and spoon them by teaspoon onto a nonstick baking sheet and bake on low until set. Makes a great all natural candy.

The key is to rinse, rinse

The key is to rinse, rinse and rinse. Getting all that tannin out is the most important step.

Everett De Morier

We are going to try this

We are going to try this recipe over the weekend. Looks like we'll need to gather quite a few acorns for 7 people!

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