When you were a child, you were probably gathering acorns from the trees. But, have you ever tried to eat them? If you are wondering whether acorns are safe to eat, this article will be interesting for you. We will tell you something more about acorns and their influence on human health.
Can we eat acorns or they can be harmful? Read along this article and you will find out.
More about Acorns
Acorns are nuts of oak trees and their close relatives. Acorns contain single seeds that are enclosed in shells. Acorns need between 6 and 24 months to mature. They have many health benefits for people. Acorns improve heart health, boost energy and regulate blood sugar levels.
Acorns can also control blood sugar levels and build strong bones. They can also improve digestion and soothe inflammation. Below we will tell you something more about acorns safety and how you can include them in your diet.
Is It Safe to Eat Acorns?
Yes, it is perfectly safe to eat acorns. Acorns have been consumed for thousands of years in America and Japan. They have been one of the most important dietary staples in many early cultures. Today, acorns are also used in specialty dishes all around the world. They are loaded with nutrients and they are low in fat, so they can help in preventing and treating many health problems. But, you should know that acorns contain tannins that are bitter in taste so it is necessary to cook these nuts well before you eat them.
You can eat acorns but it is important to eat ripe acorns. Raw acorns are high in tannic acid and they have a bitter taste. Also, raw acorns can be poisonous to humans, especially if they are eaten in large amounts. You should avoid acorns that are mildewed or dusty, but also acorns with big caps because they are usually very bitter.
There are different types of oaks and each of them produces different acorns. For example, white oaks produce acorns that are bland in taste and they usually don’t need leaching. Red oaks will produce acorns which are bitter in taste while black oaks usually produce acorns that are very bitter, so they need a lot of leaching. It is necessary to leach out all the tannins that make acorns bitter.
How To Prepare Acorns?
When you have chosen your acorns, the next step is to clean them. Place cool water in a pot and dump the acorns into it. You should remove any floating acorns because they may contain worms or weevils. Take a wooden spoon and stir the acorns. Rinse the acorns under the tap and then soak them for about an hour. This way you will soften acorns shells. The next step is to drain the acorns and to dry them with paper towels. Then you should shell the acorns by hitting them with a hammer. Be sure that the hammer is clean. After separating the acorns from their shells, you can throw out the shells. Then you have to leach your acorns in order to draw out the tannins. This step is the most important in the whole process. In order to do that, you should prepare two pots of boiling water. Place the acorns into one pot and let it boil for about 15 minutes. The water in this pot will turn dark. Then you should transfer the acorns to the other pot and boil the nuts again. 15 minutes will be enough. You should keep transferring the acorns from one pot to the other until the water turns clear.
Also, you can do a leaching process in a simpler way. Soak the acorns in warm water for a few hours and then pour off the water. If your acorns are still bitter, then you should soak them once more in warm water and let them stay in it for a couple of hours more. This way you will get rid of the tannic acid which can cause many health problems. After leaching the acorns, drain them and let them cool for about 10 minutes. Then you should preheat your oven, place the acorns on the cooking sheet and cook them for about an hour. It is important that acorns turn a chocolate brown color. After that you can remove them from your oven and let them cool. If you want, you can add salt to make the nuts tastier.
You can use acorns for culinary purposes on many different ways. You can roast them and substitute them for the peanuts in many recipes. Acorns can be ground into floor, so you can use them for making breads, muffins and cookies. You can also make acorn coffee or acorn oil.
As you have seen, acorns are very healthy and you should include them in your diet. They are rich in nutrients and they can reduce the risk of many diseases.
Also, they are used for treating many health problems. Although these nuts are very healthy, you should eat them in moderation. If you eat large amounts of acorns, it can cause nausea and problems in the gastrointestinal tract.
Have in mind that moderation is always the key of good health. Also, you should always boil the acorns before eating them, because boiling will reduce potential health risks and improve your overall health.