Survival Tip


California black oak
Quercus kelloggii


Unprocessed acorns usually have toxic quantities of tannin and may shutdown the digestive track. Proper leaching removes the tannin making them a major wild food item.

The most common steps in leaching are

California black oak acorns usually are harvested in October to December

A Method of Cold Water Leaching

Shell the acorns in your favorite way. Some suggestions step on them with hard shoes until you hear a pop sound. Drive over them. Use a nut cracker (dried acorns are more brittle). Crack with a hammer or rock. Soak them in water until they split open (about 2 weeks to a month).

Place about a cup of shelled nuts in a 1 quart blender and fill it with water. Jog the blender for 5 to 15 seconds at a time to knock off the skins. Stop the blender and skim the skins from the surface when there are enough to skim. Repeat the jogging and skimming until no more skins float to the surface.

Grind the nuts in the blender to a fine meal. The water will turn milky white. Pour the nuts and water into a large container with a fine cloth strainer (or 5 gal nylon paint strainer) through a sieve. The part staying in the sieve needs to be ground again. The meal that stays in the cloth strainer needs more leaching. The very fine sediment that goes through the cloth thickens when it is cooked. When all the nuts are ground and pass through the sieve, move the cloth strainer and meal to another container of cold water and agitate the meal more fine sediment will cloud the water. After letting it set for about 10 min. remove the meal from the water and pour the water into the first container of murky water. Fill the second container with water again and put the meal into the fresh cold or warm water. The water may need to be change again.

Let the first container of murky water settle for 2 hours to overnight and change the water but keeping the sediment. This water changing may need to be done more than once. When the leaching water is poured off test for tannin by cooking equal amounts of meal and taste for tannin (bitter after taste and/or dry feel to the mouth). Cooking brings out the tannin taste. If there is no tannin taste pour the sediment into the strainer with the rest of the leached meal and let it drain. The acorns are now leached

A c o r n   Brownies

2 cups drained but wet cold water leached acorn flower
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup fruit juice concentrate or honey
1/2 cup water with
1 teaspoon baking soda

mix water and baking soda first then mix with other ingredients. Bake in a greased pan at 350F for 45 min. Cool and serve

White man's wiwish

(wiwish is a Cahuilla name for acorn mush)

1 cup of drained but wet cold water leached acorn flower
1 cup water (some acorns need more some less)
1/4 to 1/2 teasp. Salt (to taste )
1/4 cup sweetener honey or fruit juice concentrate (optional)

Mix ingredients together and bring to a boil, or until wiwish thickens.

Because some search engines penalize for "over use of words"
"nuts" has been used in place of   a c o r n s .

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