Preparing Acorns… How Long Do They Need To Leach?

How long you leach acorns depends on the type of oak tree the acorns came from and where they came from. Tanoak acorns from along the California coast may only take a week to leach the tannic acid enough to be edible. Valley oaks in the Sierra Nevada may take two weeks or more while Valley Oak acorns closer to California’s coast may only take a week to remove the tannic acid. It’s a good idea to become familiar with the acorns you have access to. There’s so much tannic acid in acorns, it takes awhile for them to go bad, especially when you change the water regularly, so there’s no fear of leaving them leaching in the refrigerator for two weeks so that enough tannic acid is leached and they won’t give you digestive upset. Once you remove most of the tannic acid, they are great to cook with. You haven’t lived until you try acorn chocolate cake.  Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here:–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973


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