Yes, Acorns Are Hard to Crack But Don’t Despair

Acorn shell thickness varies from tree to tree. Tan Oak acorns are hard to crack open, while California Valley Oak acorns have a thin shell, that dries and splits open, allowing easy removal of the acorn.

The cracking method I’ve settled on for hard-shelled acorns, is to use the “Texan Nut Sheller.” It’s a hand-held pair of pliers with a sharp blade. It’s a dangerous tool around children but a must-have for acorn enthusiasts.

Whatever you do, have fun with acorn gathering. And don’t forget to make an 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: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

Everyone Always Asks Me… Where Can I Buy Acorns?

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I’ve been gathering and grinding acorns for over thirty-five years. I wrote the book on it… literally, and people always ask me, “Where can I buy acorn meal?” I never had a source. But now I do. And guess what? Her name is Sue. Not the same Sue as me but a Sue is a Sue and they seem to like acorns. I’ve checked out her website and it looks like the real deal. She’s even got a cafe and bakery. If you want to buy acorn meal, she sells it by the pound. It looks expensive but that’s because it is a lot of work to gather, shell, leach and prepare them. Here’s the link to Sue’s cafe and bakery: ttp://buyacornflour.com/product.php. Sue’s cafe is in Martinez, California. If you are in the area, pay her a visit and let me know what you think. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

The California Drought… the Winners and the Losers

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Let me start with the losers, that’s easy. Anything that sucks water. The winners are the little things… lady bugs, lizards, aphids… birds. These tiny creatures are at the bottom of the biotic pyramid but just as important as creatures at the top. Without lady bugs we’d have too many smaller bugs eating our produce. Same with lizards, they eat insects. And birds, wow. Some baby birds eat fourteen feet of worms in a day. Oh wait… we like worms, they build beautiful soil. But then imagine a world without worm predators, they’d be everywhere and they’d probably grow really large but worms like moisture so I’ll not worry about that… yet. I’ll just sit back and enjoy the proliferation of birds and honey bees that are sucking the nectar out of an abundance of wildflowers the drought has brought on in my neck of the woods. It’s dry out west, yes, and it’s not near as pretty a spring as usual. And in Lake County, some of the oak trees are suffering. That’s bad news. But it is what it is. When you need some good news, look deeper into nature…for the little things. There are always winners. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns available as a FREE download from Ocean-Hose. Find it here: http://www.pacificsites.com/~oceanhose/

Food and Cooking… How Long Should You Cook Acorns?

If you have reached the point where you are about to cook up some acorns, congratulations. It means that you have probably hiked out into the yard or countryside and bent over many times and picked up acorns. Then you shelled them (which isn’t always easy). And you must have ground them and leached them and now you are ready to cook them so you can add them to your favorite recipes.

Acorns do not need a lot of cooking and I would not cook them at high heat because they will stick to the bottom. Just a little simmer, for about five or ten minutes will do the trick. Don’t overcook them, you may lose flavor that way.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Cooking and Baking: Acorns Add Texture and Are Gluten Free

Acorns are good for baking because they add texture. And they don’t have gluten in them either which is why I add whole wheat flour when I bake them into bread. When I made acorn cheesecake for Thanksgiving, the acorn meal absorbed the egg whites in the baking process and it came out very nice. You definitely need to add flour to acorns though, if you are making bread or cookies. You don’t need a lot of acorn meal to make a batch of muffins or a loaf of quick bread. One half a cup of leached acorn meal is plenty. Using a smaller amount is a good idea for beginners and be sure to mix the flour and acorns well. The way I use acorns, they are wet so I would add them to the batter after I add any liquids, including eggs.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Eating Acorns… Are They Fattening or Just Delicious?

They do fatten hogs with acorns but we humans eat them in such small amounts I doubt there’s much to worry about. Nutritionally, acorns are said to be comparable to barley, a grain, so yes there are carbohydrates to digest but I’ve NEVER, EVER worried about gaining weight with acorns. BUT… the Acorn Chocolate Cake and Acorn Cheesecake that I make with the acorns… that’s a different story. Next time you see acorns on the ground, grab a handful, take them home and shell, grind and leach them. Make Acorn Onion Dip or the desserts I just mentioned. Be sure to invite friends to join you, otherwise you may find yourself devouring your acorn dishes all by yourself. They’re THAT good. Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Food&Cooking: The Best Dish at the Party… Teenagers Love it!

You’re going to be surprised when I say acorn dip but it’s true. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken acorn dip to a party, only to have the teenagers obsessing over it, especially the boys. I’ve come to conclude that there is something in the acorns that a growing teenager’s body needs. And acorns bring that special flavor, like Mediterranean olives or pungent cheese. The acorn dip is fashioned after your typical onion dip except I use dried onions from a natural foods store and I add a small bit of soy sauce. Surround the dip with Aztecan Blue Corn Chips and you have yourself an unusual hit!   Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Writing and Cooking

The solitude of being a writer, mixes well with cooking. After getting lost in my historical novels, cooking brings me into the “here and now.” One of my favorite desserts is Acorn Chocolate Pie. I fill a graham cracker crust with soft tofu I ran through the food processor with about a quarter cup of leached acorns, a quarter cup of honey, two egg whites and a tablespoon of unsweetened powdered chocolate. I bake it for forty-five min to an hour at 350 degrees. Sitting down with a hot cup of coffee and a slice of acorn chocolate pie is a pleasure that I thoroughly enjoy.CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVER

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973