Acorns And Eat’em…

CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVERIt is slim pickings in my neck of the woods this year. There are no acorns coming from the Blue Oak or the California Live Oaks on my property. And I see very few California Valley Oak acorns along the stream where they were prolific last year. I’m sure I will find acorns. My son lives in the California Coastal Mountain Range and I have a variety of elevations and ecosystems available to me here in the Sierra Foothills and further up into the mountains. I feel bad when I see the squirrels and the wild turkeys looking for them and not finding them.

I am pleased to note that the “Acorns And Eat’em” book will be available in ebook form on November 15th. You can order it here:

http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

Let me know how the acorn harvest is this year in your neck of the woods.

Thanks!

Suellen Ocean

Eating Acorns and Sharing with Woodpeckers

CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVERNature never ceases to amaze me. Did you know that a woodpecker has a tongue that is twice the length of its beak? It is so long, when not in use, it wraps up inside the bird’s head cavity. When it is in use, it drills down ant hills and scoops out the prey. Here’s the sad part. When there aren’t enough acorns, woodpeckers die. And you know the dead trees that are full of holes that are full of acorns? Those are called granaries and they take years to build up and support woodpecker communities.

As more and more people learn to enjoy cooking with acorns, I hope they will not forget the myriad of woodland animals who depend on them for food. It’s that time of year. Let’s gather acorns. But let’s leave an abundance for the birds.Secret Genealogy IV Cover

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns, http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973 and Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-IV-Native-Americans/dp/1500756105

 

 

Acorn Preparation… Make Sure All the Tannic Acid is Removed

CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVERStep two in acorn preparation is leaching and it is the most important factor. If the tannic acid is not removed, your acorn meal will be bitter and your tummy might ache and your gums might pucker and blister. Doesn’t sound very appetizing does it? Don’t let that stop you, many foods need preparation.

Thoroughly leached acorns are a delight. If I was loopy, I’d say that acorns are a portal into the earth and that they bring magic to your life. As I look onto the bright green oak shoots that signal the advent of spring, and watch the birds flit between them, I am reminded of the strength the oak brings to living things throughout the world.

Secret Genealogy IV Cover

Rinsing out the tannin returns the acid to the soil, nourishing future harvests of acorns the forest animals depend on. The cycle of life goes round and round. Gathering and preparing acorns has us step into that earthy world, even if only for a short time.  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

… and Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-IV-Native-Americans/dp/1500756105

 

Do Acorns Predict What Sort of Winter We Will Have?

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Along the creek near my home in the Sierra Foothills, I stumbled across a healthy grove of California Valley Oak acorns. They are beautiful. And this year, they are prolific. I find this interesting, because Native American legend tells us that abundant acorn harvests predict a hard winter of rain and/or snow. This abundance comes at the same time weather forecasters are predicting an El Nino this winter for Southern and Central California.

Animals who depend on acorns are making a pilgrimage to these oak groves. When I see deer, wild turkey, squirrels and the biggest crows I’ve ever seen, descend on these caches, I’m reminded to take only what seems fair. If there aren’t many acorns under a tree, I leave them for my forest friends. If there are plenty, I’ll gather a quart. They need to be collected though because once the worms drill into them, they have a feast.

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

Watch the how-to video, Acorns and Eat’em www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG-5EDrHDhM

Eating Acorns… Are They Nuts?

Acorns are not nuts but to be honest, they definitely resemble them. The acorn is the fruit of the oak. Popular tree nuts are pistachio, Brazil, almond, walnut, cashew, hazelnut, and pistachio. Peanuts, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are not nuts, they are legumes. A tanoak tree is a hybrid cross between a chestnut and an oak tree. But then we have the question, is a chestnut a nut? The chestnut is a member of the oak and beech family. If you are allergic to chestnuts, you may consider this before eating tanoak acorns, but I’ve been teaching the art of eating acorns for over thirty years and I’ve yet to have anyone tell me they had an allergic reaction to acorns of any variety. If you haven’t tried leaching and eating acorns, I urge you to do so. Even in very small amounts, the acorn can add texture and flavor to many dishes.  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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Acorn Chocolate Cake, a Rare Treat

Acorn Chocolate Cake

Mix together well with a fork:

2 cups flour

2/3 cup baking cocoa

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

In a second bowl mix:

1 & ¾ cup sugar

¾ cup ground, leached, cooked, pre-frozen, thawed and drained acorns. Complete directions for leaching acorns are available in the book “Acorns and Eat’em,” available here:  http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

½ cup rice milk (dairy milk O.K.)

2 tsp vanilla extract

Slowly add to sugar and acorn mixture:

2 beaten eggs

¾ cup water

Carefully add sugar mixture to the first bowl. Mix well.

Oil and flour two 9″ cake pans (or one 13X9). Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes. Cool.

Chocolate Frosting

1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2/3 cup baking cocoa

½ cup butter (one stick) or substitute

5-6 Tbs rice milk (dairy milk O.K.)

1 tsp vanilla extract

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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How-To Prepare Acorns

Because I have “written the book” on eating acorns and continue to receive emails from folks who have questions, I thought it would be a great idea to write a blog. I will share my culinary experiences with you and include pictures. You can look forward to hearing about my chocolate acorn pies and cheesecakes and indulge me when I go on strolls through the woods to find acorns. I also love to write historical novels so you will hear about that too …

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