Preparing Acorns For Food… Which Acorns Did the Indians Use and Still Use Today?

Native Americans used and still use today, acorns from oak trees that grew around them. In the past, some Native American families ate hundreds of pounds of acorns every year. In the valleys of California there is a large oak with large acorns, the tree is called the Valley Oak. Of course, it was and still is a fine acorn and those living close to it have benefited from all the meat in these large acorns. But another acorn, a tiny one so bitter the Latin name is Quercus Revoltus, was probably used by Indians who lived in it’s habitat because they utilized the food that grew around them. One tribe buried their acorns in the wet ground until they turned pink because that made them sweeter. What was happening was the acorn was sprouting in the wet soil, turning it from a starch to a sugar state, making it much more palatable.  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


Uncooked Barley Salad

Rinse and soak 2 cups of barley for 24 hours. Drain. Add:

2 Tbs mayonnaise

¼ cup minced yellow onion

2 Tbs raw sunflower seeds

one tiny can chopped olives

¼ cup finely chopped parsley

½ tsp dried basil

¼ tsp paprika

salt & pepper to taste

Refrigerate to develop and merge flavors.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Poor Jonny’s Cookbook.

Sprouts From Corn? Yes!

Sprouts From Corn? Yes!

When your garden produces an abundance of corn, save some ears to dry and make sprouts. The sprouts are made by removing the kernels from the cob and soaking in water for a night. Pour the water out and rinse twice a day until they sprout. Corn sprouts are a different kind of treat and are good steamed or dropped into soup. They can be lightly steamed then ground and mixed with mayonnaise and celery for a sandwich spread.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Poor Jonny’s Cookbook.

Tips for Growing Alfalfa Sprouts

For every tablespoon of sprouts use one cup of water. Soak the alfalfa seeds for longer than one day. The water may become a little sour but you’ll be able to remove it when you start rinsing. Soaking them for two days is better than one because the shells soften and the sprout will use them for nourishment and growth. Only one day of soaking leaves the seeds hard and dry. Use a half-gallon size jar and keep it in a north-facing window. It won’t receive as much sun as a southern one. The sprouts dry out too quickly in a hot or sunny a window. Rinse them daily. It’s better to have a smaller air hole in the jar lid than to have the whole opening exposed to the air. They will stay moist longer with a small opening. When rinsing pour water into the jar, swish it around then place a mesh kitchen strainer on the end of the jar to catch the sprouts and put them back in the jar. Use sprouts as much as you can. They are a “live” food filled with enzymes and vitamins. In place of lettuce on sandwiches, as a garnish around potato salad, in tacos, in green salads, sprouts provide texture and crunch. Other popular sprouts are: lentil, clover and sunflower. Sprouted wheat berries make a nice steamed bread. Suellen Ocean is the author of Poor Jonny’s Cookbook.