ethnobotany foraging Plants wild food

Acorns leached whole

John Farais, a chef specializing in Native American cuisine, has discovered a very cool way to leach these Valley Oak acorns to make them into edible acorn flour. I suspect this will not work for the higher tannin Live Oak or Black Oak (these acorns are yellow fleshed) as there wouldn’t be enough surface area exposed to get the tannins out. But I haven’t tried it, either.

His recipe is as follows:


1. Shell them. No need to dry them.
2. Put in a bucket and fill with water3-4 inches above acorn level.
3. Change water 2x a day.
4. Drain water when the water is clear in 4-7 days. My water was clear in about 4 days.
5. Taste for bitterness. If still too bitter, continue leaching in bucket with more clean
water. My wet nuts were actually kind of sweet!





Making Flour:

1. Put wet acorn meats into blender cup about 1/2 -3/4 full, they are soft at this point.

2. Add 2 cups of cold water.
3 Start on low speed, add more water, if needed to fully blend all nuts, then go to high
for a few seconds.
4. Drain in cheesecloth or fine sieve (china cap), You can save water, for soup, bread,
or mush.
5. Put on a silpat ( a silicone pad used in the oven for baking) and dry in oven at
lowest temp for about 30-60 minutes (This can vary so you have to monitor) Warning: 150
degrees or more can bake the flour into a dry mass of rubbery solid if it is in the oven
too long.
Put into dehydrator at 125 degrees for 2-3 hours, or until dry.

Done Deal!


Photos by John Farais. You can contact him at