How to Make Acorn Flour

Oak trees tend to produce acorns in waves. For a few years, there might not be many, and then one year, they're all over the pace. If you're inundated with acorns this autumn, make the most of your bounty by turning them into nutritious flour. Keep reading for instructions on how to make flour you can use to make pancakes and bread, or soup.


  1. Image titled Make Acorn Flour Step 1
    Collect your acorns. Avoid anything that has a damaged shell, especially a dark hole or small circular scar on it about the diameter of a pencil lead. Those acorns have worms in them and are no good.
  2. Image titled Make Acorn Flour Step 2
    Shell the acorns. When dry, many will open themselves. If you wait for them to dry out, make sure that they get plenty of air, you don't want them to rot. If you have a dehydrator, you may consider speeding the process. Keeping them in the oven may work too if it has a pilot light.
  3. Image titled Make Acorn Flour Step 3
    Grind the acorns. You can grind them in a food processor, or another option is to put them up in a blender with some water. Don't be stingy with the water, you'll be rinsing them out several times before your flour is ready. Think acorn smoothie.
  4. Image titled Make Acorn Flour Step 4
    Rinse out the tannins. Acorns contain tannic acid which is bitter, and not good for your kidneys (or iron absorption). The good news is that it is water soluble and easy to remove.
    • If you made acorn mush, drape a cotton dishcloth over a deep bowl, pour in your mush and rinse it with warm water. Wring out the mush by bringing the corners of the towel together and twisting. Taste the mush, if bitter, repeat.
    • If you have ground acorns, flush them with water. The amount of time it'll take to rinse out the tannins depends on which kind of oak tree the acorns are coming from. See the Tips below.
      • Cold water. Place ground acorns in a large bowl of water. After the acorn meal settles out, decant the water. Repeat 2-3 times a day. If the acorns are from the black oak group, this can take 6-12 days. This method is best for maintaining the integrity of the kernel so that the resulting flour sticks together better (for making bread and other things).[1]
      • Running water. If you have an appropriate container, you can put the acorn meal in a stream and this will quicken the process.
      • Hot water. Bring the shelled, pounded kernels to a boil and change the water every 45 minutes or so for about 6 or 7 hours of boiling. This works best in a large pot on a wood stove. You will know when they are done, as they will taste very bland (no bitterness and no astringency). This method is faster and doesn't require the kernels to be ground into a coarse meal (small pieces are fine), but it alters the texture of the kernels and they don't stick together as well.[2]
  5. Image titled Make Acorn Flour Step 5
    Dry out the mush. Next spread the mush out on a cookie sheet and either leave it in the sun on a hot dry day, put it in your dehydrator, or put it in your oven after baking some cookies or something and let the residual heat do the job. Stir the mush occasionally to speed the process. If it clumps up and looks like ground beef, it is probably going well.


  • Once the flour is dried out it may be a little coarse. You can put it in a cleaned out coffee grinder to get a finer texture. A good food processor also works and they make attachable gadgets for mixers that really mill the flour if you get completely obsessed.
  • To make acorn pancakes, mix the acorn flour 1/2 and 1/2 with wheat or other flour from your favorite recipe. The acorn flavor is slightly nutty, very hearty.
  • Those of the black oak group often require prolonged leaching. The white oak group includes white oak (Quercus alba), swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor), bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa), mountain chestnut oak (Quercus montana), and others. The black oak group includes red oak (Quercus rubra), scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea), pin oak (Quercus palustris), black oak (Quercus velutina), scrub oak (Quercus ilicifolia), and many others.[3]


  • Even acorns that taste relatively nice straight out of the shell (such as most members of the white oak group) still contain tannins and eating large quantities could cause troubles (e.g., stomach upset, loss of nutrients due to tannins binding with proteins).

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