Are Acorns really edible?
Yes, acorns are edible and quite nutritious but they take a bit of processing before you can eat them. They are NOT edible raw. Acorns contain quite a bit of naturally occurring tannins which make them bitter. Other foods contain tannins to varying degrees, it is, in fact, often what gives certain foods their unique ‘mouth feel’. Foods that contain tannins include pomegranates, grapes, nuts, chocolate, rhubarb and some beans.
We prefer using cold water baths to remove these bitter tannins and make the acorns edible (you can also use hot water methods, though that removes some of the beneficial oils and changes the overall nutrition). Once tannins are removed acorns have a very mild nutty flavor making them very easy to incorporate into your favorite recipes for added nutrition and health.
Acorns have been a food staple eaten by cultures the world over for centuries. An excellent history of balanoculture (defined as societies whose diet staple is the oak acorn) can be found in the wonderful book Oak, The Frame of Civilization by William Bryant Logan. Acorn remained on the menu commercially in several cultures, including Korea, Turkey, Portugal and Greece. For many reasons, interest and consumption of acorns has grown considerably in Europe and America in the last decade.
Are Acorns nutritious?
Acorns are nutrition dense and satisfying. 1 ounce of acorn flour contains: 2 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of fat making it a fairly balanced nutritional source.
Acorns also are a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese, among other things.