Acorns From Harvest to Food - Eva Varga

November 12, 20124

Sweetie and I took part in a wonderful outdoor seminar and nature walk earlier today.  Led by a local Wintu elder, we learned about the acorn from harvest to food source.  We were invited to take part in grinding the acorns on a stone with some of the same materials the natives would have used.
Once ground, the acorn meat was put into a jar with hot water to soak over night to help leach out the natural tannins.  The following day, the liquid would be drained out but reserved for use as a Poison Oak remedy.  The acorns after two consecutive days of soaking, would eventually be ground to a flour and then used in cooking.
The Wintu elder brought several dishes to share with us that he had prepared:  acorn candy (roughly ground acorns combined with honey and molasses), acorn muffins (acorn flour with Oak ashes substituted for baking soda), and an acorn bread.  To accompany the breads, he also had butter, local honey (which he preached of its natural healing abilities – in lieu of hydrogen peroxide), blackberry jelly, and manzanita syrup.  In addition, he had prepared a White Fir and Honey tea.
Everything was very tasty – though not as rich and smooth as what you would buy in a store.  After the talk, the elder led a short walk to point out to us some of the native plants and to share with us their uses for food and/or medicinal purposes.  I was proud that most of the plants and their uses we already knew.  I know I could certainly survive if circumstances forced me to live without the comforts we’ve come to rely upon.

Submitted to the Handbook of Nature Study Outdoor Hour Challenges November Carnival.


  • Phyllis

    November 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    What a wonderful experience!! I would love to go to something like that. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Barb-Harmony Art Mom

    November 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    This was a great opportunity! I have tasted acorn cakes before but you had quite a few things to try. I think it is so interesting to see how our native Americans used everything from their habitat to the full. We can all learn a lesson from that. Thanks for sharing your entry with the OHC.

  • Shirley Ann

    November 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Oh wow! I wish we could have come along with you. This was such and interesting post. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Crafty Cristy

    November 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    It sounds like this was a great experience for your family. I would love to participate in something like this, too. I don’t really know much about native plants, especially ones that could be used for food. I would be interested in learning about those things.

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