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Harvesting acorns

Don't let the squirrels enjoy all the nutritious benefits

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If you've been thinking of acorns as simply a nuisance that attracts squirrels, you may be overlooking a free source of healthy protein. Did you know that acorns were traditionally a significant part of the diet of the Native Americans? However, acorns do have a high tannic acid content that makes them taste very bitter. Before you can eat acorns from your backyard, the nuts need to be leached. This process takes about one week and involves pulverizing the nuts in a blender filled with water. As the water turns brown, the tannic acid is removed. When you're finished, you can expect your acorns to taste like a cross between hazelnuts and sunflower seeds.

To learn more about harvesting acorns, we suggest these helpful Web sites:

Acorns and Eat 'Em: A guide to preparing acorns, plus an assortment of interesting recipes for you to try.

Parts of a Tree are Edible: A guide to using wild plants and trees as food sources, including harvesting acorns.

Masters of the Forest: A collection of interesting facts about acorns.

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