Handle your nuts properly

The ground seems to be covered with nuts this fall. We had plenty of walnuts for the gathering and now there are pails full of acorns and hickory nuts to be had. I’ve read that there are nearly 50 varieties of acorns around the country. Some are bitter and some are sweet, with most being edible. Here is the proper way to handle acorns for best results.

After winnowing and rinsing off the acorns you have gathered, boil them in clean water for 10 minutes. After you have removed the shells, scrape off as much of the dark membrane as possible. Place the peeled and scraped acorns into clean water and boil for another 10 minutes. If there is any remaining skin, you should be able to easily rub it off. The next step in cleaning is to rinse the nuts in clear running water until the water runs clear. The final step would be to spread them out on a flat pan and bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes to dry off the remaining moisture.

After you have allowed the nuts to cool, you can grind them in a food processor or blender to desired flour or meal consistency. To get one cup of meal you will need to start with about 3 cups of acorns. You an also crack the nuts and use them as nutmeats in various cookie recipes. The flavor of acorn nutmeat is much like that of cashews.

Keep your fork

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