At our last All-School Assembly, 3rd and 4th Graders wrote and presented the following report about the acorn flour-making that has absorbed 2nd through 5th Graders recently. We are close to being able to use the flour for baking.
Two weeks ago a Birches Dad came in to show us how to make acorn flour. We were really excited and surprised because we had never tasted it before. He told us that acorns played a large role in Native Americans' diets. We went out into the woods and collected lots of acorns. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Graders broke up into two groups and went to different locations to gather them.
Making acorn flour takes a long time! We started with weighing them using scales in the classroom. We then soaked them in water to dispose of the bad acorns. Any acorns with holes or worms would float to the top. We then used bricks and stones to crack open the good acorns.
Once we cracked them open, we placed them in a dehydrator at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The native Americans would dry them over a fire or in the sun, but we used a dehydrator. After the weekend of drying we had to take the nuts out of the shells. This took us two days. There were a lot of acorns!
After the nuts were all removed from their shells, we blended them in a blender and then placed the flour into mason jars. The jars were filled with 1/4 flour and 3/4 water. We have been soaking them and refilling the jars with water every three hours to leach the tannins from the acorns.
Without leaching the tannins, acorn flour is incredibly bitter and binds to the saliva in your mouth. The tannins and proteins in fruit and nuts can stick to the proteins and fats in your mouth which makes a puckering feeling. When the flour has been soaked long enough, the acorn flour will taste mild and will be ready to be dehydrated and used for cooking. We look forward to tasting the finished product.