Acorns are a type of nuts that grow on oak trees. They are also known as oak nuts. They are extremely nutritious. You can readily find them in nature. They offer healthy levels of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates.
Also, they are a source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Besides, they have a rich, nutty taste. Their numerous nutritional benefits make them ideal for adding to many recipes, including coffee. In this guide, we will show you how to roast acorns for coffee.
Where to Find Acorns
Acorns are harvested from oak trees. Oak trees are common across North America. They are often harvested between September and November. Once they are mature and fall from the oak trees, deer and squirrels feast on them. Resourceful humans also make good use of them.
When collecting acorns, look for fully mature ones. Mature acorns should be brown in color. Only pick acorns with caps on. Acorns without caps may be infested by critters such as worms. Avoid picking green acorns since they are not yet fully mature and should not be used.
Washing the Acorns
You will need to wash your acorns before using them. Here is how to wash acorns:
Step 1– Rinse the acorns in cool water. To do this, put them in a bowl or pot. Then fill the bowl with water. Dispose of any acorns that will float on the water since they may have gone bad. Good acorns should sink in water.
Step 2– Transfer the acorns into a clean colander. Run water over the acorn for 1 to 2 minutes. Doing so will remove any hitchhiking bugs and/or loose dirt.
Step 3– Place the colander aside to allow the acorns to air dry. Alternatively, you can dry the acorns by hand with the help of a dish towel.
Shelling the Acorns
After washing the acorns, you need to remove the caps and shells. You can use a nutcracker to help with faster shelling. You can also use a hammer if very necessary. Also, remove any remnant outer skin after shelling.
Before you roast acorns, you need to leach them. Essentially, acorns contain tannins that taste bitter. Thus, you need to treat them before roasting to leach out the tannins. Here is how to leach acorns:
Step 1– Boil two pots of water.
Step 2– Put the shell-less nuts into one of the pots. Boil the nuts until the water turns to the color of strong tea.
Step 3– Strain the nuts with the help of a colander.
Step 4– Put the strained acorns into the second pot. Boil them until the water turns to the color of strong tea. Boil them back and forth between the two pots and use clean water for every boil. Repeat this process until the boiling water looks clear. Do not allow the acorns to cool during this process. It might take about an hour or more to fully leach the tannins.
Alternatively, you can leach out the tannins by soaking raw acorns in cold water. Change the water once it develops a darker color. However, leaching tannins with cold water is a slow process that may take a couple of days.
Dry the Acorns
Next, you will need to dry the acorns fully to prevent them from rotting. To do this, spread the tannin-free nuts on cookie sheets placed in a warm place. If it is sunny outside, dry them in the sun. Alternatively, dry them faster in the oven while set to “warm”. Also, you can dry them in a dehydrator on low heat.
How to Roast Acorns for Coffee
After drying the acorns, they are ready for roasting. Here is how to roast oak nuts for coffee:
Step 1– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2– Place the dried acorns on a rimmed cookie sheet. You should place them in one layer. The cookie sheet should not be greased.
Step 3– Bake the nuts for approximately one hour or until their color changes to chocolate brown.
Step 4– Remove the roasted nuts from the oven and allow them to cool.
After roasting the acorns and allowing them to cool, you can grind them in readiness to brew coffee. Use the grind setting you use to grind coffee beans. When ground, they will look like ground coffee. Use the brewing method you prefer to make acorns coffee. The brew will taste like coffee, only that it does not contain caffeine.
Also read: How to Make Coffee From Acorns?