As the folks at the Evansville West Side Nut Club have been reminding us since 1921, “From Small Acorns Large Oaks Grow”. This is the time of year those small acorns are coming down on everything. They pelt your roof, car, head and anything they can. What can we do with them?

Squirrels are busy with a few of them. A certain number will be squirrel dinner. Even our patio at home looks like the Golden Corral for squirrels. Look at this:

Big Bill Love's patio
Bill Love photo

They will dig holes in your lawn to bury some for later but that causes a problem. Squirrels are stupid. They have no problem remembering to bury acorns, but they can't remember where they buried them. Scientists that study Rocky J and his family estimate that the little devils only are able to find less than 20% of what they bury. So when the furry little monsters get hungry, they go excavating in the general area where they thought they put them. You get more holes in your lawn and a few little sprouts pop up hoping to be mighty oaks and be honored by the Nut Club.

So--what good are these acorns to you? Humans have eaten them and survived on them for thousands of years. There are oak trees all across the world dropping billions and billions of these nuts. Are they really edible?

Yes, BUT they have something in them called tannin that is harmful if eaten in high amounts. The website www.healthline.com says:

Acorns are especially high in potassium, iron, vitamins A and E, and several other important minerals . A one ounce serving has the following:

 

  • Calories: 144
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Carbs: 15 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Vitamin A: 44% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin E: 20% of the RDI
  • Iron: 19% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 19% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 12% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 10% of the RDI
  • Folate: 8% of the RDI

and if you want all that good stuff, here's what you have to do to get the tannin out. Boil the little suckers.

Crack them open, remove the hull from that bitter tasting nut and boil a batch of the nut meats for five minutes. The water will turn brown. Put the nut meats in fresh boiling water and boil for another five minutes and keep doing that until the water remains clear. At that point you have removed most of the bitter tannin. Then roast them in your oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. Now we have a good snack but we don't want it to be too healthy, so maybe a little finely ground salt will make them even more tasty. Possibly come cinnamon sugar would be good too.

There is one other great benefit--THEY ARE FREE! You can have all you want for nothing. Nature has provided a bunch of oak trees that are producing more than the squirrels can possibly handle. This mighty oak is just across the property line in my neighbor's yard and provides me with more than I can possibly use--

Bill Love photo