Stand aside squirrels! Is it time we started eating acorns?
They're rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium so is it time we considered acorns as a valuable food source?
Foraging for our food is an option and a hot topic in alternative foods right now is the humble acorn — apparently much enjoyed in South Korea.
So are they worth the hassle?
Luckily the team at Mornings discussed the pros and cons of introducing acorns onto our plate — and into our cup — with a spokesperson from The Woodlands Trust, George Anderson and seasoned foraging expert, John Wright.
We'll leave you to make up your own conclusions.
Acorn americano anyone?
- Acorns are the nuts of oak trees, which grow in abundance around the world and are common in Britain.
- They are free! (But remember to forage sustainably).
- They come in fully biodegradable packaging - it's their little cup called a "cupule".
- As mentioned, they are rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium— they are also a particularly good sources of vitamins A and E.
- They can be ground to make flour for bread, pancakes, pastries, cookies and even pasta — all gluten-free.
- Acorns could be the next big thing in pub snacks - dry roasted acorns anyone?
- Acorn coffee is naturally caffeine free.
- Untreated raw acorns contain high concentrations of tannic acid, causing their taste to be bitter and them to be toxic to humans if eaten in large quantities.
- They are quite a hassle. To make them edible you need to "leach" them - that effectively means soaking them in water until they stop turning the water brown.
- If we all started consuming acorns it could have a negative impact on woodland creatures such as red squirrels.
- Again, if we all started to eat them we might see a reduction in our oak tree population.
- As heard in the programme, even John Wright, expert forager and author of The Forager's Calendar: A Seasonal Guide to Nature’s Wild Harvests couldn't quite be bothered to get around to it and much prefers chestnuts (not horse chestnuts aka conkers which are mildly poisonous.)