Acorns have been used as human food in times of famine, though like beech mast their chief economic use has been as animal fodder. The raw kernels are forbiddingly bitter to most palates.
Chopped and roasted, acorns can be used as a substitute for almonds.
In Europe, the most common use of acorns has been in the roast form, as a substitute for coffee. They were recommended for this role during the war.
Boil the acorns, shells too, for around 20 minutes. Next, you're going to want to strain out the acorns (use a shemagh or similar to drain and strain). Boiling the acorns first will make them much easier to peel. Let the acorns cool down before attempting to peel them.
Once cooled, peel off the hard outer shell and remove the top layer of skin from the acorns.
Once peeled you can split the acorns with a knife or pestle and mortar. Once split, put them in a warm area to dry for 24 hours.
After 24 hours of air drying your acorns, you are ready to grind them up. Depending on where you are (at home or in the wilderness) you can use whatever tool you have at your disposal.
Place the ground acorns on a baking tray and bake or grill until they change to dark-brown colour. Pay close attention to them as there is a fine line between browning and burning.
Use around 3 tablespoons of the ground acorns in a cup of boiling water.
Paul has had an interest in the outdoors since he was a young kid. Walking, tracking and exploring the wilderness around him, from disused overgrown railway lines to the vast wilderness of the UK national parks. Over the last few years Paul has honed his skills into specific areas of bushcraft and survival. He is an expert in map reading, shelter building and knots, traps and fishing.