Next Sussex superfood trend could be free and growing on trees

Healthfood gurus and nutrionists are predicting that acorns could be the new ‘superfood’ trend to take off in 2020.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 6:00 am
Acorns SUS-200302-112519001

It is in the offing due to a report in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry that acorns might be useful in treating obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

The trend was jumped on by national food magazine Delicious.

But while acorns are free and in plentiful supply at the right time of the year. There are important steps which need to be taken before they are fit for human consumption.

Acorns contain tannins which can be toxic to humans and animals, so only the ripe brown ones can be eaten, avoiding any green ones, and these need to be soaked in water first.

Emilie Bonnevay, of the Woodland Trust, said: “Raw acorns contain tannins which can be toxic to humans and cause an unpleasant bitter taste. They are also poisonous to horses, cattle and dogs. But by leaching acorns to remove the tannin, they can be made safe for human consumption. This can be done with hot or cold water, depending on how you want to use the acorns afterwards.

“Be sure to wait until the acorns are ripe and have turned brown. Please remember to forage sustainably so that plenty of acorns are left for wildlife.”

Here is how to prepare acorns, according to the Woodland Trust: Shell your acorns. This can be fiddly and some claim it helps if you freeze them first, or use acorns collected in previous years. Soak the shelled acorns in hot or cold water. Once the water turns brown, drain it off and soak again in fresh hot or cold water. Repeat this process until the water is clear.

Roasting is probably the easiest way to cook acorns. They can be added to a winter stew for extra bite too!

After hot water leaching, place the damp chunks onto a baking tray and sprinkle with salt. Toast for 15-20 mins on a high heat. When the colour starts to darken, they’re ready. Cool and consume.

Acorns can also be ground and used to make coffee. It is naturally caffeine free and has a unique taste.