Do acorns have to be brown before you bake them to dry them out?!? URGENT FOR BIOLOGY PROJECT DUE TUESTDAY!!! 11/13/14!!!

Harvesting Acorns!!! I have to use a plant we are learning about for a Biology project. I choose to use acorns from a gamble oak tree to put in brownies. I know you bake them to dry them out, but do they have to be brown first? This is due Tuesday... HELP!!!
I don't ever come on her, first time. Can you e-mail me with your answer, I'll get it faster? "[email protected]" PLEASE HELP!!!

Renae Beam
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jamcook September 28, 2014
Only cooking homework... I don't do trigonometry !
jamcook September 27, 2014
Hooray for you, and hooray for the Food 52 Homework Rangers!
Renae B. September 28, 2014
Maybe there should be a Facebook Group Called that. You guys could be tutors (:
Renae B. September 27, 2014
Hello everyone!!! I got my grade for my project. The brownies were so yummy!!! My class loved them, and my teacher said they are the best shes had in a while. I got 45/40 points!!! Thanks to all who helped
Susan W. September 27, 2014
Renae that is awesome news!!
Meaghan F. September 15, 2014
Here's a recipe for Oak Ice Cream from the NY Times that uses oak chips:

I know people who have baked acorns for crafts like wreaths and whatnot, and have heard that they leave behind an AWFUL stink after baking.
jamcook September 14, 2014
There is a recipe for Italian Pignoli cookies on this site.. Pignoli..( pine nuts) can be very expensive, so you may want to look for a recipe that requires A ore modest amount of them.
Renae B. September 14, 2014
Thanks , everyone who helped. I reluctantly e-mailed my teacher... who wants to talk to their students on weekend?!? She said I could use store bought pine nuts, as long as I do enough research to be able to describe the harvesting project. She said we can eat green ones, but they might make us sick (not poisonous), because of the tannins. That is what make them bitter, we not as accustomed to eating them so it might irritate our stomachs. They ripen because of heat, sunlight, and airing out. As they ripen, some of these tannins "disappear" or "evaporate". I was so scared I would get marked down for using store bought nut, that I refused to give up on my acorns. I didn't want to ruin my teacher's weekend with work. I'm such people pleaser!!! Thanks for all your help!!! I'll update you with how it tuned out, and my grade.
Pegeen September 14, 2014
Wow. If a teacher knows all those possibilities about foods possibly making people sick, they should disallow them from the project. I wouldn't worry for two seconds about bothering your teacher or any adult, any day of the week, regarding an issue that concerns everyone's health. And I can't believe a teacher would mark you down for using a USDA approved nut.
Susan W. September 14, 2014
Be sure to come back and let us know. Brownies made with pinenuts sounds interesting, but hopefully your teacher doesn't expect you to make pine flour. Yikes!
jamcook September 14, 2014
Maybe you can choose the sugar maple and do something lovely with Maple syrup. No more competition with squirrels ! Let us all know how your project goes.
Renae B. September 14, 2014
Thanks, I know right?!? I e-mailed her, she said using bought pine nuts is fine as long as I am able to explain now to harvest them. She said green acorns, aren't poisonous, because they aren't fully ripe, they are more bitter and may irritate some stomach's, depending on our body, and what it likes or can handle
Pegeen September 14, 2014
Or, "Your Best Squirrel Recipe." Actually I've had squirrel and it's not bad if braised... can be a bit dry otherwise. (Sorry, all... I'm just desperately trying to avoid doing laundry.)
Pegeen September 14, 2014
I think Food52 needs to have a contest for your best Acorn recipe. :-) There's an awful lot of info out there about how to harvest and process them. Makes me wonder why they aren't sold just like other tree nuts.
Susan W. September 14, 2014 kidding. I have a huge Heritage White Oak across the street from me. It's squirrel heaven and now I want to share some with them and play around. I do see people picking them up. I figured they had some acorn eating pet at home.
jamcook September 14, 2014
Oh boy.. Science projects due tomorrow...been there , done that ! I know that acorn flour was used by native Americans, but there are many varieties of oak trees. I'm not sure if they are all equally edible, or if they need to be roasted before using. Have you checked books by Euell Gibbons, a famous wild food forager? He wrote a book for the outward bound program called "A WILD WAY TO EAT" .. Which might include some tips on acorns. I agree that you might ask for a little more time for your assignment. No teacher wants you to get sick for the sake of a science project. Good luck.
Susan W. September 14, 2014
White Oaks are good (it's one type we have here in Oregon) and Black Oaks (aka Red Oaks) are too full of tannins to ever be edible. Of those two tree types, there are 54 sub species. I now know more about acorns than I ever thought I would. I hope someone brings them up in conversation. :)
Renae B. September 14, 2014
Thanks!!! Crunch time is pure chaos... She said I can use store bought pine nuts, as long as I research, and am able to explain how to harvest them.
Renae B. September 14, 2014
I was born in Washington, and lived in the Pacific Northwest for the first 8 years of my life...(: Ilwaco, Chinook, Tillamook, Portland, Vancouver, Long Beach, Astoria, Ocean Side, Kelso... All over the penninsula and Puget Sound. Sorry, that was so random, the PNW holds a special place in my heart. I was adopted, and when I was 8, I moved to California (16 now and living in Arizona). I haven't had much contact with my bio familiy much, so I hold the memories of the PNW close. Here in AZ, we have Gamble Oak, I saw "the wild way to eat" website, thanks for the help!!! :)
Pegeen September 13, 2014
Yikes! Renae, this is a case where you must tell your teacher your need more safety guidelines. If acorns without caps might have worms, and green acorns might be poisonous, why is your teacher asking you to cook with any kind of acorn without explicit guidelines? There are other ways to study trees and shrubs! You should not take the responsibility of anyone getting sick!
Pegeen September 13, 2014
And that could be the subject of your project (instead of acorn brownies): what you need to do to be safe in the harvesting and foraging of wild plants and vegetables (the kinds of research that need to be done).
Susan W. September 13, 2014
I googled "do acorns need to be brown before drying" and the info popped up immediately. It says they must be brown or they are unripe and unedible possibly even poisonous. It also says they will ripen off of the tree. This was all from Wiki-how. There was more info and a link to directions how to make acorn flour.
Susan W. September 13, 2014
Should say "inedible" not "unedible".

Also, to add what little I read, it's important to leach the tannins from the acorns. Unlike squirrels, we lack the proper enzymes to process the large amount of tannins.
Renae B. September 14, 2014
Thanks, I talked to my teacher! She said the same things. When they ripen, some of those tannins "disappear", so that's why we can eat the brown ones.
Pegeen September 13, 2014
I'm not sure, but they're not going to get brown by Tuesday, right? So it doesn't really matter. You could do a test and bake some to dry them out and taste a couple. If you don't HAVE to make brownies, maybe chop them up in a blender or food processor and make some home-made granola with them instead of brownies?

Google "how to cook with acorns." Here's one link I found. The part about not using acorns that don't have caps seems important... it means they probably contain worms. Ick!
Maedl September 13, 2014
You need to do some research of your own to learn the process of making acorns edible. Look for an experienced forager in your community, go to the library and look at books on wild foods or foraging, or try to find some RELIABLE sources on the web. You might look for some of James Duke's books on wild foods.
Renae B. September 13, 2014
I have done research. I don't mean to be rude, but that wasn't much help. I am in mini crisis!!! This is due, tuesday and I don't have time to read Mr. Duke's book.
Nowhere in these does it say if they need to be completely brown in order to dry in the oven.

Voted the Best Reply!

Maedl September 14, 2014
The ultimate point of your project is to learn how to research a question--and since you are planning on feeding your project to other students, you need to be sure you are correct. Relying on people with only partial inowledge could be dangerous to your health!

You don't need to read an entire book: that is what an index is for. There is a lot of info available on your topic, even on the web if you for some reason you don't have access to books. According to your note, you have until November to work on this--11/13/14. That seens like enough time to do a thorough job. The answer to your question is not all that obscure--just do a bit of reading and research.
Renae B. September 14, 2014

It's due Tuesday, sorry for the typo...
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