This lovely fall Acorn filled Banana Bread is delicious, nutritious, and a fun weekend experiment to build resilience into your family mindset.
Acorns are abundant in many landscapes of the world. Acorns are just seeds, similar to other nut tree seeds like walnut, pecan, cashew, almond ... they need to be treated a bit in order for them to be nourishing.
The Oakland area of California was named after the many oaks that filled this area. The Oaks provided so many Acorns, there had settled estimates of tens of thousands of native Americans called Ohlone in this area, having acorn meal be a significant source of calories and nutrition.
This modern day version utilizes the nutrition of Acorns, with the satisfaction of sweet Banana Bread, and a few party explosions of cranberry.
(Serves six to eight people)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Grease a 9 by 5 inch (22 by 12 cm) loaf pan.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a food processor. Add in the eggs one by one, mixing well between each addition. Add in the banana slices, the cranberries, the water and the vanilla extract. Mix again until blended, but not too much : it’s nice if the banana and cranberries are not completely mushed.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Add the acorns, and the dry ingredients into the batter, and mix until just combined — do not overmix.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for approximately 55-60 min or until the top of the cake is nicely brown and a toothpick comes clean.
For ten minutes, let the bread rest in the pan. Then run a knife around to loosen the sides of the bread from the pan, remove from the pan, and transfer your bread to a rack to cool completely.
Acorns may not seem like much when looking at their nut size compared with apples but those little buggers pack quite an nutritional punch: one cup has about 140 calories (35% DV vitamin A), 17 grams carbohydrates including 12 fiber-rich gummy/resistant starch carbs+ 3g protein
They were an important source of food for many Native American tribes in North America, who would often eat acorn meal raw or process it into breads and pastries that they could cook over firewood fires. The leaching technique has been around since ancient times - before even pottery! Ancient Egyptians used hot water as partway through their brewing processes while others ground up these sacred nuts to use on altars at temples; but today we're most familiar because a simple yet effective method of leaching acorns which decreases bitterness/tannins enough so you can digest them.
Original Recipe: Modification of a Wilson’s Farm, Lexington, MA. Via Melissa.
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