Acorns are everywhere this time of year (Sept/Oct/Nov) and they're FREE so why not use them?
Step 1: Sunny Day in September/October Identify and Collect
Find your oak tree before collecting.
Research leaf shapes and acorn tannin levels before deciding which to collect.
Helpful link: How to identity different Oak trees.
Another interesting link: Acorns the inside story
I'm using acorns from our Northern Red Oak tree planted by ME 35 years ago. (yes, I'm old)(wink)
The squirrels got all my English Walnuts, so I'm taking their Acorns.
Step 2: Stuff You'll Need
Bucket/container for the acorns.
Hat for protection from the acorns.
Good cutters to open acorns.
Blender to pulverize acorns.
Strainer and clean T shirt to strain acorn masa.
Wooden/plastic/whatever utensil to scrape (play with) acorn masa.
Oh, and you'll need standard muffin making equipment: Bowl, measuring cups and spoons, muffin tin or cupcake papers, oven.
Step 3: Collect Big Unblemished Acorns
Our Northern Red Oak is dropping a bucket full of acorns each day. (your experience may vary)
Pick up an acorn, it should look unblemished, evenly colored and have some weight.
If it has a small hole toss it, it's been eaten from the inside.
Also avoid the chomped ones. (deer,squirrels,lawn mowers)
Collect more than you think you'll need because at least 1/4 may have bad spots you can't see from the outside shell.
Step 4: Remove the Shell
Youtube video: Opening Acorns with cutters.
Most people recommend waiting until the nuts are dry and smashing the shell then separating the broken shells from the nutmeat.
I can't wait that long, I have to see what's inside as soon as they drop to the ground. (I know, I have a problem)(wink)
Step 5: Pulverize
Fill your blender 1/2 halfway with your shelled acorns and the rest water.
My blender holds 6 cups so I put 3 cups acorns in and filled the rest with water up to the 6 cup line.
Start blending on slow then every couple of seconds go up a speed until you're liquifying.
Continue liquifying for at least 3 minutes.
Step 6: Rinse Your Masa
Set you colander in the sink or wash tub and place the T shirt material in it.
Pour your masa into the middle of the colander.
Gently move the masa around and scrape down the sides to let the water drain.
Do this every 5-10 minutes.
When the level is half gone add more water and move the masa again, scraping the sides as before.
Continue for at least 5 or 6 additions of more water.
Taste a small amount.
Chew with your front teeth for 10-15 seconds.
It should be the texture of sand with no or very slight bitter taste.
(You're allowed to spit it out.)
Step 7: Squish Out the Water and Fluff
Scrape down the sides of the T shirt.
Gather the corners and twist until you can't twist no more.
Your masa is pretty well stuck together in large clumps.
Dump it all into a large bowl and whisk vigorously to separate into small clumps.
Step 8: Food Saving
If you have a food saver you can portion out your masa to use in recipes and store in the freezer.
I save mine in 1 cup portions.
Step 9: Muffin Recipe
Acorn Masa Muffins Recipe - Yield: 10-12 muffins
Mix together in a bowl:
2 Tablespoon Melted Butter
3 Tablespoon Honey
2 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 Cup of Milk
1 Cup Acorn Masa
Mix dry ingredients:
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice
Stir dry ingredients into the wet until moistened.
The batter will be slightly lumpy.
Pour into greased muffin tin or cupcake papers.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 mins.
Step 10: Acorn Flour
To make flour out of the meal, first spread it in a thin layer on a cookie sheet, breaking up the big lumps.
Dry in very low oven or on counter,
When completely dry grind in spice/coffee grinder until desired consistency.
Sift ground masa with sieve to obtain flour.
Flour is not necessary for yeast bread, masa can be easily used.
Remember, acorn masa or flour has NO gluten and will not rise.