Acorn flour is a little-known but extremely useful keto flour. High in fats and very nutritious, it works well in many keto recipes. You can make it yourself with acorns right from your yard, but you can also buy it. Read on to learn about this amazing flour and how to use it in keto desserts!
The Keto Diet
Let’s start by remembering the basic concepts behind the keto diet. The typical American diet includes a high amount of carbohydrates, but following the keto diet means we choose to make fat our primary source of fuel. The general macronutrient split for the keto diet is 70% of calories coming from fat, 25% from proteins, and 5% from carbs. By eating more fats than carbohydrates, we force the body to use fat as its main energy source.
Carbs on the keto diet
So what exactly does 5% carbs mean? To keep the body using fat instead of carbs, it is recommended to keep carb intake below 50 grams per day. But as we show with all of our recipes, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy dessert! It is important to know the difference between carbs and net carbs. Some types of carbohydrates are not counted in our daily carb intake because they don’t raise blood sugar. These “non-impact” carbohydrates are fiber and sugar alternatives and are subtracted from our total daily carb intake to calculate our “net” carbs, meaning the carbs that do affect blood sugar. So if we design recipes to include fiber and some sugar alternatives as the carbs, we won’t add much to our net carb amount and can still enjoy keto desserts!
Keto flour options
One of the biggest keto dessert obstacles is baking without using wheat flour, which is mostly carbohydrates. Thankfully, there are a lot of keto flour alternatives out there that make delicious desserts. Check out some of our recipes using almond flour, coconut flour, or sesame flour to start you off.
The keto flour growing in your backyard
What if we told you that you have a vast source of keto flour in your backyard right now? You might be surprised, but acorns can actually be made into a flour suitable for the keto diet! Acorns come from oak trees, which are so abundant in the United States and even all over the world. Acorns have been used as a food source by several cultures throughout history, including in Korea, China, northern Africa, Mexico, and especially in the United States by First Nation peoples.
How to make acorn flour yourself
If you’re feeling adventurous and up for a DIY experience, you can make your own acorn flour at home! Plus, if you’re tired of stepping on all of those acorns outside in the fall and running over them with your lawnmower, start collecting them for flour!
Once you gather your acorns, crack the shell with a hammer and remove the skin on the nut inside. Freezing the acorns first can make the skin come off more easily. If you freeze them, be sure to let the nuts dry before cracking. Raw acorns have high levels of tannins, which are bitter and irritating to the digestive system. There are two ways to remove these tannins. One is called “cold leaching,” which only requires you to soak the acorns in water for about twelve hours, rinse, and repeat until the soaking water no longer turns brown.
The other method for removing the acorns’ tannins is boiling. The boiling method is much faster—you only have to cook the acorns for three hours. Another thing to know is that different types of oaks have varying amounts of tannins, so each type of acorn tastes slightly different. It’s up to you to try them and see which you like!
The next step is to dry the acorns by laying them in the sun, using a dehydrator, or putting them in the oven at the lowest temperature until dry. Finally, put your acorns in a grinder or a food processor and grind them into a flour. There you go! Making your own flour is a somewhat lengthy process, but if you are up for a challenge or looking to clean up your yard, it is definitely possible.
Acorn flour—a nutritionally dense keto food
Acorn flour is suitable for the keto diet because it’s a great source of fat. It is composed of 50% fat, 45% carbs, and 5% protein. In 100 grams of flour, there are 30.2 g fat, 54.7 g carbohydrates, and 7.5 g protein. Out of those carbs, 3.9 grams are fiber, which does not count as a net carb, so the net carbs in 100 grams acorn flour are 50.8 g. This seems like a lot, but keep in mind 100g is much more than a typical serving. One serving of the flour would have about 15 g net carbs. This is still a moderate amount, but as long as you keep an eye on your daily net carbs and don’t eat too much acorn flour, it can always be worked into the keto diet framework.
Health benefits of acorn flour
All of the work required to make acorn flour is definitely worth it for the health benefits it has! It is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin A, manganese, and linoleic and linolenic acid. It also has high levels of antioxidants, which protect from molecular damage in the body and prevent disease. The calcium and phosphorous in acorn flour make it good for your bone health. B vitamins help regulate metabolism.
Overall, acorn flour is very nutrient-dense. There’s a reason why it was sustained in many civilizations throughout history! It has brought people nutrition and good health.
So what does it taste like?
No, you don’t have to be a squirrel to enjoy acorn flour! It is actually incredibly tasty—somewhat sweet like chestnuts, and also nutty. It goes very well with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. The good thing about the natural sweetness of acorn flour is that it means you can use less keto sweetener in your recipe and the product will still taste great!
How to use acorn flour
The relatively high carb amount in acorn flour makes it a successful substitute for things like cornmeal and even for all-purpose flour. This makes it work great for flatbread. Just mix acorn flour with about three times that in water, add a little salt and oil of choice, and pour the batter onto a pan to cook. Yum! Pancakes and waffles also work well.
At the same time, acorn flour has a high fat content, so you can also use it to replace a large portion of the almond flour in almond flour recipes. The high fat content can make acorn flour dense when baked, so it is good to use it in combination with other keto flours like coconut.
The best ways to bake with acorn flour are making sweet bread, muffins, and keto cookies. It would be a great addition to a pie crust too. Imagine a pumpkin pie or an apple pie with a sweet and nutty acorn flour crust. Delicious! You could even use acorn flour in a keto porridge if you have a stomach bug.
Where to buy acorn flour
We get it—not everyone has the time or patience to make their own acorn flour. Luckily you can buy it online. You can find some options to purchase acorn flour on Amazon. Or, if you have a local Asian grocery store, you can often find acorn flour there since it’s used to make a soba-like noodle.
Start baking with acorn flour!
Let’s get started baking with acorn flour! It is very versatile and can be substituted in many keto recipes. It adds a unique flavor profile that we don’t have in other keto flours and is exceptionally nutritious. Change up your usual keto ingredients and start mixing in acorn flour today!