Acorn Flour Banana Bread

This post has taken me a while to write.  Let me explain.  Some of you may have already read about my experiments cooking with acorn flour.  At first I tried making noodles, but that is still a work in progress with a lot more experimentation to come.

acorn flour cookies

Success! These cookies are really good. REALLY GOOD!

Then I tried making cookies.  One recipe, chocolate chip cookies, was excellent!  The cookies were gone in 24 hours, which, in my household (with a husband, 3 grown boys and 4 grandchildren) means this is a “keeper” recipe.  The other cookie, a shortbread recipe, was awful, but let’s not talk about that one.  You can read about it by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.

Lately I have been experimenting with banana nut bread made with acorn flour.  Since acorn flour is made from – well – acorns, which is a tree nut, I thought I would try using an almond flour recipe but substitute acorn flour.  Sounds simple enough, right?

Well……………, not really.

Here’s the scoop.  I bought one of those E-Books from Amazon about cooking with almond flour called Fast And Easy Almond Flour Recipes.  This book has a recipe called Almond Flour Bread with a Pinch of Cinnamon.  The ingredients looked simple enough and  are very similar to the Banana Nut Bread recipe that I have always used, so I decided this was the one I would use to adapt to acorn flour.

Bread made from Acorn Flour

2 cups of acorn flour – ready to be made into bread.

So, instead of the 2 cups of almond flour called for in the recipe, I added 2 cups of acorn flour.  Acorn flour is quite a bit darker than most other flours, and initially that was the only difference I noticed when I was making the bread.  I was so smug when I popped it into the oven, but 55 minutes later I wasn’t so sure!  The toothpick came out clean, but the bread didn’t rise at all.  Nope.  This (ahem) bread was actually a little concave in the middle.  Well, I thought to myself, not everything has to look good.  Right?  As long as it tastes good, that’s what matters………right?   🙂

I put the bread, still in the loaf pan, on a cooling rack.  I had some errands to run in town, so I left the house for just a couple of hours but then would come back home and cook dinner.  I was planning on accompanying our pork chop and green bean dinner with the bread.

Well, that didn’t happen.  When I tried to take the bread out of the pan, I realized that what I had created was a flat, four cornered hockey puck.  My hubby (bless his heart) tried the bread anyway and said that, on the whole, the taste wasn’t bad!  Unfortunately, human teeth were never meant to eat hockey pucks. Epic Fail! 🙁

So, what went wrong.  Hmmmmm…  I do know that from my cooking experiments so far, acorn flour seems to have a lot less moisture in it than the almond flour.  Probably a lot less oils also.  That may have something to do with the leaching process to get all the tannin out.

Banana Bread using Acorn Flour

The second attempt at banana nut bread – a bit sweeter, a bit lighter.

It also is a bit denser. Cup for cup, it weighs a bit more than wheat flour does.  And it is a lot less sweet than the almond flour.  So, I decided to try adding a bit more baking soda (to help it rise), and instead of four whole eggs, I used three whole eggs with 2 whipped egg whites (also to help it rise and for more moisture), omit the sugar and use honey instead (a different type of sweetness and – more moisture).

The result?  Success!  The bread was done sooner than the original recipe said it would be – at about 45 minutes!  I’m glad I checked it early!  As you can see from the picture below – the bread didn’t rise all that much – but it did rise!

And it tasted really good.

And we could actually eat it!

The bread was very much like the banana nut bread I usually make, just a bit denser, more like a brownie. I tried toasting it under the broiler today and added a touch of butter and it was delicious!

Banana Nut Bread from Acorn Flour

Success! Banana nut bread made with acorn flour!

Here is the final recipe I came up with:

2 cups of acorn flour – ground as fine as you can get it!

3 whole eggs

2 egg whites, whipped to a fairly stiff froth

1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 cup honey

3/4 cup banana puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly grease a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine the acorn flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl combine the whole eggs, oil, honey, banana puree and vanilla.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until you have a smooth batter.  Add the nuts. Whip the egg whites until they are foamy – carefully fold into batter.  Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake at 45-55 minutes until bread is golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.  🙂

I think my next experiment will be with a similar recipe, except this time I am going to add applesauce instead of the bananas, and apple chunks and raisins instead of the nuts, to see if this will make a good muffin. Perhaps I will swap out some of the cinnamon and instead use cardamom – one of my new favorite spices! Here’s to hoping I don’t make miniature hockey pucks!  Stay tuned!

Here are my previous posts on cooking with acorns – Eating Acorns;  Eating Acorns, Round 2; and Acorn Flour Cookies.


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29 thoughts on “Acorn Flour Banana Bread

  1. Out of curiosity, how many acorns does it take to make 2 cups of acorn flour? How long does it take you to collect them? I get the impression you’re really enjoying this whole process!

    • Hahaha – yes, I guess you could say I am enjoying the process! It is actually very rewarding when a recipe turns out to be tasty! I want to keep experimenting with the acorn flour just so I can get a better feel of how to cook with it and what can be done with it. I think I will try blending acorn and almond flour soon also. I think the astringent flavor of the acorn flour with the sweetness of the almond flour would be a great mix – especially since these are two ingredients I have on hand! Between my almond trees and all of the oaks on our future homestead, we should be well supplied in acorn/almond flour! As far as how many acorns makes 2 cups – well, for me that would be about 50-60. I guess the total would really be dependent upon how big your acorns are! Mine are fairly big, but not huge. One of the easiest ways to harvest them is to just rake them up into a pile and then pick through the pile of leaves and debris to get the acorns. I had a shopping bag full in less than 1/2 hour! We will probably make this easier next year by leveling and smoothing out the land below the big oak trees. Thanks for stopping by, Lydia. I appreciate your interest and comment!

      • Ever think about trying an “Energy Bar” – I understand acorns have many nutritional qualities such as being gluten free, high in protein, high in potassium. Plus it’s firmer texture is something energy bars are known for. I think it would be a great fit!

        • Yes – I have thought of making a granola type bar – with dried fruit, some chopped almonds, maybe a little bit of local honey and perhaps some sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds! The sweetness of the fruit and honey would certainly offset the taste of tannin! I’m not sure if this would be considered an energy bar, but it sure sounds good, doesn’t it! Hmmmm…. the more I think if it, the more I think I will try it tomorrow! Thanks Ken! Come back again soon!

    • I am also glad I found a bread recipe – it will be a great springboard to other flavors! Carrot/ginger bread, apple raisin muffins and pumpkin/cinnamon bread all come to mind! With a little tweak here and there, I think these will turn out! The secret will be in getting the batter to stay moist enough, and I think that is where fruit puree will come in handy. I also like the idea of using honey instead of sugar. That way, other than the spices and the baking powder, I can grow/produce most everything else in the recipes. I’m still going to pursue the acorn flour noodle thing – just haven’t figured that one out yet!

  2. I am very impressed that you persevered and got the results you were hoping for! What do you think of the almond flour recipe book, by the way? I got it for free, but I wasn’t confident in the quality of the recipes, so I haven’t tried any yet.

    • Honestly, this was the first recipe I have tried from this book. I bought it for the intended purpose of converting from almond flour to acorn flour! Since making the acorn flour is a process that takes time, I haven’t been able to make more than four or five cups of acorn flour every week. But, other than the time involved, it’s free! My concern with a lot of recipes using alternative flours is the use of ingredients like coconut oil. Although this oil is good for you, there is no way I can produce it myself, therefore, for me, it isn’t sustainable. That is another reason I substitute honey or stevia for brown sugar or white cane sugar – I can produce stevia and honey on my own homestead. Now, that being said, I am still going to experiment and see what works and what doesn’t. Afterall, I did use bananas in this recipe and I can’t grow bananas, but my next try will substitute applesauce for bananas. So, you can see that the recipe book is just a jump-start in my experiments for now.

  3. The cake looks yummy! I love the way you are explaining it. I have a very clear idea in my head of how you are working it. Its such a shame I have not access to an acorn tree!!

  4. Your loaf looks great. My daughter has been after me to try making acorn flour with some she has collected as an experiment. We may have to give it a try. Thanks for all your hard work.

    • Experiment away, Robin! It is a lot of fun to be able to gather something from nature that you didn’t have to plant, water, weed, stake up or trim down, and eat it! Just make sure you leach your acorns enough! Taste one before you start, then spit it out – that way you will know exactly what the taste is that you don’t want! Hopefully your acorns don’t have as much tannin as mine do. Enjoy!

    • What happened? Did she leach the acorns long enough to get out that bitter tannin? That’s usually the problem. It takes me 10 days of changing water daily (some days twice, when I can think of it) to get the tannin out! Better luck next time – if she wants to try again!

    • Thank you, Lisa! It is delicious – especially toasted with butter on top! It didn’t take us long to eat it up! The best part is that I can produce and/or collect most of the ingredients myself! Of course, I will always have to buy cinnamon, baking powder and salt! That’s okay. Self-sufficiency doesn’t mean I have to produce everything I consume myself – if it did, we wouldn’t have an economy!

    • Yes, it is pretty cool. I’m starting to wonder how it would taste if I leached the acorns, toasted them, then made them into nut butter!!?? Hmmmmm, might have to try this! Thanks for hosting, Becca!

    • Hello, Barb! I am thinking of mixing the almond flour with the acorn flour next. The acorn flour, no matter how much leaching I do, still has a twinge of bitterness to it. But the almond flour is sweet! So, I think if I mix the two I might come up with a really good flavor! These experiments are helping me to understand more of the little nuances of cooking with tree nut flours. Probably next spring I want to try making some bean flours and see if I can mix those with the nut flours! I’m glad you like reading about the experiments – hopefully they won’t be the end of me! 🙂

  5. your recipe lists acorn flour, but the directions say “…combine the almond flour…”. I’m just wondering which this uses, one or the other, or a combination of both?

    • OOps! Thanks for catching this one, Lori! 🙂 You are right – it should say Acorn flour. However – as a quick note – I DID find that mixing almond flour in with the acorn flour makes the result a bit sweeter and rise just a tad bit more. Thanks for commenting!

    • However much you prefer! I should have listed this, but we are using very, very little salt lately – if at all. However, sometimes you just need some! In my opinion, if you want salt,I would use 1/2 teaspoon.