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Emory Oak “Bellota” Acorns

Quercus emoryi

The Emory Oak Acorn is a small nut about the size of a pine nut when shelled. The range of the Emory Oak tree extends east-west from central Arizona eastward through western Texas and north-south from Chihuahua Mexico through southern Colorado.

Unlike most bitter acorns, Emory Oak acorns are sweet, edible and gathered for commercial markets.

Originally, acorns from the Emory Oak were gathered in accordance to the Apache and Yavapai traditions; placing tarps under the trees, shucking the acorns free from their branches, and then shelling and toasting the nuts around a campfire. Currently, acorns have little or no marketability, which is unfortunate, as the nuts are extremely nutritious.

Emory Oak acorns are rich in Protein, carbohydrates, fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. Specifically, the wholesome nutritional content protects people from dangerously high increases in blood-glucose levels after meals because of the acorn’s slow digestion rate and low glycolic response. This is a huge contrast to white flour, which has a fast digestion rate and rapid glycolic response.

American Indians used Emory Oak acorns for flour and meal and the nuts were often eaten raw or stewed in soups.

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