Buckeye nut flour {Aescules sp.}

We’ll be broadcasting exactly how to process Buckeye nut flour on this web page just as soon as we get our crowdfunding campaign lifted.  Please read & share Our Campaign Fundraiser so that we can produce a healthy vegan food supply that “shares the land with the planets & animals instead of replaces their homes” AND so we can support the Native American teachers helping to pass on this important ancient knowledge.

Species of Buckeye include:
California Buckeye {Aescules californica}, Yellow Buckeye {Aescules lava}, Ohio Buckeye {Aescules  glabra}, Bottleneck Buckeye {Aescules parviflora}, or Red Buckeye {Aescules pavia} 

   Caution!  California Buckeye nuts are poisonous if eaten raw due to the chemical aesculin that is present throughout the tree, however they’ve been a mainstay food for native people around the world for thousands of years, & can be processed into a highly-nutritious, starchy flour:

Positive-Impact Harvesting Techniques

   California Buckeyes nuts take very easily to planting, preferring to grow on hillsides: once they drop from the trees, they often roll down the hill & begin to take root:

buckeye funny sprout

About a month before they’re ready to harvest (late spring, early autumn):

buckeye nut ornaments
What they look like when they’re ready to harvest:

little california buckeye nut picture perfect

How to Process California Buckeye nuts {Aescules california} into Flour:

Step #1:

   After slicing the nuts into quarters using gloves to prevent aesculin from entering your poresplace them into a Steam Pit for 24 hours or until they are the consistency of boiled potatoes.  If they are not, put them back in the Steam Pit.  Note:  Slicing them into quarters ensures they’ll be soft all the way through & not hard in the middle after being steamed.

Step #2:

    Slice the nuts into chips, & place them into a netted bag- nylon works well because its food safe (doesn’t leech), doesn’t rot, inexpensive, strong & durable, & readily available.

Step #3

   Place the bag into a well-moving river for 3 – 5 days.  Knead the bag daily to ensure they don’t clump together; steaming them first helped open up the tightly-bound molecules of the nut so that the water can now pass through & remove the aesculin.

Caution:  Check with your local water district to make sure that the river you’re looking to leech the nuts in is not contaminated with hydrolyzed mercury or other toxic chemicals that would affect the edibility of the of the nuts once they’ve been processed.

Distance Everheart lowers the California Buckeye nuts into the Kern River after they have been steamed & sliced into chips.
Above:  Wild Willpower‘s founder, Distance Everheartlowers a nylon bag of steamed & sliced California Buckeye nuts into the Kern River; one of many photos from Richard Lonewolf’s new book.

Step #4:

    After removing them from the river, dry them on a clean rock in the sun; they should easily crumble into flour, & can be used to make Ashcake bread.  The flour is highly-nutritious & has a higher starch content than potatoes.

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This webpage can be found in the Vitals>Food>Special Preparation Foods section of WildLivingSkills.org.

Bibliography: wilderness survival instructor, Native American Cherokee medicine man, & ethnobotany teacher Richard Lonewolf,
ChemSpider.com on Aesculin
Photos & Database Entry: Distance Everheart: 5-10-13, 10-19-14

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