By: Information courtesy of Chestnuts Australia
Chestnuts are only available until July so as they say "make hay while the sun shines" or in this instance, "eat chestnuts while there's still time".
Now unless you're in the business you probably don't know there are many different varieties of chestnuts and each has its own distinctive characteristics. Most shops just sell them as chestnuts, but if you want to impress your local greengrocer you could ask whether the chestnuts he's selling are Red Spanish, Purton's Pride, De Coppi Marone or Bouche de Betizac. (the pronunciation of the last two may be a bit tricky so perhaps don't!)
I suppose the first thing to know is what to do with them and the truth is there's loads you can do with chestnuts but I think they're most special when they're roasted over the BBQ, and eaten straight after they're cool enough to peel.
You can watch how to roast them in our video about chestnuts
Chestnuts Are So Good For You
Nutritionally chestnuts are pretty healthy and they don't fit the same nutritional profile of nuts. They offer a healthy dose of vitamin C, no far and offer folate, potassium, antioxidants, dietary fibre.
Chestnuts Are Gluten-Free
You don't have to be a coeliac or intolerant to gluten to enjoy chestnut flour. It has all the health benefits listed above and a delicious flavour. It works on both sweet and savoury dishes and while you can buy the flour you can also make your own, which is a bit of work but incredibly rewarding
To make chestnut flour
Roast the nuts in the oven or on the BBQ ( see our video
Wrap in a tea towel until cool enough to peel
Use a knife to cut the chestnuts in half and spread over a flat baking tray.
Unless you have a dehydrator, place in the oven at the lowest heat for a few hours until the nuts are completely hard and you're unable to break them with your fingers.
Place in a high speed blender and grind to a flour.
Store the flour in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
Chestnuts Are Delicious In Sweets Too
Another healthy treat to make with chestnuts are power balls. Combine cooked chestnuts, dates, cacao, nuts, seeds for a scrumptious mid-afternoon pick-me-up !
To find out the best ways to select and store chestnuts check out our Chestnut Video
Fresh To Cooked Chestnut Yield
Once cooked, 1 kg of chestnuts yields about 700-750g of cooked and peeled chestnuts. Here is a rough guide for small quantities, weight varies slightly depending on the size of the chestnuts.
For further information visit Chestnuts Australia
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