All you need to know about chestnuts this Autumn

By: Information courtesy of Chestnuts Australia

Chestnuts are only available until July so enjoy them while you can.

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.

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 fat plus folate, potassium, antioxidants, dietary fibre.

Chestnuts Are Gluten-Free
You don't have to be 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 and peel the chestnuts.
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 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 is power balls. Combine cooked chestnuts, dates, cacao, nuts, seeds for a scrumptious mid-afternoon pick-me-up!

Fresh To Cooked Chestnut Yield
Once cooked, 1 kg of chestnuts yields about 700-750g of cooked and peeled chestnuts.


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