Chestnuts have a delicious, unique nutty taste and texture. Delectably different from other nuts, their natural goodness is obtained through cooking. They are low in fat and add a delicate flavour to so many sweet and savoury dishes.
Chestnuts are available from mid-March to July. Stock up your freezer so you can add that special wintery touch to meals all year-round.
The freshest chestnuts have a glossy brown, firm shell and feel heavy for their size.
Refrigerate uncooked chestnuts in a paper bag in the crisper for 2 to 3 days or in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
Cooked chestnuts can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. For longer storage, freeze cooked and peeled chestnuts in small freezer bags for up to 6 months.
Chestnuts are so nutritious!
- Good source of low GI carbohydrate
- Provide dietary fibre
- Low in total fat and saturated fat
- Contain folate, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants
- A 30 gram serve provides 217 kJ (52 Cal)
When baking, microwaving, or roasting, firstly cut a shallow cross into the flat side of the shell. This prevents the nut from overheating and bursting while cooking.
When boiling, cut the chestnuts in half across the width of the chestnut before cooking.
Cooking chestnuts: 4 easy methods
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fanforced). Place prepared chestnuts onto a baking tray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the shells split open.
Place prepared chestnuts into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the flesh is tender and easily separates from the shell.
To grill or barbeque
Place prepared chestnuts on a tray under a moderate to hot grill, or place chestnuts directly onto the barbecue grill, turning a couple of times, for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the shells blacken and split open.
Place 6 to 8 prepared chestnuts in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Cook, uncovered, on full power (850 watts or High) for 2 to 3 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Timing can vary depending on chestnut size and microwave power.
Peel chestnuts while they are still warm because they can be tricky to peel when cooled.
Once cooked, remove chestnuts from the heat and wrap in a clean tea towel for 5 to 10 minutes and then quickly peel off the outer brown shell and remove the papery thin skin underneath. If boiled, there’s no need to wrap the chestnuts in a tea towel; simply remove the chestnuts one at a time from the water to peel.
How much does 1 kg of chestnuts yield in peeled chestnuts?
1 kg of chestnuts yields approximately 700g of peeled chestnuts.
To give you some ideas on some ways to enjoy chestnuts, try out these delicious recipes!
Credit: Chesnuts Australia.