How to Cook Chestnuts
Yearning for a Fall treat that’s fun to eat? Then let me recommend chestnuts.
Chestnuts fall off trees just like walnuts, almonds, and apples, but they seem much less common. They taste so good though, it’s worth going out of your way to find them!
If you have never had chestnuts, they’re kind of hard to describe. They’re much softer and contain more water than a walnut or almond, and they’re actually starchy, like bread.
And they have a flavor all their own!
Health benefits of chestnuts:
Don’t ask me how they do it, but chestnuts contain a wide variety of nutrients!
First, like many nuts, they are packed with protein, low in fat, and contain no cholesterol.
Second, they are very high in fiber, and very high in potassium.
They also contain good amounts of iron, zinc, and calcium.
And a serving of chestnuts even contains as much Vitamin C as a lemon!
(Plus a wide range of other nutrients in smaller quantities.)
How to prepare chestnuts:
Chestnuts aren’t hard to prepare, but there is more to it than just shelling them…
Step 1: Grab some chestnuts.
Grab some chestnuts and a microwave-safe plate.
Step 2: Slice the shell.
Start by cutting slits into each chestnut with a sharp knife. (Be careful!)
These slits prevent the chestnuts from exploding in the microwave as well as make them easier to peel later on. What I do is put one slit on each side, near the tip of the nut. If the nut is real big, I’ll put a couple extra slits in there.
Step 3: Cook.
I typically cook chestnuts in the microwave because it’s fast and requires little preparation.
Just cover the plate and place in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. (This time will depend on the microwave, so start out at about two minutes and then cook longer if necessary.
Step 4: Let them cool.
Remove the chestnuts from the microwave and let them cool. They’ll be super hot, so wait a minute before peeling them!
Step 5: Peel the shell.
Once the chestnuts have cooled off enough that you can touch them (they should still be warm,) you can peel them.
Simply grab the shell with your fingertips and peel it off, starting at the slits. If it was cut and cooked well, the shell should peel right off.
Then you’re left with a plump yellow nut that will taste delicious!
(Just watch out for black rotten sections and worms that may have been in there too!)
Roasting over an open fire?
If you want to get fancy, you could put your chestnuts in a pan and roast them over an open fire.
If no open flame is available, you could bake them in the oven, or even boil them on top of the stove.
If you are baking them, bake on a pan for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. (After putting the slits in them, of course.)
Once you take them out, lay them on a pan with a damp towel over them for 10 minutes. That will moisturize the shell so it peels off nicely.
The other option, which will be quicker than roasting or baking, is to boil them.
In this case, slit the chestnuts and drop them into a shallow pan of hot simmering water (boiling hot water would be overkill) for 1-2 minutes.
Remove them, and once you can touch them, peel them.
However you do it, chestnuts are great!