Nov 13, 2011 - Winter    No Comments

Roasted Chestnuts – Nutty Helpers Against Winter Blues and Other Ailments

I’ve been super busy recently due to work and personal commitments which have kept me away from writing, photography and my beloved walks and forages in and around Bristol. I was absolutely delighted when I came across this very special winter nut in my supermarket around the corner and just made the first batch of roasted chestnuts.

Roasted chestnuts are very nostalgic for me, as they remind me of my childhood with my parents back in Munich. During cold winter months we would have roasted chestnuts every other night. My parents must have been aware of their relaxing properties as in herbal medicine they are known for their calming effects, contributing to a good night sleep.

My parents and I cutting some chestnuts

Roasted chestnuts in fact are a super food. The are much lower in calories and fat than any other nut. In comparison, 100 grams of walnuts have around 650 calories, while chestnuts only have 200.

They are real pick me ups as they contain high levels of vitamin B and phosphor, can ease tummy pains, and are often found in remedies for varicose veins as they support vessels and capillaries.

Next time you see chestnuts in your supermarket or market, don’t hesitate, grab a couple and try roasting them yourself. Just make sure you have a wallpaper knife, which will help you can easily cut through the hard skin and reach the golden kernel once roasted.

Roasted Chestnuts Ingredients (serves 4-6)

Source: My dad
Preparation Time: 5 -10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
You will also need: A baking tray

500g/1lb (approx. 40) Chestnuts

Roasted Chestnuts Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

2. Using a sharp knife, ideally a wallpaper knife/scalpel, cut the chestnut skin sideways all around, meeting the cut at the start.

Note: Be careful not to cut too deeply as once the chestnuts are roasted and you try peeling them, they will break into half and you’ll struggle removing the chestnut from its skin.

3. Put the cut chestnuts on a baking tray and bake for around 15-20 minutes, tossing the tray occasionally  until the skins open up and the yellow nut peeks through the skin.

4. If you’re not sure if they are done, just try one or two…

5. To peel the roasted chestnuts, give them a light squeeze sideways and the hard skin will pop open, revealing the yellow roasted chestnut. Discard any which have mold marks or dark areas which might have been nibbled on by some creepy crawlers.

Happy nibbling!

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