I have a new fascination with chestnuts this Christmas season, after indulging in the most amazing stuffing ever made. Chestnuts served as the base of the deliciousness and today I had to buy a bag of fresh chestnuts from the corner fruit market to satisfy my new craving. Roasting them in the oven turned out to be easy-peasy and oh, so yum.
Of course curiosity got the best of me and I ventured into my books to find out about the health benefits of the delicious nut. Chestnuts are nourishing for the stomach, spleen, pancreas and liver, as well as the kidneys. Although not astringent to the tongue, in Ayurvedic medicine the chestnut has an astringent quality. This makes it a wonderful food for easing diarrhea, reducing coughing, and controlling bleeding. The chestnut is also warming and nourishing for the body, which is why it is such a good food to eat in the winter months.
Chestnuts are much lower in fat than other nuts and are much higher in starch. Chestnuts are a good source of calcium and iron.
To Roast at home...
1. Preheat the oven to 425. Using a sharp knife, carefully score an X into each chestnut. This prevents the nuts from exploding while they are roasting. 2. Spread the chestnuts out on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The shells will peel back and the inside of the chestnuts will be lightly toasted. It is important not to over-roast the nuts or else they may become dry. 3. Allow the nuts to cool and the shells will easily peel off. The nuts should be soft and have a smooth texture when crushed.