Become a Chestnut Pro
Christmas is just around the corner, shopping malls are busier, the evenings are becoming colder, and we tend to find ourselves craving warm, hearty, comforting meals. You may be noticing that your local grocery stores are now providing chestnuts in the produce section. We’ve all heard of chestnuts, many times in association with the holidays, but how exactly do you eat them?
Chestnuts are the large, brown edible seeds that come from beautiful chestnut trees. They are usually grown in Italy, China or Korea. These nuts have a very tough exterior, like a golfball, and are slightly smaller than one. This leaves one to wonder… how do you remove the shell? No need to panic, the following is a step-by-step process of how to successfully remove the shell and become a chestnut pro!
How to Remove Chestnut Shells
Step 1 – In North America, chestnuts are available for purchase during the fall and winter months of the year. You can find them within the produce section of your local grocery store.
Step 2 – Once you have your fresh chestnuts, there are a variety of methods in which you can remove the shell. One of the ways is roasting the nuts in the oven. It gets the job done and fills your house with a warm Christmas-like aroma! Begin by pre-heating your oven to 375 degrees F.
Step 3 – Next, cut a small “X” shape on the round surface of the chestnut. Be careful when doing this, and make sure your knife is sharp.
Step 4 – Place the chestnuts on to a pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. When you take the chestnuts out of the oven you will notice that the “X” will be oozing with juices.
Step 5 – Remove from oven, and peel off the shell with either a towel or paper towel (don’t wait too long to do this, or it will become much more difficult). Once you have peeled off the shells your chestnuts are ready to be eaten as is, or used in a variety of cooking and baking recipes!
The rich, sweet flavour of chestnuts makes them great to cook with or eat on their own. Baking is an option because of their starchy texture, making them a great filler. Chestnuts have added health benefits to offer, they have very little fat (unlike most nuts), large amounts of vitamin C and are even gluten-free!
If you are cooking with chestnuts, use them in soups or throw them in a meat dish. Their thick nature also makes them a wonderful ingredient to use in stuffing recipes. With baking, they pair well with chocolate or can be used as a type of adhesive in breads or cakes.
Beef, Chestnut and Wine Stew
Chestnut, Bacon and Cranberry Stuffing
Chocolate Chestnut Cake (Gluten-Free)