Chestnuts nutritional value and cooking!
Autumn is the season of the adored chestnut with its full taste and great nutritional value! Chestnuts in Greece thrive in mountainous areas and high altitudes, while their fruit belongs to nuts such as walnuts, almonds and peanuts with a significant difference in its high water content and low fat content.
Flowering takes place in spring and the season when the chestnuts are harvested is from the end of September until the end of November. Throughout Pelion you will find chestnuts spread on the ground among plane trees, chestnuts and oaks and of course you will see many squirrels to collect as much as they can for the winter. This is an autumn image that has been engraved in my mind. The chestnut is hidden in a thorny shell, which opens when ripe and contains one to four chestnuts.
An important positive feature of chestnut is its low fat content and consequently its low caloric value. Compared to walnuts, it has less than half the calories. However, the chestnut still have many calories so you should eat with measure.
Its high nutritional value makes it an ideal food during pregnancy, offering high quality protein, fiber, high content of vitamin C, is rich in B vitamins and a very good source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which contribute to regulation of the lipid profile (cholesterol – triglycerides) and polyunsaturated fatty acids ω-3 and ω-6.
Chestnuts contain carbohydrates, iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin E, significant amounts of copper, potassium, magnesium, selenium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc.
It is important to note that chestnuts do not contain gluten, which makes them an ideal food for people suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance, while it is a food with a low glycemic index, keeping glucose levels low and giving a feeling of satiety. Chestnuts are also ideal for vegetarianism and fasting periods.
You can eat boiled chestnuts, which are more digestible than other forms of cooking. Before cooking, it is good to carve them to their two large surfaces, pour into the pot, cover with water and they are ready in about 20 minutes to half an hour from the moment the boiling starts. To make peeling easier, start peeling before the chestnuts cool.
If you prefer them grilled, they need to be engraved again. In the fireplace they need a special grill, while in the pan they want 20 minutes at 200 degrees while in order not to dry you can put a little water in the pan. We do not recommend baking in the microwave and let it be fast.
Chestnuts are great for cooking and pastry as well. Some savory ideas are chestnut puree, velvet chestnut soup, as a stuffing for Christmas turkey but also for poultry, pork with plums and chestnuts, bread with chestnuts, pies and salads with chopped chestnut.
From sweet delights with chestnut we have even more options such as chocolate cake with chestnuts, dessert, cream, crackers, cookies, cakes and bun, whole chestnuts dipped in dark chocolate, chestnut jam and many other ideas.
Store your cooked and peeled chestnuts for many months in the freezer.