Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fresh Chestnuts!

My neighbor gave me some chestnuts, quite a lot of them as you can see from the photo! I don't know what they sell for or the open market but when I lived in Asheville, a street vendor sold fresh hot roasted chestnuts every fall, 6 for $1.50.

Chestnuts are very good nutritionally, being lower in fats and calories than most nuts. (Most nuts have nearly 50% fat; chestnuts only about 1%.) They don't keep the way most nuts do, so they need to have some processing or they will mold and spoil in just a few days.

Chestnuts are best known as roasted, because that brings out the sweetness. However, back in the days before the chestnut blight, they were used in a variety of dishes from a vegetable side-dish, or boiled and mashed, to puddings, stuffing ingredient, and even roasted and ground for flour. You can roast, peel and freeze them but since I'm out of freezer space, I'm looking at alternatives.

I have several ideas in mind for their use. Certainly, I shall roast and grind some (as soon as I can afford a grain grinder). I plan to puree some for use in combination with some kind of fruit for a leather roll-up, and I want to make a batch of chestnut biscotti.

I'll post pics and recipes when I make something with them.

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