GO NUTS FOR VERSATILE & TASTY CHESTNUTS
It's time to celebrate Aussie-grown chestnuts' unique and delicious flavour! With its mealy texture and delicate taste, chestnuts are the perfect ingredient for a range of sweet and savoury dishes. But try them quickly - the season only runs from mid-March to July.
When choosing chestnuts, look for fleshy-firm nuts with shiny brown shells that feel heavy for their size. And to keep them fresh, store them in a paper bag in the refrigerator crisper for 2-3 days or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days. Refrigerator for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 6 months.
And the best part? Chestnuts are not only delicious, but they're also good for you! They're a great source of low GI carbohydrates, dietary fibre, protein, and essential nutrients like folate, magnesium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Plus, they're gluten-free and low in total and saturated fat. Before using fresh chestnuts in your recipes, it's important to cook them first. Here are some simple cooking instructions:
To boil: Cut the chestnuts in half across the width and place them in a pan of cold water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the flesh is tender and the shell comes away easily.
To bake: Preheat the oven to 200ºC, then place the chestnuts on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the shell splits open.
To microwave: Arrange 6-8 chestnuts in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate and cook uncovered on high (850 watts) for 2-3 minutes or until the flesh is tender.
To roast, grill, or barbecue: Cook the chestnuts in a pan over medium heat, turning occasionally, for 20-30 minutes or until the shell splits open.
To make peeling easier, it's important to peel the chestnuts while they're still warm. Once cooked, remove them from the heat and wrap them in a clean tea towel for 5-10 minutes. Then, peel the shell and papery thin skin underneath quickly. If boiled, leave the chestnuts in the hot water and remove one at a time to peel.
Note that some chestnut varieties are easier to peel than others. Check with your greengrocer or visit our website for more information.
And here's a helpful tip: one kilogram of chestnuts yields approximately 700g of shelled chestnuts.