Chestnuts are most commonly associated with the festive season and roasting on an open fire, but there is so much more that can be done with this nut in a number of chestnut recipes.
With their sweet, earthy flavour, chestnuts are a perfect complement to a wide variety of ingredients, including everything from fruit and vegetables, to chocolate and meat. For instance, a chocolate and chestnut cake is heavenly, while no one can resist a creamy risotto sprinkled with smoked chestnut flour.
Chestnut season is brief but don’t panic, chestnuts needn't just be enjoyed fresh from their prickly casing. In fact, they can be found whole and peeled in cans or vacuum packed, dried, pureed or in powder. Just remember that fresh chestnuts must always be cooked prior to eating.
Low in fat and high in vitamin C, chestnuts have more in common with fruits than real nuts. They do lose some of their vitamin C if you boil or roast them, but can still offer between 15% and 20% of your recommended daily intake of the vitamin. A good source of antioxidants, chestnuts are rich in both gallic and ellagic acids, two antioxidants that increase in concentration after cooking. Chestnuts are also believed to support heart health, improve digestion and help control your blood sugar thanks to their low glycemic index value.
Many of these chestnut recipes below call for fresh chestnuts that are roasted or boiled prior to further inclusion in the recipe.
Tasty Chestnut Recipes for Fall
Roast Wild Boar with Chestnuts
Chestnuts and roasts are meant to go together.
After pre-boiling the chestnuts they are placed around roasted boar in this comforting autumnal dish. Get the recipe.
Pumpkin with Chestnuts and Onions
Pumpkin, chestnuts, thyme and onions are fried up together in this tasty fall side dish.
Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts
Whole chestnuts mixed in with Brussels sprouts for a classic Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish.
Chestnut Flour Ravioli
The perfect pasta recipe for gluten-free foodies.
Chestnut flour has a hearty taste and pairs well with the creamy artichoke filling in this recipe.
Squab on a Chestnut Branch
Chef Eneko Atxa, from Azurmendi restaurant in Spain devised this interesting recipe.
It will take some creative resourcing to find the ingredients, including volcanic salt and purple corn, but the result will be well worth the effort.
Creamy Risotto and Smoked Chestnuts
This interesting recipe will teach you how to make chestnut powder, if you haven't already, which is liberally dusted onto the finished risotto.
Japanese Chestnut Rice
This comforting Japanese recipe is very easy to make.
It calls for two types of short grain rice, boiled chestnuts, sesame seeds and a sprinkle of salt.
Chocolate Chestnut Cake
When it comes to desserts, chocolate and chestnuts sing.
For this cake the chestnuts are roasted whole before being cut up into chunky pieces and blended into the batter. Find the recipe here.
Christmas Yule Log
A brandy and chestnut cream filling makes this an unforgettable Christmas dessert.
This classic French dessert gets oomph from a delicate puree of chestnuts and a touch of vanilla.
There is so much joy in eating candied chestnuts.
You can easily make them at home but you'll need to be aware that the recipe is a four-day process (it's well worth it, we swear). Learn here how to make candied chestnuts.
For more inspiration this autumn check out our catalogue of fall recipes.
If you want to find out how best to store nuts, you must always remember to keep them in a cool, dark place in an air-tight container. Another creative way to preserve nuts is to turn them into butter or milk, allowing you to take advantage of their high energy content and nutritional benefits in other forms. This colourful infographic will give you plenty of inspiration.