Spotlight Recipes: Roasted Chestnuts & A Seasonal Soup

by in Healthy Recipes, December 16, 2009

roasted chestnuts
Roasting chestnuts over the fire is a popular pastime for this time of year, but that’s not the only way to enjoy these sweet nuts. How about a creamy soup, too?

Chestnut Basics
A half cup of raw, unpeeled chestnuts contains 155 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 6 grams of fiber. Although they do contain fat, it’s the healthy unsaturated kind so don’t worry. These nuts are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C along with the energy-producing B-vitamins thiamin and folate. You can also find chestnut flour (made from dried nuts that have been ground), which is a gluten-free flour alternative for baking.

Ways To Love Them
You can roast, boil, puree, preserve and even candy these nuts!

To roast, make a half-inch slit on the bottom of the nut — it’s important not to forget this step or the nuts may explode! Place the nuts in an oven-proof pan with a little butter and heat on stove top over medium heat until butter has melted. Then roast them in the oven at 400 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes. Remove them from oven and peel off shells while nuts are still warm using a small paring knife.

Once they’re roasted, you can eat them plain or add them to other dishes. A lot of holiday stuffings call for chestnuts and some creamier, fatty soups. When browsing for recipes that were healthier choices, this Creamy Chestnut Soup with Porcini Mushrooms caught my eye.

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Comments (13)

  1. Becky says:

    The only chestnuts I've ever seen for sale are at gourmet cooking stores, in glass jars, and look shriveled and certainly not appetizing! Woudl love to find some fresh ones to roast as stated above.

  2. Mary says:

    Is the butter necessary? I've roasted them plain for my family. I have some and plan to roast and take them to a gathering on Christmas Eve. Will they be too messy to take in the shell, warm?

  3. Mary says:

    I have not had hot roasted chestnuts since I was 6 years old. My father was military and we got sent to Spain for 3 years. It was nothing to see stands just about on any corner and we would get a cone full of them to eat. I am not 60 and still looking to find fresh ones so I can once again enjoy such a good treat. We have Food Lion, Wal Mart, SAMS and Piggley Wiggley for the local food stores. Would appreciate any info as to where else I can find them.

    Merry Christmas to all

  4. marc says:

    Chinese grocery stores usually have dried shelled chestnuts. Just rehydrate them and then roast or boil or steam and eat any way you want.

  5. Sandi says:

    you can also do a quick cook in the microwave. Cut an X on the flat side and heat 5-6 for a 1 minute. But eat while still warm or the get hard and tough when they cool off.

  6. Cooper says:

    I love chestnuts! My doctor wants me to keep my carb intake down, so how do these stack up from that perspective?

  7. linda says:

    Trader Joe's

  8. Christina says:

    You can purchase them around the holidays beginning in November at the Supermarkets. Giant, ShopRite, Weis, Food Town. I have been eating them since I was a Child, they are delicious

  9. mela says:

    shopright has them in the produce section.

  10. tamidor says:

    Hi Cooper,
    One ounce of roasted chestnuts (about 3) contains 69 calories, 1 gram of total fat, and 15 grams of carbohydrates. This would mean that an ounce of roasted chestnuts would have about the same amount of carbs as in 1 slice of bread.

  11. Charmaine says:

    I roast chestnuts directly in the oven without the butter. Simply cut an "X" into the shell to ensure that the steam can escape (you don't want them to explode in the oven). I roast them for about 20 minutes at 425F (checking them so they don't over cook). peel while still warm and enjoy.

  12. Yes, Tamidor was right. Good calculation.

  13. tobyamidor says:

    Hi Linda,
    It's a delicious warming winter-y soup. Glad it gives you good memories. Enjoy the recipe!

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