Who doesn’t like roasted chestnuts that can be bought in the streets in November, chestnuts that fill up the air with their fragrance; sweet, hot, crispy-skinned roasted chestnuts, which, if put into our pockets, warm us up in the cold?
Chestnuts can be prepared and enjoyed at home too, in order to bring some of this sweet late fall magic into our homes. There are some little tricks to their preparation, but these are easy to learn.
Roasting chestnuts in a pan
1) The first step is always to purchase at least 1 kg of chestnuts, and make cross-shaped cuts on each and every piece, so the vapors won’t make them burst during the baking. This action requires a very sharp knife, as the chestnuts have rather hard shells; take care of your fingers!
2) Soak the chestnuts, in water for a few hours. If there is a worm in any of them, they will crawl out. 🙂
3) Line a tray lined with baking paper and spread the chestnuts neatly onto the baking paper, in a single layer. Bake them at 200°C until the shells begin to blacken – usually for about 30-40 minutes. Occasionally, shake the pan gently sot the chestnuts roast evenly, but always protect your eyes and your face! If you are not sure whether the chestnuts are fully roasted, break a few of them open and test them, but be careful, as the chestnuts may still burst and they could cause burns!
4) Place the roasted chestnuts into a paper bag or into a dish towel, and serve them hot.
- Do not buy chestnuts if too many of them have holes!
- Beware of chestnuts that feel hollow if you knock them lightly – just like walnuts, hollow chestnuts are bad.
- Try to select local produce.
- If you can manage, roast chestnuts at the beginning of the season; they don’t go bad very easily, but it is better to always use fresh produce.
The health benefits of chestnuts
Chestnuts are a strong antioxidant, rich in vitamin E, which, if you don’t consume them with too much sugar, are considered one of the essential foods in a healthy diet. Their B1, B2, B6 and vitamin C content is also important, and they are important sources of sodium, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Their carbohydrate content is very high, so they can even be a substitute for cereals and potatoes, as they are rich in dietary fiber and thus good for the digestion.