Family: Chestnuts belongs to the genus Castanea of the beech family.
Chestnut Tree: Chestnuts tree generally range in height from 30 to 60 feet.
Roasted chestnut is a very a popular nut during the Christmas season, we always see people selling it in the supermarket, malls and even in the sidewalk. When heated, the nuts swell which makes their soft shell easier to peel.
Health Benefits of Chestnuts:
- Chestnut is a good body builder food and recommended in cases of emaciation (wasting away of body tissues).
- Aids in the care of the teeth and treatment of pyorrhea.
- The leaves are used as remedy in fever.
- Chestnut is use in convulsive cough such as whooping cough and in other condition of the respiratory organ.
- Can help repair microscopic holes and leaks in blood vessels and capillaries; it can also help make the vein wall elastic therefore preventing swelling and damage.
- Rich in vitamin C which helps the body resist infection and speeds the healing of wounds.
- Good source of riboflavin (important role in metabolizing food), and thiamine (enhances energy and promotes normal appetite).
- Chestnut is also a good source of folate, iron, and phosphorus.
- Chestnut has much lower fat and calories than almost all other nuts. The bulk of calories in chestnuts come from carbohydrates instead of fat.
- Chestnut is a good source of dietary fiber.
Nutrient Content of Chestnuts: Per 100 gm.
- Vitamin A: none
- Vitamin B: Thiamine .22 mg.;
- Riboflavin: .22 mg.;
- Niacin: .6 mg.
- Vitamin C: none
- Calcium: 27mg.
- Iron: 3.8 mg.
- Phosphorus: 373 mg.
- Fat: 4.1 gm.
- Protein: 2.9 gm.
Culinary Uses of Chestnut:
- Roasted nuts can be dried and ground into flour that makes a rich, flavorful crust for tarts or pies.
- Boiled chestnuts, which have a consistency similar to that of potatoes, can be mashed or pureed to add to cake batter or used as a pastry filling.
- Chestnuts are also served as part of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, either as a side dish or added to turkey stuffing.
- Marrons glaces, a delicacy available in gourmet shops, are peeled whole chestnuts preserved in sweet syrup.
Chestnut Fact: Chestnuts are different from other nuts in that they are low in fat and have high starch content (high in natural sugar). After chestnuts are picked, their starch begins to turn to sugar, giving the nuts their mild, sweet flavor.
There are over 100 varieties of chestnut trees exist, many of which produce clusters of nuts while others produce single chestnuts. Here are the common varieties of Chestnuts:
- Marrons are the cultivated varieties of chestnut tree that produce single large nuts; they are more flavorful and better for cooking.
- Chataignes are the smaller and ordinary chestnut.
- Horse chestnut many are saying that this variety is inedible, but now this variety is becoming popular in the market as food supplement, it is said that horse chestnut is rich in saponins and flavones, which modern research has shown to help support the normal integrity of the vascular system and connective tissue.
How to Buy Chestnuts: When buying chestnut always look for a firm, heavy chestnut with dark shiny shells.
Storage tip: Chestnut has high water content (about 50%), therefore is should be stored in a cool dry place just like vegetables. Unpeeled chestnut can be stored in a cool, dry place for one week or if placed in a refrigerator it can last up to a month, while frozen chestnut will last up to six months.
“This post was originally published on January 9, 2012 @ 23:05”