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Can Chestnuts be Frozen?
Wondering how to freeze chestnuts or even if they can be frozen? The answer is yes, they can be frozen, but it can alter the flavor. The following information can help determine if freezing is the right option and how best to achieve the best results.
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Freezing Chestnuts Test Run
Αsk Nigel recommends freezing, thawing and preparing a few chestnuts as a test to determine if the flavor is acceptable. Some people don’t mind the taste of chestnuts after they have been frozen, but others do. This test run will help determine how suitable the taste is for the intended purposes.
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Preparing for Freezing
Raw chestnuts will keep in the refrigerator for approximately one month, but they can be frozen for longer storage. No real preparation is needed to freeze chestnuts, other than making room in the freezer and getting a freezer-safe container of the appropriate size for storage.
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Chestnuts can be frozen with or without their shell, raw or cooked. Regardless of form, they can simply be placed in a freezer-safe container and stored for two to three months. Ask Nigel suggests boiling them first, shelling them and then freezing them as one means of frozen storage. This method can save steps later if the chestnuts will not be roasted, but will be used in other recipes calling for the shells to be removed.
Chestnuts can be frozen in freezer-safe bags or in freezer-safe glass or plastic containers. To help ensure boiled, shelled chestnuts are easily separated after freezing, place them on a tray, with space between them, and freeze them for several hours. Once frozen, remove from tray and then place in freezer-safe container. This method is commonly used for freezing berries.
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Using Frozen Chestnuts
Once thawed, the chestnuts can be prepared and used in the same ways as chestnuts that have not been frozen. Chestnuts can be boiled, cooked in a microwave or roasted (grill, oven or open fire). According to Ask Nigel, frozen chestnuts can be added directly to stews from the freezer, if they have been boiled and shelled first.
Chestnuts can be eaten plain after roasting or can be used in any number of recipes. IGA recommends chestnuts with cream, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, nuts, pears, apples and dried fruit for a sweet-flavored match. For something more savory, pairing with meat such as veal, pork, lamb, game, and poultry are recommended.
Chestnuts are so versatile they can easily be used in tarts, stews, soups, meat dishes, vegetable dishes and desserts. They are potassium-rich and low in fat, making them a great nutritional choice.
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Learning how to freeze chestnuts can be invaluable for anyone who wishes to make the most of a bountiful chestnut harvest or wishes to utilize his or her chestnut supply over the course of several months.
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Keep it Clean. Ask Nigel. The Guardian: Life & Style. November19, 2006. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2006/nov/19/foodanddrink
Chestnuts. IGA. http://www.iga.net/infoaliment.php?lang=en&id=97