Why eat chestnuts? Chestnuts are loaded with potassium and are a great source of magnesium and calcium. They can make a flavorful addition to many different recipes. Learning how to roast chestnuts adds to the options for enjoying them. They can be cooked in other ways, but roasting them gives them a great flavor that cannot be achieved through other means.
According to Oregon Chestnuts, one cup of raw chestnuts contains 310 calories. Chestnuts provide sodium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and copper. Chestnuts are very low in fat.
One pound of fresh chestnuts is the equivalent of approximately 2 1/1 cups of nutmeats. If pureeing fresh chestnuts, it takes approximately 1 ¼ pound to make two cups.
Roasting Over an Open Fire
Rinse the chestnuts and score the flat side by cutting an ‘x’ into them, about 1/8 inch deep. Place chestnuts in a cast iron frying pan and rest pan on the glowing coals of the fire. Roast for approximately five minutes, turn them over, and then roast for about another five minutes. Time for roasting will depend upon the heat of the coals.
Note: Be sure to use an oven mitt when handling the cast iron pan.
Roasting with a Grill
Bring the grill to a medium-high heat. Rinse and score the chestnuts. Place on hot grill rack, cut side down. Close grill lid and let roast for approximately 10 minutes. They are done when the shells begin to peel back and the meat turns a golden color.
Roasting in an Oven
After the chestnuts have been rinsed and the tops scored, place on a baking sheet. Roast in a pre-heated 375-degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick will easily pierce them. Mid-way through the roasting process, be sure to turn them over for even roasting results.
Roasted Chestnut Recipes
Oregon Chestnuts offers a recipe for roasted chestnuts stuffing on its website that also calls for whole wheat bread crumbs, celery, butter and light cream.
The Telegraph lists four different recipes (metric measurements) plus multiple tips for cooking and eating chestnuts. The recipes are Chestnuts and Fig Tarts; Grilled Cod with Chestnuts, Orange and Thyme; Tiger Prawn and Chestnut Salad; and Chestnut and Butternut Squash Soup with Smoked Bacon.
Chestnut Roasting Tips
Wondering how to roast chestnuts quickly and easily? The following tips may help provide better, more consistent results.
Soaking the chestnuts prior to roasting may make shell scoring and removal easier.
Turning the chestnuts over during the roasting process can help the chestnuts roast more evenly.
Once they are roasted, wrapping them in a towel or placing them in a paper bag for approximately 10 minutes can help them steam, making the shell removal process easier.
For best results, peel the chestnuts while still hot from roasting, but cooled down enough to safely touch and handle.
Not just for roasting on an open fire. Alex Mackay. November 25, 2006. The Telegraph. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/recipes/3335293/Not-just-for-roasting-on-an-open-fire.html
Chestnuts Welcome At Any Winter Table. Laura McCandlish. December 16, 2009. NPR. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121483305
How to Roast Chestnuts in the Oven. Video Tutorial. November 17, 2010. Fox News. https://video.foxnews.com/v/4423108/how-to-roast-chestnuts-in-the-oven/
Chestnuts Nutrition. Oregon Chestnuts. https://www.oregonchestnuts.com/id1.html
Chestnuts Roasted on an Open Fire, in the Oven, in the Microwave, Steamed or Boiled. https://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/snacks_and_munchies/roasted_chestnuts.html