Ingredient Name:  Chestnuts
Traditional Chinese Name:  栗子 (lì zi)
What is this?
  • The chestnut is the fruit produce of the chestnut tree
  • The chestnut is actually the combined flowers which ultimately grow completely together to make the brown  husk that covers the fruit
  • The raw fruit actually contains burrs and each burr can contain 1-7 nuts within it
  • The chestnut is round and has a pointy end
  • It also contains two skins:  One hard outer layer and one softer and thinner layer that surround the fruit
  • Chestnuts, when cooked taste nutty and sweet

How do I prepare it?

  • Chestnuts bought with the peel must be shelled and peeled prior to eating
  • You can boil fresh chestnuts in hot water, drain and immediately peel (while its still hot, the skin should fall off)

Where can I buy this?

  • Fresh chestnuts are available at most supermarkets and are usually sold in bulk
  • You can also purchase pre-peeled and pre-cooked chestnuts that are packaged
  • Look for firm, heavy chestnuts with dark shiny shells

What is the cost?

  • Fresh unpeeled, raw chestnuts cost around $1.49 CAD per pound

Any substitutes?

  • Peanuts are an ideal substitute (although be weary of allergies), but they are not as sweet
  • Walnuts are also another ideal substitute

Any benefits?

  • Chestnuts have no cholesterol, contains very little fat and are low in sodium
  • They are the only nuts that have traces of Vitamin C
  • Chestnuts have considerably lower calories than most nuts (walnuts, almonds) and dried fruit
  • Fresh chestnuts have very high water content (around 52%)
  • Chestnuts are considered a tonic for muscles, nerves and the veinous system
  • They are anti-anemic, antiseptic and stomachic

Any precautions?

  • Chestnuts tend to lose their water content over time, so some chestnuts will be very shriveled and dried when opened
  • Over consumption will result in a form of “wet” heatiness of the stomach which will lead to stomach pains – this is especially true for roasted chestnuts rather than boiled soup chestnuts

Additional Information?

  • Unpeeled chestnuts can be stored in a cool, dry place for one week or can be refrigerated for up to a month. Frozen chestnuts will keep for up to six months