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