Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chestnuts a'Roasting

The season/month/year continues to speed past - where does the time go?

Today I played my last Holiday Harp Gig in a local insurance company lunch room - & am not ready to put away the Christmas music. Hmm, family, beware!

I'm enjoying the treats of the season - huge pomegranates - I brought one to a Solstice Circle last night, appropriate for the longest night.
At Saturday's brunch,
our hostess had mixed pomegranate seeds into melted chocolate - what a lovely treat!

I'd noticed a basket of local chestnuts at Harvest Fresh, & then this bit on Suzie the Foodie's blog about roasting chestnuts!
Sold! Over the years, I occasionally get a few handfuls of the nuts (though the blight wiped out many of our N American Chestnut trees, there remain pockets of trees which survived)

Fresh chestnuts are ~ 1/2 the price of imported Italian Chestnut flour - & I can whir them in my mini processor to use in a recipe or two - perhaps some pumpkin scones? Or Chocolate brownies??

Susie recommends getting out the rolling pin to smush the nuts & begin to extract the meat.

So I scored, turned the oven to 375* & roasted for ~ 20 minutes. Hmm - I'd forgotten how similar to sweet potatoes or squash roast chestnuts taste! & you need to peel the inner skin as well as the outer - I'm glad I only roasted ~ 20, lol! I roasted the second large blue squash a day or so ago, so think I should try the pumpkin scones (egg free!)

We're going to my daughter's in-laws for a Christmas brunch, these would be fun to take along - & my granddaugters are always interested in grammie's concoctions. Roasted pumpkin seeds are a perenial favorite - it will be fun to see what they think of chestnuts!

I found a suggestion not to use xanthan gum in quick bread recipes over on gluten free gourmand after
making the scones - will try leaving it out next batch!

Vegan Pumpkin Chestnut Scones

combine coconut milk & vinegar before mixing flours to make 'buttermilk'

1 1/3 cup brown rice flour blend (brown rice flour, potatoe starch, tapioca flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup chestnut flour (fresh roasted & ground)
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground cardamom (seeds from 3 pods)

-- sift dry ingredients together
-- cut in 6 tablespoons of coconut oil

-- puree:
¼ cup agave nectar or honey or brown rice syrup
1/2 cup pure pumpkin (I rough chopped & pureed with other ingredients

1/3 cup of coconut milk (or your favorite milk) combined with
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar (& a splash of raspberry vinegar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Puree wet ingredients till smoothe, then mix into dry, adding more coconut milk if needed. I bake on a pizza stone, so I don't preheat the oven! Flatten dough on stone, cut into 8 wedges, bake at 425* for 10-15 minutes (till toothpick comes out clean)

What a simple vegan recipe! While I've been using a mix of coconut oil & butter, it came out great with just the coconut oil - & no eggs - my daughter will be happy!
Chestnuts have been called 'the grain that grows on a tree' - fortunatly, gluten free! They are a very low fat nut (54 calories per oz, hazelnuts have 180)
Here's a table with some of the nutrients from this website.
There's a more complete breakdown here - note the high level of potassium, there are only a couple mg. of sodium! Since they have a high water content (1/3-1/2 water) they are best stored in the fridge or frozen.

Chestnuts, cooked/4 ounces

Calories 149
Total fat (g) 1.6
Saturated fat (g) 0.3
Monounsaturated fat (g) 0.5
Polyunsaturated fat (g) 0.6
Dietary fiber (g) 5.7
Protein (g) 2
Carbohydrate (g) 32
Cholesterol (mg) 0
Sodium (mg) 31
Vitamin C (mg) 30
Potassium (mg) 811
Magnesium (mg) ----------------------------- 53
Calcium (mg) ------------------------------- 46


Dia said...

Just made these for the second time - yum! & added some of the roasted chestnuts (not ground) to a veggie saute the other day - like sweet potatoes, only a bit of crunch!

Genie Sea said...

I adore chestnuts! Thanks for the recipe! Looks yummy!

Happy holidays sweet one and a spectacular New Year! :)

Anonymous said...

There is nothing quite like chestnuts in the winter! OMG...reminds me that I haven't had my fill of chestnuts yet! The scones are AMAZING, too! Never thought to use chestnuts into a scone! Yum!

lilasvb said...

sound very good, happy new year

Ruth said...

Sharing roast chestnuts is one of those very cosy and special things to do in winter. Thanks for the interesting recipe.

Suzie Ridler said...

Glad the rolling pin worked but it is messy, isn't it? Those scones look fantastic! An online friend suggested wearing rubber gloves while scoring the nuts, think I will do that next time!