About Chestnuts

Chestnuts Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 oz (28.3 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 55
Calories from Fat 3
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.4g 1%
Saturated Fat 0.1g 0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.1g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 12.5g 4%
Protein 0.5g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 19%
Calcium 1%
Iron 1%
Based on a 2000 calorie diet

   Chestnuts are naturally       gluten free!

How to Store Chestnuts

Chestnuts are water-based.  Moisture in the chestnut is always trying to escape though the shell, drying out the nut inside. Chestnuts can be stored in plastic baggies in the refrigerator for several months. Chestnuts left out on the counter will slowly ripen and become sweeter.  But as they slowly dry out, they may get too hard and will need to be hydrated in hot water for a few minutes.  When you hear the chestnut rattle it is too dry and needs hydration.  After peeling, they can be "brought back to life" by placing them in boiling water for a few minutes. Then let them simmer for several minutes until soft. A tasty snack!

How to Eat Chestnuts

Chestnuts taste best when they have had a chance to dry out and ripen.  Leave what you plan to eat on the counter for a few days. During this drying process, the chestnuts ripen and the carbohydrates are converted to sugars, enhancing the sweetness of the chestnut.

Whole chestnuts can be eaten raw, baked, boiled or roasted.  Use a sharp knife or chestnut knife to peel and eat them raw, or score an X with the knife deep through the outer shell, then roast at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until the cut edges peel back. Peel the rest of the shell off and you are ready to discover the the wonderful flavor of the chestnut. Use the scoring process for boiling or roasting over an open flame or grill!  Raw nuts can be roasted without scoring.  But, as the song goes, they will soon pop open like popcorn!  You will need a covered pan to keep the chestnuts from jumping out as they pop.  Why do they pop?  They contain no oily preservatives, only water, which is why chestnut flour is so popular.  The hissing sound you might hear during the roasting is the water boiling away! 

When used for baking there are hundreds of recipes out there.  One original recipe has been developed making kugelhoph!  Thanks to the author, David, as well as the folks at freshloaf.com!

A Brief History of the American Chestnut

Many people ask why there are no American chestnuts available.  More than 100 years ago, as many as 4 billion American Chestnuts grew from along the eastern seaboard all the way to the Missisippi and beyond.  They were more numerous than oak trees.  Around 1900, either actual chestnut trees or chestnut lumber imported into the United States were apparently infected with a blight fungus.  The blight was first discovered in 1904 in Long Island, New York in Asian chestnut trees and quickly spread to the American chestnut trees.  By 1950, American chestnuts essentially disappeared from our tables as these trees were decimated by this blight.  Imports had to fill the gap to meet the needs of chestnut-hungry American consumers.  Since the 1930's there has there been a significant effort to bring American chestnuts back into the forests of the eastern US. That effort continues to this day through the American Chestnut Foundation.