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Chestnuts are a holiday must-have, but many people aren’t familiar with the simple roasting process. We wanted to introduce you to our favorite way to enjoy these nuts.

They’re best when super soft and just melt in your mouth. The best way to accomplish this is to boil the nuts before roasting or to simply pressure cook them. The unique meaty flavor of roasted chestnuts is perfect for cozy gatherings around the fireplace.

In terms of nutrient value, chestnuts are closer to a starchy vegetable than to a nut. This is important to keep in mind when putting together your meals.

Boiled Chestnuts

To prepare the chestnuts, thoroughly rinse them and then score the rounded side in an X pattern. Your cuts should go about halfway through the nut.

scored

Once you’ve scored them, you can see the fleshy interior. Throw out any nuts that are dark brown or black on the inside. Ideally, the flesh should be a light tan.

inside

A healthy chestnut has light colored flesh like the one shown here.

Boil the Chestnuts for 1/2 hour.

While they are boiling, preheat the oven to 425°F.

boiling

When they are finished boiling, strain the water and place the chestnuts scored-side up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 425°F for about 5 minutes. The flesh should still be moist.

You want to peel them when they are still warm from the oven so it helps to use a towel to protect your hands. Peel the outer, leathery layer off as well as in the inner skin. It’s the meaty middle that you’re after!

To keep the nuts moist, store them in a jar with a lid and keep them in the fridge.

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Pressure Cooked Chestnuts

You can achieve the super soft consistency of boiled chestnuts in a pressure cooker fairly quickly. You just need enough water to cover the scored nuts inside the cooker. Bring to pressure, and cook for 8 minutes. Then strain the water and peel the nuts with a towel while they are still warm. Pressure cooking creates the creamiest texture.

1 serving = 5 chestnuts

Calories: 70
Carbohydrate: 15 g
Protein: 1 g
Fat: 1 g

roasted

Click here for a printable version of this recipe!

  • Timothy Takemoto

    We are about to try it without the X.

  • sinister one

    Check it off of my bucket list, Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…I could just tolerate them but not a treat for me. I think you have to be raised on them but am so glad I tried.