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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Chestnuts - Low Calorie Nut

low calorie nut chestnuts
Chestnuts…roasting on an open fire!  Jack Frost nipping at your nose!  This is definitely the time of year to enjoy roast chestnuts, and just like the old holiday carol, chestnuts can really put you in the spirit for the holidays.  You may recall that I’ve talked about soy nuts before and how I prefer them over peanuts.  I have also praised pistachios before for their delicious taste and the healthy benefits that they bestow. I think chestnuts are one of the “forgotten” nuts.  No one really thinks about chestnuts when they think of nuts and many people have never tried them.  I think the reason that chestnuts only get an honorable mention during the holidays is that they are available more readily during the wintertime, but you can find chestnuts any time of year.

The thing about chestnuts that I really love is that they are lower in calories than any other nut with only 175 calories per ounce (of dried chestnuts).  Curiously, chestnuts have just 2 grams of fat per serving while pistachios have 30!  For nut lovers looking to drop a few pounds, this is definitely welcome news.

But the good stuff doesn’t stop there. Chestnuts are also rich in fiber (insoluble), are cholesterol free and have the distinction of being approved by the American Heart Association for being marketed as a low-fat food.  They are also the only nut that is a significant source of Vitamin C.  They are also rich in folate, B-vitamins, managanese, and magnesium.

And although there are tons of ways to eat chestnuts and to cook with chestnuts – like slicing them into veggie dishes or stir-fry dishes, or pureeing them and adding them to soup, my favorite way to eat them is to roast them.  For this, you’ll need fresh chestnuts.  Preheat your oven to 425.  Clean the chestnuts and prick the side of each nut with a fork (this allows the steam to escape during roasting and is important because they can actually explode if you don’t do this).  Arrange the nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet or shallow baking pan with the sides that you pricked with a fork facing up.  Allow to roast for around twenty minutes. Remove from oven.  Allow to cool to the point where you can touch them safely.  Peel them and enjoy! 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! I had no idea chestnuts were lower in fat and so healthy.

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