Information about the most important benefits, properties and virtues of chestnuts, the quintessential autumn fruit. Find out what it is and everything you need to know about it.
Who has not tried chestnuts? It is quite likely that today you remember how, as a child, you walked through the countryside with your parents, your grandparents or your friends, in search of these delicious nuts at a time when the weather was changing precisely, the temperatures dropped and the cold arrived.
It is possibly one of the most characteristic pictures of autumn: finding entire families, with small children, armed with sticks and good boots to try to remove the chestnuts from their thorny capsule.
And what about roasted chestnuts? It is also a properly autumnal dish, and just as characteristic on the coldest afternoons of this time of year.
Be that as it may, as you surely know, there is no doubt that chestnuts are a healthy food with important nutritional benefits that we can find in the fall.
In fact, we could almost say that it is the most characteristic food of autumn, a time when it is common to eat them roasted to mitigate the cold that is common during this beautiful time of year.
In fact, as we can see throughout this note, it is a dry fruit that is tremendously rich in nutrients, providing above all carbohydrates and fiber, as well as B vitamins, ideal for reducing the symptoms of autumn, in the that it is common to feel apathetic or melancholic.
The chestnuts come to be one of the fruits par excellence of the fall, a time and a time of change, interior recollection, and a time when we can start enjoying the cold, rain, and everything that represents this season.
What are chestnuts?
The chestnut is the fruit of the chestnut, a tree scientifically known by the name of Castanea sativa, belonging to the Fagaceae family and native to temperate climates typical of the northern hemisphere.
It usually measures between 5 to 11 centimeters in diameter, and is formed by a characteristic very spiny capsule, known as the satchel.
But what are its most important properties?
The benefits and properties of chestnuts
From a nutritional point of view they stand out for their very high carbohydrate content, thus becoming an excellent source of energy. However, its caloric intake is actually low, since 100 grams of chestnuts provide only 190 kilocalories. On the other hand, it also highlights its contribution in vitamins of group B, C, E and A, fiber and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron and phosphorus.
In fact, due to their high carbohydrate content, chestnuts stand out for their great energy power. Reason why they tend to be fruits especially recommended for students, and when we want to have an extra contribution of energy.
As we can see, it is no coincidence that they are a seasonal food typical of autumn, a season in which temperatures tend to be lower, and when we need a little more calories.
Is it true that chestnuts are fattening?
Although 100 grams carry approximately 190 calories, it is characterized by being the nut that contains the least fat, since for every 100 grams it provides only 2 grams of fat. For this reason, chestnuts do not tend to have a negative effect on weight gain. Of course, when they are consumed in moderation, but on a regular basis, in order to enjoy many of the properties that they provide us.
What’s more, their qualities make them an interesting food for diets, since they provide satiety to our body thanks to their very high fiber content, which is why they tend to reduce our feeling of hunger, helping us to “eat less.”
Did you know that they also provide good amounts of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids? This is, in fact, a less known but very important quality in that it helps to take care of our cardiovascular system , being ideal when it comes to reducing high cholesterol and high triglycerides (two conditions, by the way, so related to the overweight).
Calories from chestnuts
They are undoubtedly a healthy food. Although it is true that consumed in excess can be counterproductive, not only because of its caloric intake, but because they can be indigestible.
However, do you know what the caloric content of chestnuts is? We will discover it below:
- 100 grams provide 165 kilocalories, and just 2.5 grams of fat.
- 100 grams roasted provide 237 kilocalories, and 2.8 grams of fat.
They are a good source of minerals, among which we highlight magnesium, potassium, iron and phosphorus, and according to some studies they are attributed both anti-inflammatory and vascular properties.
Although they are also known because in digestions they can become heavy, if we chew them well and do not eat them in excess, this issue would be solved.
However, despite this, if we consume them boiled, their “heavy” effect disappears, and they become an excellent natural remedy for people with a delicate or irritated stomach, being interesting in case of diarrhea, gastritis and stomach ulcers.
Therefore, for those who have a delicate stomach, we recommend that they be consumed cooked or roasted, rather than raw.
- High in carbohydrates, proteins and fiber.
- Low caloric content (around 190 Kcalories / 100 gr.).
- High mineral content: magnesium, potassium, iron and phosphorus.
- Vascular restorative and anti-inflammatory properties.
Now it’s time to enjoy them:
As many as we like it, it is a food that is only available for a few months. That is partly good, as it becomes typical for that part of the year and gives them a special charm.
When is the chestnut season?
We only have to take a look at the seasonal food calendar to realize that we are dealing with a typically autumn food.
Autumn is a good time to enjoy them, especially because you can go to the countryside in the company of your family, partner or friends, arm yourself with a bag and a wooden stick and spend an unforgettable day looking for chestnuts in the most beautiful days of this beautiful time of the year.
In fact, we can find them both in the field and in the market from the month of September, until approximately the end of December (that is, between the months that fall lasts: September, October, November and December).
Not surprisingly, during the fall it is common to find ourselves in many streets of our country with different street stalls where they serve roasted chestnuts, which we can enjoy while walking on a cold and rainy afternoon. It’s almost magical, isn’t it?
How are they peeled?
There is no doubt that before being able to enjoy all the qualities that chestnuts offer us, it is very important to know how to peel them well. It is actually very simple, since only a blanching process is required; that is, blanching the chestnuts to be able to peel them easily.
You just have to make a small incision in each chestnut, put water in a large saucepan, and when the water starts to boil add the chestnuts. And, immediately afterwards, cut the cooking using a little cold water.
And how can we roast them?
On the other hand, a deliciously autumnal option when it comes to enjoying them is roasting them. It is as simple as using an old pan, making a small incision in each chestnut and putting them on the fire, leaving them to cook until they are well toasted (until the outer part darkens). Then we will only have to remove from the fire, and with care not to burn ourselves, peel them.