For for some reason, chestnuts don’t get as much attention as, say, peanuts, cashews, and walnuts. Heck, even almonds are more popular both in their whole form and when made into an alternative milk. Except during the holidays. This is the time of year when chestnut recipes finally get the attention they deserve.
You know the tune: Chestnuts roasted over a wood fire, Jack Frost biting your nose …In fact, at many holiday markets you can buy roasted chestnuts for snacking on the spot. Delicious? Yes. But there are so many other ways to incorporate nuts into your meals. You can dress them up with chocolate and espresso for dessert, incorporate them into soups, use them to add more flavor to salted porridge – and these are just a few ideas.
Getting creative with chestnut recipes in the kitchen will also directly benefit your health. “Chestnuts are high in ‘slow’ carbohydrates of very good quality,” herbalist, founder of Supernatural and holistic health practitioner Rachelle Robinett previously told Well + Good. This, she explains, means they help keep blood sugar levels from skyrocketing. Chestnuts are also packed with antioxidants and phenols, both of which are directly linked to brain and heart benefits and fighting inflammation. They also contain gut healthy fiber, plant protein, magnesium (linked to brain and immune system support), and vitamin C (another immune system support). Yes, you read that right, sipping juice isn’t the only way to support your immune system.
Quite a CV, right? But the question remains: what the hell can you cook with them? We’ve got you covered. Read on for eight delicious chestnut recipes.
8 healthy recipes for chestnuts, the underrated and anti-inflammatory nut
1. Chestnut porridge
In the video above, chestnuts are used to make a tasty porridge, along with vegetable broth, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, shiitake mushrooms, onion, and cilantro. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and savory, and it will warm you from the inside out.
2. Vegan soup with grilled chestnuts
Similar to porridge, chestnuts are also paired with vegetable and onion broth in this recipe. But that’s about where the similarities end. The texture is completely different and it’s all tasty salty without any sweet notes. Okay, there’s something else they have in common: Both are great for cold winter days.
See the recipe: vegan roasted chestnut soup
3. Japanese chestnut rice (kuri gohan)
In this recipe, the chestnuts are seasoned with mirin, sake and salt and cooked in a rice cooker with the rice. The nuts will have a soft, crumbly texture after cooking and can be eaten easily with chopsticks, alongside the rice. It is a perfect accompaniment or base for proteins and vegetables.
Get the recipe: Japanese chestnut rice (kuri gohan)
4. Chicken and chestnuts
File under “recipes-that-will-impress-all-your-friends”. This chicken and chestnut appetizer looks and tastes like something that would be served in an expensive restaurant, but it’s actually not that hard to make. In fact, it comes together in just 25 minutes.
Get the recipe: Chicken and Chestnuts
5. Vegan chestnut tiramisu
Chestnuts, chocolate and espresso form a trio in dessert paradise. Here, the nuts turn into a cream. There are three steps to making this dessert: Make the chestnut cream, the cake and the espresso (which is drizzled over the cake). But even with all of these different parts, it only takes 35 minutes to make this dessert from start to finish.
Discover the recipe: vegan tiramisu with chestnuts
6. Chestnut puree with whipped coconut cream
This decadent mash only requires three ingredients: chestnuts, coconut sugar and water. It is literally that. Simply roast and peel your chestnuts, add them in a food processor with the other ingredients and mash. Top with coconut whipped cream and dig out.
See the recipe: chestnut puree with whipped coconut cream
7. Vegan truffle and chestnut cheesecake
A dairy-free, low-sugar cheesecake that still tastes utterly delicious? Yeah, it does exist. It bears repeating that chestnuts and chocolates are the * chef’s kiss *. You’ll lick your spoon off every velvety, cloudy piece of this dessert.
See the recipe: vegan truffle and chestnut cheesecake
8. Chestnut cake
It’s a fruit cake that people go to Actually ecstatic. Besides chestnuts, pecans, walnuts, dates, raisins, and dried apricots are all mixed together and incorporated into the cake itself. Then the whole shebang is covered with a frosted coconut frosting.
Discover the recipe: chestnut cake
Get more healthy recipe ideas on Well + Good’s Cook With Us Facebook Group.