Fall is good! If only because this is the time when Trader Joe’s carries pre-cooked, vacuum packed chestnuts. Look for them in the vegetable section of the store and make sure to load up when you find them, because they will disappear too soon.
Pre-cooked chestnuts keep for a long time, and can be frozen with no loss of flavor or texture.
(!$#@!) Unfortunately, because it took me so long to get started with this blog, chestnuts are no longer available at Trader Joe’s. Draeger’s carries them year long, at a premium of course. I’ve been told that Costco has them too. Asian supermarkets sell roasted-peeled chestnut, but I haven’t tested them yet.
Chestnuts belong to the “nut and seed” family, but contrary to most edible nuts, they contain almost no fat. This, by the way, is not a virtue: our body needs fats of all kinds in order to be healthy.
For a given weight, they are no starchier than other nuts but you tend to eat more of them. They are gluten free. But beware if you treat them as a vegetable: their starch content is similar to that of starchy foods like potato, sweet potato or plantain.
Their nutritional profile is not great but they make a nice treat on a cold winter day, especially if you’re planning on going out to chop wood.