Chestnuts have a thorny outer shell to them. When the nuts are ripe this thorny outer covering will split open allowing the nuts to fall off. The nuts will then drop from the tree ready for us to gather up before the squirrels get to them.
Once you have gathered all of your chestnuts you have to store them some how. Well this is the first year I decided to gather up some chestnuts. I have never tasted them so I peeled one right there under the tree and popped it in my mouth. I was sold. The taste was wonderful. Now I had to figure out an easier way to peel the chestnuts from their leathery shell. So to the Internet I went. I had no idea how complicated the chestnut was.
Did you know that the chestnut is not like any other tree nut. Most tree nuts you just gather them up and put in a bag and let dry out. Chestnuts have to be removed from their shell and refrigerated or frozen. Chestnuts have a high water and starch content. They are perishable. I found a great website that tells all about the chestnut and how to remove them from the shell and store them. It is called Chestnuts on line . I was amazed to find out that chestnuts are very high in fiber and low fat. Only 3.5 oz of chestnuts has more fiber in it than 2 slices of whole wheat bread. I suggest to take a look at that website and find out all the great things about chestnuts!!
To store the chestnuts I decided to use the boil method and then froze them. The website said that if you freeze them they can last up to a year. They won't last more than a few weeks in the fridge!
Here are my chestnuts in a bowl. My parents have several small buckets full. I will have to let them know that they need to get them shelled and in the freezer or they will go bad.
Now you can either lay them in a single layer in a baking pan to roast or boil them. In order to store them for later use it was suggested to boil them. So bring a pot of water to a boil and drop in the chestnuts. Boil for exactly 7 and a half minutes for large ones or 7 and a quarter minutes for small to medium ones.
What is nice about the chestnut is you don't have a lot of waste in the shell. This is the same bowl that I had the chestnuts in to start. It is still almost full of chestnuts now that they are out of their shell. Most nuts you have a huge shell and you get a tiny little nut out of it.
I measured the chestnuts out and I had 1 lb 4oz of chestnuts. So I vacuumed seal two 8oz bags of chestnuts and put them in the freezer. The other 4 oz I put in a bag in the fridge to eat up!! Yum!! They are so good!!!