The mention of chestnuts tickles my taste buds just by the thought of how delicious they are.
While growing up, chestnuts were very common during the festive season when our family came together to celebrate the festivities. They were also the epitome of our meals during the different seasons like autumn and winter.
We initially prepared chestnuts in different ways in the past. The most common method was roasting them over fire.
It was hard because the chestnuts would easily get burned and even lose their desirable taste and smell. With the rise of technology, microwaves have made it easier to cook chestnuts.
Here’s how to cook chestnuts in the microwave.
Cut a crosswise slit through the skin of the chestnut shell’s flat end. Place 20–24 chestnuts in an even layer in a glass pie plate. Go ahead and microwave your chestnuts on a high of 3 to 4 minutes while stirring them every minute until the chestnuts get soft when you squeeze. Remove them from the microwave and wait for five minutes before you can start peeling the shells.
If you wish to learn more about microwaved chestnuts, including whether they are healthy, how long they take to cook in the microwave, some useful cooking advice, how to make them, and much more, please continue reading!
Can You Microwave Chestnuts?
Microwaving is one of the easiest ways you can use to cook your chestnuts. You can quickly and easily cook your chestnuts in the microwave without losing any of their nutritional value or taste, resulting in a delicious entrée.
However, you have to be keen when microwaving your chestnuts to ensure the heat on your microwave is favorable to your chestnuts. Monitoring and mastering the right temperature is important to ensure that your chestnuts get cooked in a proper and delicious manner ultimately.
This should not make you panic! There are some ways or tactics you can use to ensure you enjoy microwaving and that your chestnuts cook just fine without being affected by the microwave heat.
If you have had a struggle before while microwaving your nuts, you are not alone. I can also relate because in my first day’s microwaving chestnuts, the microwave temperature kept frustrating me and I didn’t know how to manage it. After making some observations. I realized that I could actually control the microwave heat in order to make my microwaving peaceful and more effective.
To avoid any misfortune while microwaving your chestnuts, you will first ensure that your microwave temperature is adjustable to allow you adjust appropriately and also in accordance with the number of chestnuts you are microwaving. More nuts in the microwave will need more heat to cook while less nuts will require less heat.
After adjusting the temperature to suit your chestnuts, do not leave the nuts unattended. Leaving them unattended risks burning or even overcooking. As a general rule, start with lower cooking times and power levels and err on the side of caution. Once you’ve found a combination that works, gradually extend the time in small increments until you reach the ideal length.
How To Microwave Chestnuts
Microwaving chestnuts is the easiest cooking method that will ensure your chestnuts retain their nutrients, taste and smell. To start the process, you will require;
- A sharp knife
- A chopping board
- Fresh chestnuts
- Glass pie plate
- Paper towel
Procedure on How to Microwave Chestnuts
1. Start by washing your chestnuts to remove any dirt or germs on them then proceed to cut.
Cutting each chestnut is the first thing you must do after washing. The chestnut shell’s flat side needs to have a cross cut out of it.
This is crucial, if you skip it the nuts will probably blow up in the microwave.
At this juncture, you can also decide to first soak your chestnuts, softening the shells. Soaking will ease the process of removing the shells later on when cooked.
2. Pick up a microwave-safe plate and spread about 20 chestnuts out evenly on it. Don’t put too many pieces into the microwave at once and make sure the layer is kept as a single layer. This will help with even heating.
3. Place the plate into the microwave, close the microwave door and microwave your nuts on full heat for one minute. Stir and shake your nuts and pop them in the microwave for another minute. Repeat the stirring until your desirable cook level is obtained.
4. Remove from the microwave and allow your chestnuts to cool for at least five minutes.
5. Proceed to peel the shells and serve while warm. Remember to wear gloves while peeling to avoid getting your hands burned since the chestnuts will still be hot.
How Long Do You Microwave Chestnuts?
On a plate suitable for the microwave, arrange 6 to 8 prepared chestnuts in a single layer.
Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the flesh is tender, with the lid off and at full power (850 watts or High).
However, there are other factors that may make your microwaving time vary. These factors are;
- The difference in microwave power: Different microwaves have different wattages, which causes their heating times to vary. For suggested power levels, check your microwave’s owner manual or refer to the general instruction manual.
- The number of nuts per place: when you place more nuts on the microwave plate while microwaving, the time you consume to cook will differ with when you microwave fewer pieces. The number of pieces placed requires different amounts of time to properly cook.
- How hard are the shells? Some nut shells are harder than others thus needing a lot of time in order for the inside to properly cook. On the contrary, those nuts with softer shells or those that are soaked before microwaving take less time to cook.
Are Chestnuts Good for You?
Fortunately, the answer is Yes. Chestnuts are good for you because they contain antioxidants. You will have major nutritional gain when you eat chestnuts.
Before we go further, let’s first define chestnuts and know what they actually are.
Scientifically, the genus Castanea, which belongs to the beech family Fagaceae, contains the deciduous trees and shrubs known as chestnuts.
They are also edible fruits indigenous to the Northern Hemisphere’s temperate regions. The name also alludes to the nut products that they yield.
What Do Chestnuts Look Like?
Chestnuts develop in unpalatable spiny husks in clusters of up to seven nuts each. The interior of the nut is smooth, shiny, and dark brown in color.
Each nut has a flat side and a rounded side because they are pressed together within the husk.
When chestnuts naturally drop from the tree, they are mature. They mature over a two-to-four-week period in September and October. However, you should avoid knocking the nuts off the tree because they gain half of their final weight in the final two weeks before they fall. To maintain or ensure quality, gather the fallen nuts every few days.
How Do Chestnuts Taste?
When eaten raw, chestnuts are gritty and have a bitter taste; however, when roasted, they become buttery, sweet, and soft. To familiarize with this taste, you may compare their flavor to that of a cooked sweet potato.
So, why should you consider eating chestnuts?
It would be best for you to consider eating chestnuts because of the value they add to your body. They are high in gallic acid and ellagic acid.
These are two antioxidants whose concentration rises when cooked. Your risk of cardiovascular conditions, such as heart disease or stroke, is decreased by antioxidants and minerals like magnesium and potassium which are present in chestnuts.
Chestnuts are also instrumental to your digestive system because they help lower your cholesterol and maintain your blood sugar levels. Additionally, they lessen the chance of constipation and intestinal issues like diverticulosis.
Tips For Microwaving Chestnuts
Here are some tips that will aid you in successfully and perfectly microwaving your chestnuts and also make them tastier.
1. The most important step when microwaving chestnuts is to cut the skin. On the chestnut shell’s flattest side, using a sharp knife, cut a cross.
As the nuts cook, this allows any air or moisture to escape. Ensure you cut all the nuts so that they don’t explode in the microwave. The explosion may be dangerous and may end up harming you.
2. This tip can help if you’re having trouble peeling the cooked fruit afterward. The chestnuts must soak in water for about 20 minutes before cooking.
The shells will become softer and simpler to peel as a result hence save you the struggle of peeling while hot.
3. Making your chestnuts tasty and unique would be great. You might try adding a little flavor after you’ve prepared your microwaved chestnuts.
Sprinkle some salt and sugar on top of them to give them a sweet and salty flavor. Alternatively, you could add some cinnamon to bring out a festive feel.
4. To achieve even cooking, do not stuff the nuts on the microwave plate while microwaving.
Instead, ensure that no nut lays on another in the plate to allow you stir properly and heat evenly.
5. Serve your cooked chestnuts while still warm to enjoy. The warm chestnuts smell and taste more delicious than when cold. It is also easier to eat when warm.
6. If the chestnuts are frozen, avoid thawing them on the counter because doing so will contaminate the food with bacteria.
Instead, let them thaw overnight in the fridge. Contaminated chestnuts will no longer be nutritious but poisonous thus harmful to your health.
What Goes with Chestnuts?
Chestnuts add a wonderful sweet richness to soups, stews, and dishes with vegetables while enhancing the flavor of meats, game, and poultry.
These highly delicious chestnuts should be a meal you should consider because they complement most of the foods that you eat on a daily basis. When you are having your soups, the chestnuts add to the taste, smell and increase the nutritional value of your meal.
Additionally, in savory meat dishes, in stuffing, in desserts and most interestingly in sugar syrups. Honestly, the wide range of the things that go with chestnuts give you the opportunity to sample them all and find your favorite combination.
Can You Refrigerate Chestnuts?
If you have a lot of chestnuts and you are wondering how to preserve them in a refrigerator the answer is yes. To ensure your nuts stay fresh for longer you can keep them in the fridge.
However, you should be alert of their shelf life. Do not refrigerate them for too long because ultimately, they will get spoilt and bring you loss.
How Long Do Chestnuts Last in the Fridge?
When the refrigerator is kept at a constant temperature of 2° C or 3° C, fresh chestnuts left in their shells can be kept there for up to one month with no problem.
Fresh chestnuts can be cleaned, washed, and thoroughly dried before being placed in food-grade bags and frozen for up to six months. When vacuum-packed, they keep even better.
To prevent the growth of bacteria, let them cool completely before putting them in an airtight container or bag. Additionally, never leave chestnuts out at room temperature for longer than two hours. Keep in mind that between 40°F (4.5°C) and 140°F (60°C), bacteria that causes food poisoning thrives.
It is also important for you to know that chestnuts that stay longer in the fridge deteriorate in terms of taste and flavor therefore, it is better if you consume them when still fresh to enjoy more.
Don’t buy or store a lot of chestnuts because of their limited shelf life especially if you don’t eat them frequently. Instead, you can choose to buy a fair amount when you need or that which will not stay too long in the fridge so that you enjoy the great taste that comes with them while still fresh.
Using a microwave provides a quick, easy and efficient way to prepare chestnuts and saves the struggles of roasting them over a stove or fire.
It ensures you retain the flavor, smell, and important nutrients.
Do not forget to monitor the temperature of your microwave and constantly stir to avoid burning and ensure even heating. Serve and enjoy your nuts while warm.