Warning, these Poppy Chestnuts are addictive!
Are chestnuts really nuts? The high content of carbohydrates and low content of fat in chestnuts set them apart from the other nuts, but they really are nuts 🙂
If you are on a Paleo diet and wish to have more carbohydrates, chestnut flour is the perfect ingredient to use, for example to thicken sauces.
Chestnuts also contain the highest amount of vitamin C in comparison to other nuts. Cooking, however, significantly reduces the vitamin C content of the chestnuts. Still, boiled and roasted chestnuts can be good sources of vitamin C since it may amount to about 25% of the recommended dietary intake for an adult man or woman.
Chestnuts are very special, because there is 20-30 times less phytic acid in chestnuts than in other nuts like almonds or walnuts. Phytic acid is only present in grains, legumes and nuts. I’ve also learnt something new about phytic acid. Phytic acid impairs absorption of iron and zinc, and to a lesser extent calcium, during consumption of a meal. It doesn’t affect any subsequent meals though.
So, it seems like having almonds as a snack between meals is a very good idea. And legumes and grains should be soaked before cooking, as soaking reduces the phytic acid content significantly. On the other hand, phytic acid was found to be effective against kidney stones. Maybe snow peas can be a good snack too?
Chestnut flour tastes great and it is gluten free. I really wanted to have something unique and personal made with chestnut flour, and here is the outcome below, the Poppy Chestnuts recipe.
Although for a well balanced diet occasional phytic acid is not a problem and phytic acid content in chestnuts is insignificant, I just need to remember now to have them separate from the main meal!
2 cups chestnut flour
1/3 cup honey
50g ghee (or butter)
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda
Drops of apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1. Cover a baking tray with a baking paper, spray with oil if needed.
2. Drip some of vinegar or lemon juice over the spoon with soda, then mix all the ingredients to make a thick dough.
3. Use two teaspoons to make balls in the form of chestnuts (or quenelle), touch one side of the ‘chestnut’ into the poppy seeds and lay out onto the baking tray poppy seed side up.
4. Bake for 15 minutes at 170C without fan.
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