Chestnuts are not just delicious, but also very healthy and absolutely paleo-friendly. Chestnuts are best eaten roasted, and can be prepared by roasting in a 425 degree oven for 15-25 minutes. Once done, wait for them to cool, crack the shell open and release the chestnut.
Historically, chestnuts have been used more like a vegetable than a nut. In some parts of the world they are still used as a potato substitute, which demonstrates the versatility of this super-nut. Aside from roasting, you can also use chestnuts in soups and salads, or as an accompaniment to vegetable dishes; they can also be pureed, added to stuffing, and ground down and used as flour.
Chestnuts contain a remarkable nutritional composition, making them a very healthy snacking option. Unlike most other nuts, chestnuts contain only a small amount of fat and oil and are abundant in fiber. Chestnuts are cholesterol free and gluten free, and also contain very low levels of sodium. Chestnuts boast a reasonable amount of vitamin C, B1, B2 and potassium, and are also rich in mineral salts and folates. Even though chestnuts are fairly low in protein, the protein composition is of very high quality.
One aspect of chestnuts that makes them a little unsuited to the paleo diet is that they are a primarily complex carbohydrate, with one chestnut containing more than two times the carbohydrate content of an apple. However, chestnuts remain a great asset to the paleo diet because they can be ground down to make paleo-friendly flour for baking. It should also be noted that chestnuts have a very low glycaemic index (GI), and are considered “heart friendly” by the heart foundation.
Chestnuts are a useful food for those following a paleo diet. The versatility and unique nutritional value of the chestnut means it can be used in a variety of cooking disciplines, in particular when cooking paleo dessert recipes.