According to Australian Chestnuts, despite the fact that we have grown chestnuts here for over 150 years, most of us are confused about how to prepare them, and a third of us have never tasted them! That is such a shame because they really are worthy of star food status.

I'm a fan of all nuts and seeds and there is clear evidence of their value in our diets. Chestnuts fall into this category, although they are a little different nutritionally and from a taste perspective to other nuts. Rather than crunchy like most other nuts, chestnuts are softer - a little more like the texture of a firm baked potato.

Nutritionally they are more like a wholegrain than a nut as they are low in fat and higher in carbohydrates. Chestnut meal has been GI tested and the result was low, so we can assume the whole chestnut would also be low, and probably is lower than the ground meal. This makes chestnuts a great choice for those with diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and the rest of us trying to eat for optimum health.

Chestnuts do provide some protein and they are gluten free. Chestnut meal can be used in conjunction with gluten-free flours to make delicious baking goods. Used in this way it helps to reduce the overall GI, often a problem with GF foods.

Chestnuts also provide good amounts of fibre, manganese, copper, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, B group vitamins and smaller but significant amounts of iron and zinc.
’s ‘Did You Know?’
Chef Stefano Manfredi of Osteria Balla Manfredi at The Star and Manfredi at Bells restaurant at Killcare, has been working with Chestnuts Australia to encourage us all to enjoy the chestnut season. Chestnuts are part of Manfredi’s Italian heritage. He remembers eating chestnuts as a child in Italy and often includes them on the menus in his restaurants. Stefano has shared with us his guide to preparing chestnuts. Check out his guide to preparing chestnuts in my blog.

Nutritional Information

Dairy free Gluten Free Vegan Vegetarian

Dr Joanna Plate Category: Smart Carbs