It’s already autumn in Canary Islands. Rainy season, although at the moment there are not many. October marks the start of the wine month and the cellars will open shortly, once the harvest is already underway in most of the estates in Tenerife. And before the nougats, the lights and the Christmas carols flood the streets of the Island, it is also the chestnut time
Its aroma is unmistakable when grills begin to settle in the streets of Santa Cruz of Tenerife. That smell and a small cloud of smoke that surrounds it is the indication that autumn has definitely settled.
In the absence of these traditional stalls starting their activity, the fruit is already being protagonist of the Tenerife landscape. There are several environments on the Island where routes are carried out around this variety of flora and, although not as much as in the past, it is still common for raids to be organized to collect it.
Stick or rod in hand and shake the branches of the chestnut trees so that this characteristic pod falls to the ground and the delicacy can be removed from its interior. Its consumption is common in Tenerifebut they are not so known its properties and much less its varieties.
Thus, it has become so fashionable lately cas it is a superfood. Rich in fiber and carbohydrates, in chestnuts the minerals phosphorus and potassium stand out, and vitamins of group B (B1 and B6) and almost half of their composition is water.
For this reason, among the properties of consumption, always moderate, of the chestnut, are
- ANTIOXIDANT: Its polyphenol composition gives this vegetable the ability to be a dry fruit with antioxidant properties, very low in fat, which helps control stress and the formation of free oxygen radicals. Great for athletes.
- SATISFYING: Being nuts with less fat and a large amount of carbohydrates, they quickly generate a feeling of satiety.
- DIGESTIVE: its high concentration of tannins performs an astringent and anti-inflammatory action, being useful in episodes of diarrhea, cooked and without abusing. In addition, it has a sufficient amount of fiber to promote intestinal transit.
- MINERALIZING: its mineral content is not negligible, especially important in vegan diets.
- CARDIOVASCULAR: its nature prevents the suffering of cardiovascular diseases since it contributes to reducing the fat in the arteries. In addition, their sodium-potassium balance makes them a suitable food for hypertensive people.
- ANTI-DIABETIC: According to various studies, the chestnut moderately reduces blood glucose levels, in addition to having slow-absorbing carbohydrates, highly recommended in diets for diabetics.
- ANTIBACTERIAL: It has been found that its leaves are very effective against staphlococcus aureus, a bacterium that can cause a large number of diseases.
- NERVOUS SYSTEM: Its high composition of B vitamins and minerals help the nervous system to function properly.
- MUSCULAR SYSTEM: very interesting for the muscle of athletes due to its high content of magnesium and potassium.
The most common are the common chestnut or European, Chinese and Japanese chestnuts, whose differences have to do, above all, with the proportion of carbohydrates. From them have emerged innumerable other cultivated varieties specific to each area.
To cook the chestnuts in the oven, it is only necessary to have the chestnuts and salt to taste (you can also not add it). It is important pinch the skin a little so that the heat penetrates well. It is advisable to make a good quantity, since it is not necessary to eat them fresh: they can be stored and enjoyed at another time.
The oven must be set with the heat up and down to 200 degrees. The time will depend a lot on the oven and the chestnuts, but generally with ten minutes each side It’s enough.
It is not the most widespread option, but it can be used to make other recipes: sauces, vegetable creams or sweets… The worst thing about this recipe is that you have to peel the chestnuts raw, which is more laborious.
Once clean, you have to put them in boiling water for about 45 minutes. They can also be made faster in the pressure cooker. In the event that the objective later is to make a puree, it is best to leave them a few more minutes so that it is easier to mash them with a fork.
The way to prepare chestnuts in the microwave is very similar to the one that follows the oven. Preparation times are simple: if the microwave reaches the 1,000 W of power will be enough for two minutes; if it only reaches 800 W, it will take two and a half minutes. And so on.