Can You Microwave Chestnuts?

Q: Roasted chestnuts remind me of an amazing trip to Istanbul. I still can’t forget their taste of sweet potato and nuts. I took a few chestnuts home to give a treat to my family. Surprisingly, I didn’t know how to get them warm again, so the treatment was bitterly spoiled.  What if the next time I put them in a microwave oven to heat up?

How to Roast Chestnuts in the Microwave?

Roasting chestnuts in the microwave oven is not a tricky business. If you were lucky to buy chestnuts, or receive them as a treatment, or live in a country where eating chestnuts as snacks is a common practice, keep reading to learn how to roast them or heat them yourself.

Apparently, we are going to use a microwave oven.

Collect all the ingredients that you may need:

  • Chestnuts
  • Boiling water – 1-2 tbs
  • Salt

Preparation:

Rinse chestnuts under running water

Make a lengthwise cut or make crosses with a sharp knife on the one or both sides of every chestnut (otherwise they will explode and ruin your microwave). Put them in a microwave-safe bowl.

Sprinkle the chestnuts with a pinch of salt and add a couple tablespoons of water. Don’t forget to cover the bowl with the lid to prevent splatter during the process of roasting chestnuts.

Set the microwave oven capacity at 800 Watt and microwave the chestnuts for no longer than 8 minutes.
After you have checked the readiness of the snack and have found that the dish is not quite ready yet, add a couple more minutes.

Well, the chestnuts are ready now. When you bite them, it will feel like they are rather stewed than roasted. What you can do is peel and fry them slightly in a pan.

We wouldn’t recommend you to heat up cold chestnuts in the microwave oven. You can heat them in the electric oven or in the pan. As soon as they are hot again, hurry up and eat them.

What Can We Eat Roasted Chestnuts With?

In many countries, roasted chestnuts are a popular snack that can be eaten as a separate dish, like most edible nuts and fruits.

Besides, the chestnuts can be used as a basis to sauces, an additive to salads and a special component of desserts.

The season of chestnuts is brief, and in case you don’t find fresh chestnuts in the supermarket, then there are dried ones on sale for you.
The only difference with cooking dry chestnuts is you have to soak them overnight before cooking.

Another option, if you are too short of time, is to find canned chestnut puree on the shelves of local supermarkets and cook plenty of desserts or side dishes using it.

You can even prepare a homemade ice-cream with chestnut pasta. The options are really numerous.

Just don’t forget to check whether the varieties of chestnuts that grow in your region are edible. Some varieties can be eaten raw, while others are prohibited to chew and swallow at all.

How to Distinguish the Horse Chestnut from Edible One?

Nature offers us an overwhelming variety of treasures that we can eat. Nevertheless, there are plenty varieties of inedible plants, herbs, fruits, and nuts.

The same concerns chestnuts. The most famous inedible variety is horse chestnut.

The main differences between horse and edible chestnut are:

  • shape and size of the leaves
  • inflorescence
  • taste of fruits: the horse chestnut is bitter, the edible one is sweetish
  • number of fruits in the shell
  • outer shell: the horse chestnut has a bright green shell with small tubercles, while the sowing chestnut is brown, with long spines.

The biggest chestnut fruits grow in Italy, France, and Spain (they sometimes reach the size of a large tangerine, as the climate and soils of these countries are perfect for this wonderful tree). Also, the edible chestnut is cultivated in the southern part of Ukraine, the Balkans, East Asia and the Atlantic coast of the United States.

When choosing the right chestnuts, pay attention to these qualities:

  • chestnuts should be large and of the same size
  • heavy and solid
  • glossy, dark brown in color.

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