by Roberta Raviolo
Fragrant, with a characteristic taste between sweet and bitter, wrapped in their shell of a warm brown, the chestnuts they are the symbol of the small pleasures of autumn. Today they represent a delicacy to be munched hot from the foil, walking in front of the shop windows, or to be used as an ingredient for the classic castagnaccio. In fact, the chestnuts I'm a real food, which would be worth rediscovering, even alone, simply boiled or to be added, for example, in winter soups, instead of cereals (see the recipe below).
The nutritional characteristics of chestnuts
Le chestnuts they mainly contain carbohydrates, i.e. sugars, both simple and complex, capable of providing immediate and slow-release energy. I am perfect, therefore, before studying or playing sports, or when you want one snack filling but highly digestible, mid-morning or afternoon.
"They also bring alanine, arginine, aspartic and glutamic acids, essential amino acids that can only be obtained with food and that make up all tissues, from the skin to the muscles, to the nerve fibers", explains Dr. Diana Scatozza, specialist in Food science, nutritionist and professional counselor in Milan.
In addition, they contain vitamins, especially vitamin C, provitamin A and some vitamins of group B. In particular, they are quite rich in vitamin B9 or folic acid, which helps the formation of red blood cells and which must not be missing in the daily diet. , especially of children and pregnant women.
Rich in potassium like other vegetables, chestnuts are therefore low in sodium promote renal function and thanks to the insoluble fibers they help the intestinal regularity. For this reason, those with irritable bowel problems and such aerophagia, you should seek advice from your doctor.
Le chestnuts also contain unsaturated vegetable fats, especially oleic and linoleic acids (similar to those present in oil), which together with the fibers, help to cleanse the blood of excess cholesterol, therefore they are allies of cardiovascular health.
For those on a diet and for those who eat gluten-free
Le chestnuts they are completely gluten-free and are therefore also suitable for those with celiac disease. You can eat them even if you are on a diet, just consume them right, because they are enough calories.
«For those who are trying to lose a few pounds, the ideal is to eat them boiled: absorb water, satiate more e 3-4 are enough», Emphasizes the nutritionist. The chestnuts shallows, on the other hand, which are found on the market in snack portions (about 300 calories per 100 g) are especially suitable for those who play sports and need a lot of energy. And the roasted chestnuts? Compared to the latter they are a little lighter, but they still bring about 250 calories per hectogram. Give them once in a while and avoid bread in the next meal.
Our light recipe
An idea for eat chestnuts without guilt? Use them instead of cereals in vegetable soups, as you can see in the recipe that we give you below, satiating and tasty, a less than 200 calories per serving.
Zucchini cream with chestnuts and mushrooms (for 4 people)
Ingredients: 700 g of courgettes, 500 g of vegetable broth, 25 g of dried porcini mushrooms, 100 g of chestnuts, half an onion, extra virgin olive oil, salt
Boil the chestnuts. Meanwhile, boil the courgettes in the broth with the onion. Halfway through cooking, add the mushrooms, previously soaked in water. Then blend everything until you get a smooth and soft cream. Serve with the cooked chestnuts, olive oil, salt and pepper.