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Chestnuts cooking/baking tips:

If roasting chestnuts in the oven, cut an X on the shell to allow moisture to escape.
Use whole or half cut chestnuts in stews, casseroles and soups.

Peeled chestnuts are very versatile and can be used for many sweet or savoury dishes including breads, bakes and pan fried. Chestnuts can be peeled before or after cooking.

To peel chestnuts after cooking: Bring whole chestnuts to a boil. Cook on low heat for 45 minutes. Let the chestnuts cool down until they are comfortable to handle, then cut them in half and scoop the inside.

To peel chestnuts raw: Cut off the top and bottom end. Make another cut across the shell (from top to bottom) and peel of the shell.

Pakaraka Permaculture

Almost 20 years ago we planted 170 chestnut trees. They have done very well on our river flats of fertile silt and are certified Organic Farm NZ. The chestnuts were planted in lots of good compost and have needed no additional fertiliser. We use biodynamic preparation 500 twice a year and sometimes some liquid fish or seaweed. They have no insect or disease problems and we need no herbicides because the sheep take care of the grass. We believe in using each piece of our land for what grows best there so we also have olives on sunny rocky slopes, sheep and cattle on the hills, a house cow on the other flat paddock, as well as a home veggie garden and orchard.

Chestnut harvest runs from early March until late April, and we coolstore them until late May. They don't keep very long out of the fridge as they are water based versus oil based, and are very nutritious.

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