Making Chestnut Flour from Foraged Chestnuts

| 11/26/2017 2:50:00 PM

Tags: flour, gluten free, cakes, desserts, recipes, chestnuts, traditional cooking, food foraging, Susan Tipton Fox, North Carolina,

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Chestnuts are one of my favorite foraging foods. The chestnut we have is the Chinese chestnut as most of the American chestnut trees were wiped out many years ago. Here in my area, Western North Carolina, the chestnut burs/nuts start falling around the first week in September.


The reason I try to watch for the first fall is that you want to get the chestnuts as soon as they start falling. Otherwise, they can become wormy. I try to pick the chestnuts up at least once per day. If they stay on the ground and become wet they can "sour" in the shell. You want to process your chestnuts as soon as possible don't let them sit around. You can roast, boil, make chestnut flour (gluten-free), chestnut butter and/or freeze.

You may find "green" burs with the chestnuts still inside. Be careful when handling they can really hurt (you may want to wear gloves). You can pick these up and let dry for a few days and most often the chestnuts will fall out.

Some people think there is too much work involved in processing the chestnuts after you collect them. They need to be heat treated before eating because they do contain tannins that can cause stomach upset to some people.

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