So when the chestnuts showed up at my door I first had to work out what to do with them. I wanted to go beyond just chopping them up and adding them to something else. But what to use, and what to make?
Pumpkin was top of mind and a quick search confirmed that the flavour would go well with chestnuts. I was determined to make a treat that was healthy and delicious.
Chestnuts on their own are a fantastic source of nutrition – fibre, calcium, potassium, a bit of protein, no cholesterol and rich in mineral salts and vitamins C, B1 and B2 and folate. Chestnut Flour is a gluten free substitute for baking and Sweet Chestnut Puree can be a star on a cheese platter, fitting in as easily as quince paste.
There is no need to be afraid of cooking chestnuts – with a bit of quick preparation they will roast or boil perfectly – no explosions to be seen. If you missed the step-by-step how-to go take a look now, I’ll wait…
Ok, on to the bread!
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chestnut Bread
Adapted from Cookie and Kate
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 c oil
- 1/3 c rice syrup/honey/agave
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 c pumpkin puree*
- 1/2 c sweet chestnut puree
- 1 3/4 c organic stone-ground whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp each – cinnamon, ginger, sea salt
- 1/4 tsp each – ginger, nutmeg, cloves
- 1/4 c hot water
- 1/2 c roasted or boiled chestnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 165C [330F]. Lightly coat a standard loaf pan [9x5 in | 23x13 cm] with cooking spray and line base and two sides with a piece of baking paper. Sprinkle the 2 exposed ends with a bit of whole wheat flour.
In a large bowl, beat eggs with a whisk. Whisk in oil, syrup/honey and vanilla until combined. Whisk in pumpkin and chestnut purees.
Sift over dry ingredients, pour in hot water and stir until just combined. Fold through chopped chestnuts.
Pour into prepared pan, sprinkle top with a bit of extra cinnamon and swirl surface. Bake in pre-heated oven for 50 mins to 1 hour until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Cool in pan 10 minutes then turn out and cool completely on rack. Slice and serve.
- I make my own pumpkin puree – it is far to easy not to. This recipe used steamed pumpkin [peel, cut into chunks, steam until very soft, puree until smooth] but roast pumpkin would be perfect too.