Chestnuts are from the orchards of Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh. The climatic conditions of Kinnaur, gives them medicinal values and the chemical free environment of it gives them a unique flavor and aroma.
Chestnuts are a group of eight or nine species of deciduous trees and shrubs in the genus Castanea, in the beech family Fagaceae. They have two skins – one is the hard, outer, shiny brown shell and the other is the thin inner skin known as the pellicle. They are native to the temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere. They originated in the Mediterranean basin and Asian Minor. In India, they were introduced by the British people in the mid – 1700’s in the Himalayas. They are widely found in British – founded hill stations in North India and in almost all British – founded botanical gardens and official government compounds in temperate parts of the Indian subcontinent.
Chestnuts are a part of the fruit group and some classify them as dried fruit and today worldwide their demand is more than their supply. They are very nutritious and have anti-oxidant and medicinal properties. They are the main sources of carbohydrates and are the only nuts that contain vitamin C. They also contain dietary fibres, protein, vitamin B-6, copper, manganese, potassium and magnesium. They are important sources of starch and contain twice as much starch as that of a potato. In comparison to other nuts they have low fat. They have many health benefits like:
Boosts immune system
Forms red blood cells
Controls blood sugar
Reduces constipation and intestinal complications
Increases brain function
Reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer
Maintains electrolyte balance in the body
Promotes weight loss
Prevents amnesia and alleviate stomach problems
Chestnuts are super healthy and have a unique flavor. They can be roasted, boiled, steamed, deep fried, grilled or baked. Boiled chestnuts are more digestible than roasted ones as they contain less calories because of the water content. One should not consume it raw. They are great for snacking and are used to prepare cakes, pies, pancakes, pastas, stews, soups, sauces and are added to salads as well.