‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ comes to mind when you hear the word chestnuts, but did you know this seasonal treat also has many health benefits? Chestnuts can help improve digestion, are high in fiber, rich in antioxidants, and high in manganese and several B vitamins supporting heart, bone and brain health. 

I am delighted to share one of my favorite fall recipes to lift spirits for the approaching holidays. 

Chestnuts are now in season, so it’s a good time to enjoy these delicious, decadent Chocolate Chestnut Bars. Those with nut allergies and digestive issues may want to avoid chestnuts. Also, if you are diabetic, this nut is high in complex carbohydrates so eat in moderation. 

Bar Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 29 oz. fresh chestnuts in shell
  • 3 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • ½ stick cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 cups icing sugar or monk fruit sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 square pieces of oblate or rice paper (approx. 12.5x22cm)  

Icing ingredientse:

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 cups of icing sugar or monk fruit sugar
  • 2-3 tsp. lemon juice 

Cooking the Raw Chestnuts

  1. Cut a cross in each chestnut and roast in a hot oven (430f) for about 25 minutes, or until they burst. Let them cool a little and then shell and peel off skins. 
  2. Put the chestnuts into a pan, cover with water and add the lemon peel and cinnamon stick. 
  3. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. 
  4. Drain thoroughly and remove the cinnamon stick.
  5. Roughly chop half of the chestnuts and puree the rest. 
  6. Mix the chestnut puree with the sugar, cocoa and ground almonds. 
  7. Heat the mixture over a low heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes, then beat well. 
  8. Leave to cool slightly, then stir in the egg yolk and chopped chestnuts. 
  9. Place the oblate squares on a flat surface and then spread the chestnut mixture smoothly on top, moistening the spoon or pallet knife if necessary. 
  10. Cover with a cloth and leave in a dry, cool place to let dry for about 24 hours. 

For the Icing

  1. Beat egg whites until stiff. 
  2. Gradually stir in the sugar and lemon juice to produce a spreadable icing. 
  3. After the base mixture has dried out for 24 hours, ice the cakes, then leave to dry for several hours before cutting into desired squares. 
  4. Store in an air-tight container.

Dipika is a holistic health and lifestyle coach who empowers clients to activate a balanced lifestyle of the mind, body and soul. She can be reached at [email protected]. For more information visit www.loveyourlifehealthy.com

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