on March 28, 2012
at 03:31 PM
Chestnuts and chestnut flour are, IMHO, paleo as much as starchy tubers. For a nut, they have an incredible amount of starch like tubers.
My ancestors made the best foods from chestnut flour: the Italians make a variety of savory things with chestnuts. Though chestnuts were eaten throughout antiquity, chestnut flour became especially popular in Italy long after agriculture in modern times when the poorer, countryside people could not afford or would have had easy access to refined wheat flours.
Here's a traditional recipe for castagnaccio (with some additions/alterations by me). Castagnaccio is a savory chestnut flour bread type food.
- 1lb chestnut flour
- 2tbsp arrowroot powder
- 3tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 70g raisins
- 40g pinenuts
- 40g walnuts
- rosemary (dried or fresh)
- 3?? cup water
- butter or lard to grease the pan
- Baking pan
Soak the raisins for about 20-30 minutes in luke warm water.
Sift the flour and arrowroot into mixing bowl and gradually add 3?? c of water, whisking to avoid lumps forming, until you have a smooth paste, which will seem runny. Amount of water needed may vary.
Preheat oven to 365F.
Squeeze out the water in the raisins. Break or chop the walnuts into coarse pieces. Add 2 tbsp of oil, a pinch of salt, the raisins, pinenuts, and walnuts to the batter.
Grease pan thoroughly with butter or lard, 1cm to 1inch up the sides. Pour batter in the pan, sprinkle some rosemary leaves on top and drizzle or spray 1 tbsp of oil over. Put in the oven for 40 minutes. A toothpick should come clean -- but do not leave it too long! The cake will be moist, but not wet.
Let sit 30 minutes. Cut and serve as desired.
A basic castagnaccio will have pinenuts, rosemary, and olive oil. Everything else is up to the baker! Some people use orange rind, for e.g.
on March 29, 2012
at 12:25 PM
IMHO chestnut is a present from gods! :D
Anyway this nut and his tree are 60 million years old, so Cenozoic Era. If we see in a classic pale way I'd say that it is not a paleoFood because it needs to be cooked or boiled to eat. But this wonderful stuff has an excellent nutrition facts and it's a particular kind of nuts full of starchy carb (78/100 g), little fat (4/100g), little complete protein (5/100g) and fiber (8/100g).
This is some interesting points of the spectrum of the chestnut flour 100 g (dried chestnut too):
- Potassium 991mg 28%
- Magnesium 74.0mg 18%
- Manganese 1.2mg 59%
- Thiamin 0.4mg 24%
- Vitamin B6 0.7mg 33%
- Folate 110mcg 27%
Another important benefit is the alkaline feature: -9.7 PRAL PH on 100 g.
I have got a lot of dried and flour chestnuts in my kitchen because i live in a mountain zone where it's easy to find out in autumn, I love walking through the forest and gathering them when the yellow/red leaves fall down. I use these instead of pumpkin and squash for my dinner or snacks. I'm going to do a "Castagnaccio" with macadamia, pine nuts, walnuts and raisins and some pancake for post workout meal.
on March 28, 2012
at 07:46 PM
I definitely think that chestnuts are as paleo as any other food, if not more so because of their cultural significance.
After the holidays, I found quite a few sales on European chestnuts and did a little recipe experimentation. Apparently, combining chestnuts with sausage is a typical way for them to be prepared in some European countries, however, the American chestnut was a staple food for many Native American Indian tribes.
Unfortunately, the American chestnut was almost completely wiped out by a fungal blight, but there is a group (The American Chestnut Foundation) dedicated to bringing them back by propagating blight-resistant chestnut varieties.