There are some beautiful fresh New Zealand chestnuts in the markets and on roadside stalls. Buy them fresh, keep them in the fridge and use them as soon as possible after purchase. They’re somewhat laborious to deal with if you’re not just going to have a romantic evening, roasting them by the fire. Pierce each one with the point of a knife and allow them to simmer in a pan of boiling water for about 30 minutes. I covered mine with boiling water and left them for an hour on high in a slow cooker and they came out very well. Drain and allow them to cool. Cut in half and scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon. Avoid the thin, brown skin under the shell if you can as it’s bitter. One kilo of chestnuts yields about 750g of chestnut flesh, if you haven’t got too many predators in the kitchen with you. The flesh freezes well. I like to make sweet chestnut and chocolate cake. Gluten free, don’t you know.
If you’re wanting to fill the tins, try some oaty date, orange and cardamon squares. Ray McVinnie summed it up at the Food Show – I paraphrase, ‘eat a little of great food and don’t listen to nutritionists’. His book Eat is a great place to start.
The fabulous Femke Koene is holding an information evening about how exercise kinesiology can enrich your life. If you feel you could get more from you body, go along for a no-obligation introduction from Femke, 7-9pm Thursday 27 May 2010.