Edible Chestnut - everything about it

Chestnut trees attract the eye with their beauty, the splendor of their crowns, but in addition to external aesthetics, they are excellent healers. The fruits of trees have long been successfully used for the manufacture of medicinal ointments, tinctures, but today we will focus on the fellow familiar horse horse chestnut. The edible chestnut is a lush, spreading tree with fruits that taste like nuts. They appear on the market as a signal - autumn has come. And yet - this is childhood! I can not imagine him without delicious chestnuts!

Contents:
  • How to distinguish between edible and inedible chestnuts?
  • Edible chestnuts, where do they grow?
  • How to cook edible chestnuts
  • Edible chestnuts: good and harm
  • Growing edible chestnut

Chestnut tree, photo:

Edible chestnut fruits are very similar to the nuclei of the inedible analog. It blooms at the end of May, and by the end of July round green seedlings appear, abundantly covered with spines, on the tree.

By October, they begin to fall to the ground, a mature chestnut is revealed like a sea shell, where there are 1 or 3 nuts. Despite the name, a similar appearance of these two trees belong not only to different varieties, but even to different families. Normal chestnut belongs to the horse-chestnut subfamily, and edible belongs to the beech.

Combine chestnut, photo:

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How to distinguish between edible and inedible chestnuts?

A tree with edible fruits above the usual horse variety, the foliage is also different - it does not grow on the fronth, but one by one on the branch. It is impossible not to see the beauty of flowering horse chestnuts, but past his edible counterpart you can go and not notice. The size of the nucleoli is also different - the edible is slightly smaller than the horse. The green coat of a horse chestnut has sparse spines, is easily removed, edible is covered with prickles like a hedgehog, and the peel itself is rather difficult to peel. You can eat both raw and roasted chestnuts, the benefits and harms of which will be described below.

Roasted chestnuts, photo:

There are several varieties of edible chestnut varieties, from belonging to a particular variety, the height of a tree can range from 1 to 35 meters.

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Edible chestnuts, where do they grow?

These trees love open sunny places. In the middle and southern strip of Russia, they feel fine - they bloom profusely, bear fruit. Chestnuts grow in many European countries, in the Caucasus, in Asia, and North America. They are especially honored in France, where there is even a national holiday of chestnut.

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How to cook edible chestnuts

Edible chestnuts are very tasty! The benefits and harms, how to prepare the fruits correctly - the answers to these questions are well known to European cooks and culinary specialists. Europeans chestnut kernels are commonly used to prepare various dishes, desserts. They even make flour, which gives baking a special taste. Such flour in its composition is very similar to wheat flour, but it is more fatty, rich in protein, has a yellowish tint. The dough kneaded on this flour is more lush, it rises faster, and thanks to the increased sugar content, pastries can boast an appetizing golden crust.

To obtain flour kernels are subjected to active drying( raw contain a lot of moisture), during which they become smaller. The degree of readiness can then be assessed by the easy removal of the brown crust.

As an independent delicacy, roasted chestnuts are incredibly tasty, while cooking with salt or sugar. You can also preserve them, make jam, combine with vegetables, seafood in salads. Chestnut soup is no less famous; after cooking, you can make mashed potatoes, and various risottos with tasty kernels have long become popular in European restaurants.

Edible chestnut, photo:

To enjoy the taste of roasted chestnuts, they are first boiled and then roasted in a skillet without adding oil. So that during the preparation the nucleoli do not “shoot”, their skin must be cut crosswise in advance. When the skin starts to crack, the treat is considered ready. It is important that fruits immersed in water immediately fall to the bottom of the dish; if they float up, this is an indicator of staleness.

There are a lot of interesting cooking options, for example, you can consider a simple but very tasty savory snack.

Stewed vegetables and roasted chestnuts, recipe:

  • raw chestnuts - 450-500 g;
  • tomatoes( better than cherry tomatoes) - 300 g;
  • garlic - 2 teeth;
  • fresh ginger root - a small piece, about 3 cm;
  • olive oil - 5 tablespoons;
  • pepper, salt - at your discretion.

Cut crosswise chestnuts, cook for 15-20 minutes, peel, chop into medium sized pieces. Heat the olive oil, fry the chestnuts for about 3 minutes. Cut tomatoes into slices of similar size, add to kernels, stew for 2 minutes, then put finely chopped garlic, ginger root. Add salt, pepper, simmer another 10 minutes. It turns out an island dish with an unusual, but very harmonious flavor combination. It can be eaten as a separate dish or added to pasta, mashed potatoes, meat.

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Edible chestnuts: the benefits and harm

The chestnut kernels contain a powerful dose of vitamin C, B, E, protein( vegetable analogue), phosphorus, potassium, magnesium make it a kind of natural energy. Despite the fact that these fruits have a low calorie content( half as much as a walnut), the increased starch content, proteins and fats do not allow them to be categorized as dietary products.

The chestnut kernels also contain carbohydrates, tannins, and folic acid. The caloric value of the product is 180 kcal / 100 g, which allows( in reasonable quantities) to introduce it into the diet of people who watch their weight.

Edible chestnut is contraindicated for use if a person has a suspicion of hidden bleeding( stomach or pulmonary).With violations of the gastrointestinal tract, the presence of diseases of the circulatory system, manifestations of diabetes mellitus and should not eat chestnuts. Again, with a tendency to corpulence, these tasty fruits should be eaten in a very moderate manner.

Chestnut kernels, photo:

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Growing edible chestnut

Edible chestnut - how to grow it? There are two options: planting saplings or nucleoli( seeds).Initially, you should know that these trees love isolation, whatever plant you try to plant under them or near them - it will not grow. A chestnut tree develops a spreading crown, a strong root system of the surface type, so it does not make sense to plant other crops nearby. However, this factor can be successfully beaten by installing nice benches under the tree, on which it will be pleasant to rest with the onset of the summer heat.

For full development, each seedling at planting should allocate at least 3 or 4 meters of free space( around).Chestnut is thermophilic, feels great on leached chernozem, loam, tolerates air pollution or landing on windy places.

For planting, it is best to choose one-year or two-year-old seedlings, under which you should dig holes 0.5 meters deep. The width of the pit should be about 50 × 50 cm. The extracted soil should be mixed with sand and humus( 2: 1: 1 ratio), add a half a kilogram of slaked lime to the resulting earth mixture. Also, it would not be superfluous to immediately add phosphorus-potassium and nitrogen supplements. The bottom of the fossa is traditionally covered with a layer of drainage( approximately 15 cm), crushed stone with sand is perfectly suited for this purpose. Before you place the seedling there, you need to sprinkle the drainage layer a little with the earth mixture, pour it thoroughly with water.

Next, the sapling is covered with soil, gently rammed, and a little more from the top - about 20 cm above the ground. This maneuver is done taking into account the further subsidence of the soil, while planting, make sure that the root neck of the future tree rises above the level of the mound about 10 cm. Provide support for the seedling - a peg that will help it withstand strong winds. Upon completion of the planting process, the tree is thoroughly watered.

Planting process, photo:

Edible chestnut - growing seeds( nucleoli) is possible in the fall or spring. To do this, it is necessary to collect the autumn fruits and stratify them - to stay in the cold. For the implementation of the goal is well suited box with sand, into which you should put chestnuts, then put it in the fridge for 12-14 days. After a specified time, the nucleoli are buried in open ground.

In the selected place, the beds are dug, flooded with water, the chestnuts themselves deepen by 6-8 cm, the distance between the seeds should be about 15 cm. You do not need to cover the kernels with earth, cover them with fallen leaves tight enough, they will winter. With the onset of spring at this place you will be able to observe green shoots, among which you will have to choose the most powerful representatives.

Young saplings, photo:

For spring planting, chestnuts are harvested in the fall, similarly sprinkled with sand, and the tank is placed where the air temperature is + 5-6 ° С.When spring comes and it is time to plant chestnuts in open ground, 5 days before this event, put the nucleoli in warm water. After the specified time, plant the seeds at the desired location. In a year, this seedling will reach 20-30 cm in height, and by five years it will be full three-meter trees.

For the entire season, like any other tree, the chestnut should be watered and the ground should be pushed around the tree. With the onset of autumn it will not prevent mulching, for this you can use sawdust or fallen leaves. For the formation of a sprawling crown in the spring, you can cut down trees - cut one quarter of the length of the upper branches. Top dressing is enough to make once a year, with the onset of spring. Saltpeter, urea, manure, nitrogen-potassium fertilizers are suitable for these purposes.

Edible Chestnut is a long-liver. He can live more than one hundred years. The young tree quickly gains growth, well developed. Aging - can be maintained by cutting off the secondary branches by one third of their length. This tree is of a warm climate, however, so where the mercury column of the thermometer does not fall below -15 ° C in winter, it grows well and bears fruit. Acclimatized varieties of edible chestnuts can withstand temperatures as low as -28 ° C.

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