Clean Eating Christmas Recipe: Sweet Chestnut Balls
In Portugal, chestnuts are a big thing in winter and especially at Christmas. I, and lots of the Portuguese just love chestnuts. They are so unusual and they contradict other nuts due to their sweet, crumbly, soft, powdery texture with their distinctive mild flavour. They also differ from other nuts due to their low fat and high starch content. Normally you only see them on sale in the wintry months and around Christmas time, although they are available all year round.
Here is a Lisbon street scene of a street seller selling chestnuts to passers-by:-
Chestnuts are a fantastic idea as an ingredient, as they are gluten free, and they are rich in mono-unsaturated fat; specifically oleic acid and palmitoleic acid. These monounsaturated fats lower bad cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol. They, along with the antioxidants in chestnuts help prevent coronary artery disease and strokes.
1 lb of boiled chestnuts, heat 2 tbsps of honey, 1 tea spoon of vanilla extract a quarter to half teaspoon of cinnamon. Make little balls with the palm of your hands.
Boil one pound or 500g of chestnuts for 30-40 mins. When they've cooled down a bit (not too much), cut each chestnut in half with a sharp knife. With a teaspoon, scoop the flesh out of the shell.
Next, sift through your bowl of shelled chestnuts and ensure there is no skin stuck on. The skin is so bitter! If necessary, peel it off with a knife.
Add the chestnuts to a food processor and switch on for 2-3 mins:-
Then, put to the side. In a saucepan, add two tablespoons if your local honey, half a teaspoon of cinnamon and one teaspoon of vanilla extract:-
Slowly heat up and stir the ingredients until warm and well mixed. Add to the chestnuts:-
Roll the mixture into balls using the palms of your hands:-
Serve with mulled wine or some cocoa. These are so great and healthy for you! It can be really hard watching your weight and being healthy over the Christmas holidays, so I have complied a list for all my readers of my top holiday survival tips for the Christmas holidays:-
Next blog post, I have a video of me talking about more holiday tips, which compliments this list, so look out for that. Let me know what you think on the comments below. Feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel here and also please visit my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.