Frequently Asked Questions

Cooking Chestnuts

Can I Eat Chestnuts Raw?


Yes! Don’t forget to remove the outer shell and furry inner skin first. Just use a knife and voila. It’s so easy a squirrel can do it, too.

How Can I Cook Chestnuts?


Roast, boil or bake them. Above all, enjoy them.

Planting Chestnuts

What is the Chestnut Hardiness Zone?


The American x Chinese and Chinese Chestnut does best in zones 4-8.

What’s the Best Season for Chestnuts?


The best time for planting chestnut trees is between September and November.

How to Plant Chestnut Trees?

  • Space your chestnut trees 20′ to 40′ apart.
  • Dig a hole wide and deep enough to accommodate the root system.
  • Wet the roots thoroughly before planting
  • Many nut trees have just one main root called a taproot. With most nut trees, this taproot should not be trimmed or bent when planted.
  • Spread the roots out in the hole to prevent matting. Do not bend or trim main taproot.
  • Plant at the same depth as they were grown at the nursery. Bare root trees will have noticeable color difference between the roots and the trunk — plant at the depth of this color difference. Place a potted tree the same depth it was growing in the pot.
  • Refill hole with soil. Tamp soil firmly about the roots as you add each shovel of dirt.
  • When the hole is 3/4 full, add a bucket of water.
  • Finish filling the hole and iadd second bucket of water.
  • Install a 3’x3’x landscape fabric weed barrier with staples. Use a 5′ growtube with a stake to hold it in place.

Chestnut Nutrition Information

Chestnuts are truly amazing nut! They are a true nut in the scientific sense of the word, unlike almonds, cashews, and pistachios which are considered drupes (fleshy fruit on the outside containing a shell covering a seed on the inside which is what we consume). This is true for peanuts also which are actually legumes.

Unique features of the chestnut include:

  • Over 5g of fiber per 100g of chestnuts (roughly 15 or three handfuls)-
    considered a good source of fiber (10-19% of the RDI)- Population-adjusted
    RDA (recommended dietary allowance) RDI numerically identical to the
    highest RDA.
  • 40-64g of water per 100g of fresh chestnuts
  • Rich in carbohydrates (75-91%)- storage may contribute to a more sweet
    flavor as starch is partially hydrolyzed into glucose.
  • Low in fat (2-5%) and mostly contain unsaturated fat. 3g per 100g
  • Rich in potassium 750 mg per 100g. RDA around 4.7g Magnesium 75mg per 100g, (RDA 400-420mg men and 310-320 for women)
  • Chestnuts are not among the nuts most associated with allergic reactions.
  • Chestnuts contain the highest levels of vitamin C compared to most other nuts (>40.2 mg/100g) compared to other nuts with the second highest coming from peanuts at (5-12 mg/ 100g)
  • Gluten free
  • High in folate and B vitamins around 58mg/ 100g. higher than most other nuts with pistachios coming in second at 51mg and the next highest at .98mg
    in walnuts.
  • One of the richest nuts in polyphenols (benificial compounds found in plants
    often containing antioxidant and protective properties)
    Phenolic profile contains (vanillic acid, quercetin, egallic acid, gallic acid,
  • Some potential benefits: reduced oxidation of LDL particles, reduced
    inflammation, improved microbiome health, reduced risk for
    cardiovascular disease, and reduced risk for metabolic diseases
    (diabetes etc).

Labeling information

FDA regulates food labels

  • Nutrient content claims: claims on the labels of food or dietary supplements
    that illustrate the levels of a nutrient in the food can be made if they are in
    accordance with FDA-authorized regulations (good source= 10-20% of DV).
  • Health Claims: are allowed only if scientific evidence are reviewed by the
    FDA and meet standards. Folate and neural tube defects during pregnancy.
  • Structure-function claims: these claims are not authorized or reviewed by the
    FDA and represent how supplement impacts a function in the body such as
    protein builds muscle mass, enhances strength or glucosamine may
    strengthen joints etc. Must contain the “This statement has not been
    evaluated by the FDA etc”.

Creative and Unique ways to use Chestnuts

Decorative Crafts: Chestnuts can be used in various decorative crafts. You can make chestnut figurines, ornaments, or even create chestnut wreaths for the holidays.

Natural Dyes: Chestnuts can be boiled to extract their natural brown dye. This dye can be used to color fabrics, yarns, or even Easter eggs.

Musical Instruments: Hollowed-out chestnuts can be used as whistles or as components in homemade percussion instruments like maracas or shakers.

Home Decor: Scatter chestnuts in decorative bowls or vases for a rustic touch to your home decor. They can also be used in centerpieces for seasonal displays.

Fire Starters: Dried chestnuts can be used as kindling for starting fires in fireplaces or outdoor fire pits. They catch fire easily and can help ignite larger pieces of wood.

Educational Tools: Use chestnuts for educational purposes, such as teaching counting or sorting skills to children. They can also be used in science experiments to demonstrate buoyancy or seed germination.

Natural Exfoliant: Crushed chestnuts can be added to homemade skincare products as a natural exfoliant. Mix them with oils or creams to create a gentle scrub for the face or body.

Potpourri: Dried chestnuts can be added to potpourri blends for a warm, earthy scent. Combine them with other dried fruits, spices, and botanicals for a fragrant mix.

Garden Mulch: Crushed chestnut shells can be used as mulch in garden beds. They decompose slowly and can help retain moisture in the soil while adding nutrients as they break

DIY Projects: Get creative with chestnuts by incorporating them into various DIY projects, such as making jewelry, keychains, or even chestnut-studded coasters.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. With a bit of imagination, there are countless ways to use chestnuts in non-edible applications!