Whether you're hunting for chestnuts in the woods or harvesting nuts from your own tree, taking the time to properly preserve the nuts ensures that they stay fresh and that you will be able to enjoy them at a later date. After preservation, box up bundles of chestnuts to give away as gifts, eat them as snacks or use for cooking projects. Properly preserved chestnuts maintain their flavour well and make tasty additions to salads, steamed vegetables, desserts and other dishes.
Remove the green fuzzy shell around the nut and place them in a bowl. This outer shell should pull off easily. Look at each chestnut to make sure the nut has a shiny, blemish-free exterior.
Place the chestnuts on a tray so that they get good air circulation. Allow the chestnuts to dry at room temperature between 65 and 75 degrees for two days. Throw away any nuts that develop mould.
Store dried chestnuts in sealed containers and leave the inner shell intact until you eat the nuts. The nuts should keep at room temperature for several months.
Roast the chestnuts until they are golden brown after drying if you plan on freezing the nuts for long periods of time. Preheat your oven to 204 degrees Celsius and use a sharp knife to make a small slit in each inner shell. Place the chestnuts on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes. Allow the chestnuts cool down completely, then remove the inner shell. Place the chestnuts in sealed containers and store them in the freezer.
Give some of your chestnuts away as gifts and store the rest for yourself, family and friends.
Washing the nuts usually isn't necessary because the dirt is found on the exterior hairy shell. However sometimes dirt can get on some nuts. Quickly rinse these nuts under tap water. Never soak nuts in water because this can cause mould to develop.