BYÂ AINE CARLIN
Chestnut puree features very heavily in my Christmas recipe repertoire and seeing as we’ve now waved goodbye to Halloween and are tumbling headfirst in all things festive, I thought it only appropriate to welcome in these imminent winter months with a much needed chestnut injection.
I’m not quite willing to let my usual diet go yet so I’ve been forced to give a healthy twist to what is often seen as an indulgent ingredient, particularly the sweetened sort. Laced with sugar and vanilla, sweetened chestnut puree is beautifully rich with a luxurious elegance like no other.
In the past I reserved chestnut puree for that most decadent of desserts, Mont Blanc, but it wasn’t long before I realized its versatility and have since tried to include it in all sorts of dishes. Try stirring some into natural (soy) yogurt for a wickedly delicious breakfast or snack.
The French seem to be a nation of chestnut worshippers and for that I applaud them. To my delight there was a host of chestnut-infused products when I recently visited and I couldn’t help but stock up on chestnut jams and, of course, this magnificent sweetened chestnut puree. It didn’t hurt that it was a quarter of the price I normally pay for the same brand here in the UK!
These semi raw balls err on the side of virtuous but are sweet enough to warrant eating one or two. I like to serve these at the end of a dinner party with freshly brewed coffee for a not too overwhelming end to what is usually a gargantuan meal (I’m a feeder) or indeed as a mid-afternoon snack with a cup of tea. However and whenever you wish to enjoy them, the fact remains; these chestnut chews are the business!
5 medjool dates
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup oats
3 tsp flaxseed meal
pinch of pink Himalayan salt (or rock salt)
2 heaped tsp sweetened chestnut puree
- Place the oats, pecans, and walnuts into the hand blender/food processor and grind to a coarse powder.
- Stone and roughly chop the medjool dates and place them in the blender along with the flaxseed meal and chestnut puree. Blitz until the mixture comes together in a thick rubble – you may need to periodically scrape down the sides with a spatula.
- Take 2 tsp amount in you hands and roll into a ball. Place on some greaseproof paper and repeat – you should get approximately ten balls out of the mixture.
- Place the ‘chews’ into the fridge or freezer and allow to set for an hour or two.
Photos: Aine Carlin
Aine Carlin is a vegan blogger who specializes in vegan recipes. She also has a keen interest in vegan fashion and is currently training to be a stylist where she hopes to promote cruelty free clothing and beauty. You can find more of her vegan recipes and vegan friendly fashion over atÂ www.peasoupeats.com
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