By admin | November 7, 2011

BY 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!

Chestnut Chews Recipe

Ingredients:
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

Method:

  1. Place the oats, pecans, and walnuts into the hand blender/food processor and grind to a coarse powder.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 at www.peasoupeats.com

For more great recipes from Aine, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)

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