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Making Chestnut Flour

 
Akiva Silver
Posts: 154
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I am planning on making large batches of chestnut flour this fall, as it looks like I will have access to a few hundred pounds of nuts this year.
Has anyone here made chestnut flour before?, How did you do it?
I am thinking of drying the nuts, then shelling them with a dave bilt nut cracker (anyone done that with chestnut?), and then running them through a corn grinder.
Thoughts? Ideas?
Thanks
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I don't have experience making chestnut flour, but I have loads of chestnuts too, so I'd like to know the answer.

 
Alder Burns
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Location: northern California
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Seems like it might be similar to the process I use for acorns, only minus the leaching step. Both chestnuts and acorns are high in moisture when fresh and relatively perishable, as well as vulnerable to worms. I usually shell acorns as gathered and dry the nut pieces in the sun till hard for storage; then grind into flour batch by batch as needed. I think the pieces will last longer than flour, especially stored without refrigeration. I shell the acorns, and I have done chestnuts likewise, by simply clipping the nuts in half with a pair of heavy, sharp hand pruners. The halves of the nut (or quarters if it is resistant and needs clipping again) come free of the shell easily, and any wormy portions can be immediately sorted out (instead of leaving them to spread further as they would with in-shell storage). Then I spread the pieces in the sun on trays to dry till shatter-hard, finishing with half an hour at 150 degrees in my solar cooker to kill worms and eggs that I've missed. If there is a thin bitter skin on the nuts, as there is with acorns, the pieces can be stirred and rubbed in the hands once dry and the skin winnowed off by pouring them between two buckets out in the breeze.
 
Cj Sloane
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 22 years!
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This video is called Making Chestnut Polenta but it's really the whole process of splitting, peeling, steaming, grinding, and storing with tips for the various processes:
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