I am a huge fan of wild food, by that I mean food that you find in the countryside, hidden in the hedgerows or deep in the woods. This I call wild food. No one has planted it and mainly through lack of knowledge almost nobody eats it. It’s not covered in chemicals or bolstered with man made fertilisers. It’s the good stuff, things that our grandparent’s parents ate, the things that our fast-paced modern society has forgotten all about!
Yesterday the sun was shining! Eager to make the most of it we loaded our daughter into her carry pack mounted her on her trusty steed (daddy) and headed off on a countryside hike.
Sweet chestnuts, on the other hand, were coming home!
Sweet chestnuts are an excellent source of manganese, molybdenum, copper and magnesium.
They work to reduce cholesterol, stabilise blood sugar levels and reduce constipation and the risk of intestinal complications such as diverticulosis. Sweet chestnuts contain fat-soluble B vitamins which improve brain function and produce red blood cells. They also contain copper, a trace mineral that enhances bone structure and manganese that fights off free radicals reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
In comparison to walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds chestnuts have a much lower fat content with nutritional characteristics similar to those of cereals, they are high in starch, rich in fibre as well as the mineral salts potassium and phosphorus alongside this they contain vitamins B2 and E.
Now for a word of warning: this incredible wild food is encased in a rather prickly shell which resembles a cross between a hedgehog and a cactus, so if you’re going to head out to collect them you might want to take a pair of leather gloves with you!