Chestnuts are my new real allrounder. They actually always work, be it as cake filling, sweet snack, in cookies, in bread or as meat replacement like this time.
If you follow this blog on a regular basis you might already know that we don’t eat soy here. So there is also no tofu, yet, for quite some time we are vegetarian here. Sometimes, just sometimes we get the appetite for meat again. Tastewise chestnuts are my new alternative now. No joke, these veggie balls actually taste a litte “meaty”, yet, they are way healthier. Chestnuts contain quite a bit vitamin c, but also potassium, calcium, a little protein and also fat (and much more), therefore the chestnut is a real “power veggie” of the cold season.
Chestnut balls with chestnut sauce on almond rice
(including a quick almond milk recipe) –
vegan, gluten free, lactose free, low histamine
ca. 1-1,5 hours
ingredients for 2-3 people:
2 handful of almonds
a little hot water
salt + pepper
curcuma, cumin, oregano, (pinch of cinnamon if you can tolerate it), caraway
a little coconut oil
1-2 tbsp. chia seed flour
1/2 cup rice and enough water for cooking it (about 2 cups)
1-2 heaped tsp. spelt flour
1-2 cloves of garlic
Carve into the chestnuts on top twice to form a cross – without this step you’ll not be able to get the content out of the shell, well, not quite easily at least. Now toss the chestnuts in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes at 180-200°C. When half of the time is passed, turn the chestnuts once.
Blanch the almonds, meaning pour hot water over them and leave them in the hot water for a moment (I used a pot for this step). Then strain and refresh them with cold water. Peel them. Toss in a bowl and cover well with water, then blend it. Strain the liquid through a fine strainer (I used a tea strainer). Save the solid parts of the almonds, meaning the leftovers, for later. There you go, almond milk.
Remove the chestnuts from the oven. Remove the shell to get to the yummy content. Save 10 chestnuts for later for the sauce.
Blend the other chestnuts with 1 tbsp. coconut oil, 2-3 tbsp. water, half of the almond leftovers, salt, pepper, curcuma, cumin, oregano (and cinnamon). Add 1-2 tbsp. chia seed flour and mix it well. Form balls from the dough.
Prepare the rice. Add salt and caraway. As soon as you brought the rice to boil, leave it to simmer on low heat. Add the other half of the almond leftovers. Just before the rice is done add half a tsp. coconut oil if you like.
Chop the chestnuts saved before. Peel the garlic and finely chop it. Slightly brown the garlic in oil, then add spelt flour to make a roux. Pour in some almond milk. Add more almond milk as soon as the sauce thickened a little. Add the chopped chestnuts and let it steep some minutes. Then blend. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add other spices if you like. (For the gluten free version use corn starch or more chestnuts instead of the roux to thicken the sauce)
Heat up oil in a pan and fry the chestnut balls from both sides.
Serve with sauce and rice.
If you like, you can also add chopped garlic to the chestnut dough. Very delicious, too.