Roasted chestnuts were one of my many favorite snack foods. I vividly remember my father bringing home fresh chestnuts every winter. We would then roast them and eat the interior which was hot and soft. I would munch on a bagful of roasted chestnuts until recently when my body started reacting to them. I suspected it was an allergic reaction as I started feeling itchy and inflammation in my throat. Sadly, my suspicions confirmed my nut allergy for chestnuts. I plan on having myself tested for verification. Thus concludes my chestnut eating days. What depresses me the most about this circumstances that I made a chestnut butter that I was hoping to enjoy. The only benefit I have from it is sharing a recipe with you .The most I can do is put the inconvenience of having a nut allergy aside and experience eternal satisfaction that you enjoyed this chestnut dip recipe. As long as you are happy, I am and that all that matters to me. Some of you may ask why I went ahead and made this dip albeit my recently developed onset adult allergy to chestnuts? I made this dip in honor of the upcoming holiday of Tu B’shvat, a holiday that marks the new year for trees and vegetation. Although I don’t religiously celebrate this holiday, I enjoy eating exotic dried fruits and fresh nuts. Customs vary from eating new fruit, eating from the Seven Species to planting trees on this holiday. I suppose you can appreciate this holiday if you are an environmentalist. Although I am not a tree-huger, I am in favor of preserving the cleanliness of our environment and trees play an integral part in that role. Anyhow, I selected chestnuts because they are at their peak this season and available in bountiful and my local supermarkets. Plus I didn’t want to deprive myself of the holiday spirit over one nut allergy. I have been searching for carob powder and wanted to bake carob butterscotch brownies. I hope to share a recipe as soon as I get a hold of it. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy this chestnut butter recipe that I am about to share with you. This nut butter can be used for other purposes besides dipping. You can use it in lieu of butter/margarine in cakes, muffins or cookies. This dip also makes a healthy filling and icing for baked goods. Sugar-free and vegan, this recipe is a fun alternative to peanut butter. If you don’t like using fresh chestnuts, you can use roasted peeled chestnuts instead.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 cups of roasted chestnuts peeled
- 1/8 – 1/4 cup of honey or agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup of water (or more as needed)
Once roasted, cooled, and peeled (if using whole chestnuts), place chestnuts in a food processor along with honey, salt and vanilla extract and pulse. While pulsing, slowly pour in water. Continue processing/blending, scraping down the sides regularly, and adding water until you’ve achieved a smooth consistency. Add a bit more water if necessary. Transfer into jars and refrigerate.
Yields approximately 1 1/2 – 2 cups