If you were not tempted by my previous chestnut recipe and still have some fresh chestnuts on hand, here’s another one you might consider making, aside from plain hot chestnuts !
By the way, I have to update what I said last time about chestnuts’ shelf life: it can be significantly extended by soaking the unpeeled chestnuts in water for 5 to 9 days, which not only helps discarding the bad ones (those floating on top) but also keeps them from drying out.
I’ve been experimenting with non-dairy milks lately, ever since I realized they were much more easily digestible as cow milk. Plus, I do love raw cow’s milk’s taste, but most non-dairy milks taste just as good.
Raw chestnut milk was a lucky find. I read milk can be made out of baked/boiled chestnuts, but I love the way this raw one emphasizes their nutty, vegetable taste.
I followed the very same steps here as for making walnut, nut or almond milk (not to mention oat milk), that is soaking the nuts before processing them with water and straining. On this point, note that I typically don’t use a nut bag or cheesecloth but my permanent coffee filter, which I find less messy (and I make sure it is clean enough and safe for a range of different uses by scalding it).
The phases of this milk separate more noticeably and quickly as those of, say, walnut milk, but the milky consistency would be get back easily with a good stir.
Also, you should know that after a day or two of storing in the fridge, the milk might turn slightly tan in color because of oxidisation of the skins. It remains safe to eat for quite a few days though.
Raw chestnut milk
Yields ~5 cups milk
- 1 1/4 cup chestnuts
- 1 liter spring water
- tap water for soaking
Peel the chestnuts raw, using a sharp knife. Cut them up to check they are healthy, then soak in fresh water overnight and up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse the chestnuts under running water. Put them in the bowl of a food processor with about 1 cup of spring water. Process on high speed for a minute or so, then add gradually the remaining spring water and process further, until the liquid looks definitely milky.
Strain using a nut bag, a cheesecloth, a colander and a kitchen towel, or like me: a permanent coffee filter (in this case, take care of squeezing the most of the liquid out of the pulp, by pressing it against the sides of the filter with a wooden spoon for example). Save the pulp for later use (see below).
Pour in a clean bottle or big jar and keep refrigerated. To serve, give the milk a good stir or shake the bottle. Use within 4-5 days.
This raw chestnut milk can be added to your breakfast (pumpkin) (buckwheat) granola (yum), but also used in recipes involving milk, especially sweet ones.
The pulp happens to be less versatile than other “okaras”, since it’s drier and presents a hardly unnoticeable bitterness. I wasn’t willing to throw it away though, so I did spread it on my baking sheet lines with parchment paper and baked it over low heat (250-300°F) until it was completely dry (1 hour ?). The resulting coarse powder can be used in the same way as breadcrumbs.