How can I find out the caloric info of Chinese chestnuts - without a food scale?
February 3, 2008 6:57 PM   Subscribe

Now that chestnuts are in season, I've been buying sacks of freshly roasted Chinese chestnuts almost every week and eating them like crazy. Problem is, I cannot locate nutritional information in a format that's easy to understand. For example, I don't have a food scale, yet almost every listing I find on Google has one serving of chestnuts as 100 grams. Also, how do I know if the nutritional info is referring to nuts still in their shell, or the actual nutmeats? Thanks to everyone in advance.
posted by invisible ink to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This page suggests that 3 cooked chestnuts are one ounce. My Fitday program lists roasted Chinese chestnuts as 68 calories per ounce, so an estimation would be that each roasted chestnut is about 23 calories.

[FYI: One ounce of chestnuts is listed as 68 calories, 0 g fat, 15 g carbs, 1 g protein.]
posted by Bella Sebastian at 7:47 PM on February 3, 2008

By chance I found a sealed foil pouch of peeled, roasted chestnuts in our kitchen five minutes ago. The following info from the packet may or may not be helpful.

"Nutrition facts: Serving size 1 cup (100g); Servings per container 1 [though on the front of the bag it says Net Wt: 150g]; Calories 200 Kcal; Calories from Fat 5; Total Fat 0.5g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 2mg; Total Carbohydrate 42g (14%); Dietary Fiber 4g (16%); Sugars 21g (7%); Protein 4.5g (9%) Vitamin A 0%*; Vitamin C 15%*; Calcium 3%*; Iron 0.002%*; * Percent Daily Values based on 2,000 calorie diet".

I've looked at the writing on the packet carefully and these are the numbers written, and as you may notice they're not quite pukka. But it might be an indication that 100 grams is a serving of peeled chestnuts.
posted by anadem at 8:52 PM on February 3, 2008

Generally, nutritional information is for the food ready-to-eat -- that is, if a serving of banana is 100g, that's 100g of banana meat, not banana and peel. Apple sans core, pistachio without shell, that kind of thing. In other words, the nutritional information for a chestnut is without the shell. Also, calculate the serving size before you roast them -- toasting bread, for instance, can decrease the weight by 10 or 15%, but the carbs stay the same.

As to how many chestnuts equals 100g, I wouldn't trust volume, if you really wanted to get exact about it. That would require a food scale, though they aren't expensive in the least (the one we have was $15), and they come in quite handy. If this is just for curiousity's sake, take 100g package of whatever (candy bar? chips? something prepackaged, obviously) in one hand and the chestnuts in the other until they appear equal. It won't be exact, but it'll give you a decent idea. I love the European way of measuring serving size as 100g, because it means that the other numbers (like, say, carbs, which is what I'm interested in with a diabetic insulin-dependent wife) can be extrapolated easily -- if 100g of chestnuts has 42g carbs, that means that chestnuts are 42% carbs, making carb counting any serving size way easier.
posted by incessant at 11:25 PM on February 3, 2008

From Calorie King:

Calories in Nuts: Chestnuts, European, roasted, edible portion - 1 oz

Calories 70 ( Kilojoules 291 )
Total Fat 0.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 15 g
Dietary Fibre 1.4 g
Sugars 3 g
Protein 0.9 g
Calcium 8.2 mg
Potassium 168.1 mg
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:47 AM on February 4, 2008

Argh - forgot to add that Calorie King reckons the edible portion (the kernels) of 10 nuts weighs 94 g, so it should be pretty easy to work out the approximate caloric load of how ever many nuts you eat without a scale.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 12:50 AM on February 4, 2008

i would imagine the nutritional profile of nuts would not have much variation--if you have to be strict about it, look up pine nuts or brazil nuts. both are about as fatty as nuts get, so you'll be safer overestimating.
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:28 AM on February 4, 2008

Chestnut nutrition from a link in The American Chestnut Foundation's website.
posted by FauxScot at 6:40 AM on February 4, 2008

The Referring page
posted by FauxScot at 6:41 AM on February 4, 2008

Get a scale? They're less than ten bucks, and useful to have if you count calories, which it sounds like you do.
posted by robinpME at 10:14 AM on February 4, 2008

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