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      Roasting chestnuts all year round

      During the holidays, many people are singing about "chestnuts roasting on an open fire," but at Chestnut Ridge Orchard, they're roasting all year round.

      They're grown locally in Rockport, Illinois, harvested, and shipped all over the world.

      What you may not know is that making chestnuts a part of your diet could actually help your waistline.

      "An ounce of chestnut has three tenths of a gram of fat in it, where an ounce of almonds has 17 grams of fat per ounce. So, comparatively there's an insignificant amount of fat in an ounce of chestnuts," said Linda Black, Chestnut Ridge Owner.

      Chestnuts also have about half the calories of many other nuts. This makes them the perfect ingredient for a variety of recipes.

      "Americans would use chestnuts in a chestnut stuffing or a chestnut dressing throughout the holiday season. With every chestnut order, we send a list of our top ten recipes. My personal family favorite is the chestnut spinach dip," said Black.

      These can also be used as a healthy substitute in recipes.

      "We often use chestnuts instead of meat in a stir fry. As far as what it tastes like, I don't know if there is anything else it tastes like. I think you will just have to try some," said Black.

      Chestnuts from Chestnut Ridge Orchard are available at your local Hy-Vee stores. If you're interested in visiting Chestnut Ridge or if you want some chestnut recipes, visit

      *By Chrissy Mueller