Water chestnuts are one of the best ways to work in a vegetable to your meal without it altering the flavor tremendously. Water chestnuts have a relatively light flavor but they are very good for you and offer many benefits and uses.
Can you freeze water chestnuts? How should you store them? It’s quite simple, you can freeze your water chestnuts for relatively short lengths of time. These stay good for a few months in the freezer which extends their lifetime from a few days when not placed into the freezer.
When you purchase water chestnuts for a specific recipe, chances are you will not use all that you bought. Whether you buy water chestnuts to keep on hand or you simply want to try them out there are options for freezing them so that you can save them for later or always have some on hand.
There are some basic steps to follow when you decide to freeze water chestnuts, but the steps are very simple and they do not take an exorbitant amount of time either. You will be impressed at just how simple the process is.
If you have just started using water chestnuts or are simply curious about water chestnuts, we have some great information to share with you as well! We hope you will keep reading to learn all of the great information we have to share.
Your Guide to Freezing Water Chestnuts
Before we dive into the specific details of freezing water chestnuts, we want to discuss some basic information about water chestnuts so you are fully aware of the product that you will be working with.
Water chestnuts are an underrated vegetable product and they deserve some recognition for their versatile uses as well as the benefits that they offer.
Benefits of Eating Water Chestnuts
Here is a list of some of the benefits that water chestnuts can provide.
- Water chestnuts can add a crunch to any meal without altering the overall flavor.
- Water chestnuts contain high potassium levels, in addition to protein, B-6, and fiber.
- Freshwater chestnuts are higher in nutrients than canned water chestnuts.
- Water chestnuts have natural antioxidants in them.
- Water chestnuts provide various nutritional additives but are also low calorie.
- Could reduce blood pressure levels as well as the risk of heart disease.
- Water chestnuts are considered high-volume, which means they contain large amounts of water. They keep you feeling full longer when consumed.
Water Chestnut Facts
Despite the name, water chestnuts are not a nut product. They are not even related to nut products. These are aquatic vegetables that are grown in a similar climate and location as rice.
Common places that grow and harvest water chestnuts are Africa, Australia, Asia, China, and Taiwan. Water chestnuts are crisp and white and resemble a potato when sliced. They can be eaten cooked or raw.
You may recognize water chestnuts as an ingredient you find in your Chinese take-out. They are a very common addition to Asian dishes as well as stir-fry, curries, and salads. You can add water chestnuts to any meal. They have a great crunch and they don’t really affect the flavor of your dish.
Freezing Water Chestnuts
Before we discuss the steps to take to freeze your water chestnuts, we want to be sure you are fully informed about water chestnuts so you can know if you might run into any potential issues and be prepared for any possible special steps you might need to take.
Freezing water chestnuts is a simple process that does not require a lot of prep work or special steps to complete. It’s a very useful way to preserve your water chestnuts and extend their life so that you don’t have to worry about them going bad before you get the opportunity to use them.
Let’s first talk about some of the pros and cons that you should be aware of before you freeze water chestnuts.
Pros to Freezing Water Chestnuts
- Freezing is a simple process
- Freezing is quick
- Freezing extends the life of the water chestnut
- Freezing allows you to save leftovers or prepare ahead of time for future use
- Freezing does not alter the taste or texture
- Can be frozen cooked or raw
- Freezing is a great option!
Cons to Freezing Water Chestnuts
- Freezing does require some minor prep work
- Do not freeze water chestnuts that were previously canned
- May need to allow appropriate thawing time if you freeze raw water chestnuts
Now that you know some of the pros and cons of what you might be able to expect for freezing water chestnuts, it’s time to get down to business and walk through the steps you should take to freeze water chestnuts. Remember that these steps best apply to freshwater chestnuts and not canned ones.
How to Freeze Water Chestnuts
- You can freeze your water chestnuts already cooked or raw
- Be sure that if you are freezing raw water chestnuts that you clean them. You can peel them now or later.
- If you are freezing cooked water chestnuts, allow them to cool. Place them into freezer bags or airtight containers, leaving about ½ an inch at the top. Seal the storage item and label it with a date.
- If you are freezing water chestnuts that are still raw there is an additional step prior to freezing. Add water to cover the water chestnuts and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. This will prevent them from discoloring in storage.
- When you have combined your water and lemon juice with your raw water chestnuts transfer them into your freezer bag or airtight container, seal them tightly, label with a date, and then freeze.
- Raw water chestnuts can be stored in the freezer for about 6 months while cooked water chestnuts can be stored for up to 1 year.
Using Water Chestnuts After Freezing
If you’re going to freeze your water chestnuts, you need to know how to use them when you pull them out of the freezer. Again, this is a simple process as well and does not require a lot of extra work or effort.
- Remove from freezer.
- If your frozen water chestnuts were cooked when you froze them, you can add them directly into your dish from the freezer.
- If your water chestnuts were raw when you froze them, allow them to thaw at room temperature for about an hour prior to using them. They do not take long to thaw but because of the water content, you should thaw them and drain them well before proceeding to use them.
Storing Water Chestnuts in the Fridge
If you think you will be using your water chestnuts within a few days, you can store them in the fridge. If they are unpeeled and raw you can soak them in water and leave them in the fridge uncovered for up to 2 weeks. We do recommend that you change your water every 1-2 days.
If you have peeled your water chestnuts, you can store them for up to 1 week. To avoid discoloration, cover them with water and add lemon juice to the water. Allow them to remain soaking in the water/lemon juice mixture until you are ready to use them.
We hope that this guide has provided you with valuable information that will fully inform you of the process for freezing water chestnuts and so much more.
We invite you to check out the question and answer section to learn additional information that may be beneficial to you.
Can Water Chestnuts Go Bad?
As with any type of food, especially if stored improperly, water chestnuts can go bad. There are some basic ways to tell if your water chestnuts have gone bad. If you stored them in the freezer according to the steps shown, you shouldn’t have to worry, but here are some tips for checking them.
- Do they have an odd aroma that just doesn’t seem right?
- Do they look dingy or have odd coloring?
- Do they taste off? If this is the case, we recommend you discontinue eating them right away.
- If you notice mold or unusual substances in your water chestnuts, you should throw them out.
Do Water Chestnuts Help With Weight Loss?
Water chestnuts are a low-calorie vegetable with a crunch. This makes them a great source to add to any type of diet. If your goal is to lose weight, water chestnuts could be beneficial. They are a food that helps to curb appetite and reduce cravings. They can help you to feel full longer when you eat them.
What Kind of Taste Do Water Chestnuts Have?
Water chestnuts are crunchy whether they are cooked or raw. They are crunchier when they are raw. They have a very light sweet flavor to them that could have a touch of nuttiness to them. Please note that while they might have a slightly nutty flavor, they are not a nut product.