To find water chestnuts, simply look near the canned goods or fruits, depending on if they’re fresh or canned. As a quick clarification, water chestnuts are not true nuts; they’re actually vegetables that are typically harvested from swampy areas. In fact, they’re very similar to potatoes in both taste and texture, especially when raw.
Water chestnuts have numerous great uses. They can be added into recipes or can be the main ingredient itself. They originate from Asia and are often fed to cattle, with the excess often used as composting elements. There are also a plethora of health perks to take advantage of.
However, these amazing veggies with the deceptive name may not be for everyone, so we’ve got you covered too. We’re going to list three great substitutes for water chestnuts that taste great as well. Plus, we are going to note a few tasty recipes for you to try out! Let’s see what all the excitement is about and learn more about them now.
What Are Some Benefits Of Eating Water Chestnuts
Improves Blood Pressure
First off, water chestnuts are incredibly healthy for your heart. They contain an abundance of potassium, which is well-known to benefit the heart. The most notable benefits are lowered blood pressure, less likelihood of arrhythmia, and a slimmer probability for stroke. Potassium is a common deficiency in the typical American diet, to boot, increasing the benefit even more.
Water chestnuts are very high in antioxidants; these help prevent us from developing cancerous cells. Through multiple studies, cancer was a more infrequent occurrence for those who consumed more antioxidants than others, thus supporting the scientific idea that water chestnuts protect against cancer.
Meeting our daily nutrient recommendations can be difficult sometimes, especially through diet alone. Yet, water chestnuts on their own contain a few critical nutrients in large quantities. Most notably, potassium, manganese, and copper are found to be at an average of 16% DV. Not to mention, B6 is found at up to 20% DV, all in just one serving! Eating only 100 grams per day can help you achieve the suggested goal.
What Are Some Substitutes for Water Chestnuts?
Jackfruit seeds are a rare seed, and yet remarkably similar to water chestnuts. The seed, which belongs to the same family as figs, are incredibly versatile and can be used in countless dishes. They’re lovely when roasted, but due to their rarity in places like the US, they can be trickier to obtain. To have better luck finding them, look in the Asian grocery stores near their vegetables.
Hazelnuts are great for substituting water chestnuts, as they have a strikingly similar taste and texture. They’re super tasty roasted and are delicious when added to many desserts, such as ice cream. The aroma alone makes this particular nut worthwhile to cook at home. They’re also outstanding to add to coffee after they’ve been roasted and ground into a fine powder.
Pecans are hands-down one of the best substitutes because they are located just about everywhere. Plus, they have a similar taste; but are quite a bit softer than water chestnuts. Pecans are versatile and can be used in just about everything. In desserts, savory meals, or roasted to perfection and eaten alone are just a few ways to consume this delicious popular nut!
Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
A delicious way to use water chestnuts is by wrapping them in bacon and tossing them in the oven. You should let them bake for approximately an hour and thirty minutes at 400 degrees. By doing this, it infuses the vegetable with savory bacon grease, resulting in an all-around crunchy and mouth-watering snack or meal addition for you to enjoy.
Water chestnuts are one of the best vegetables to add to a kabob. Typically, Polynesian kabobs are made by placing turkey sausage, pineapple, red pepper, and water chestnuts onto the kabob. The end outcome is a kabob packed full of diverse flavors that will be sure to make you and any other foodies do a double-take, wanting more.
Water chestnuts are an incredibly versatile vegetable, so they happen to also be excellent with a stir-fry of all kinds. Due to the vegetable’s ability to soak in flavor, they’re excellent when diced up and tossed into the pan. It results in the vegetable being packed full of the flavorful base in the pan, whether it be oil, sauce, etc.
Water chestnuts are a tasty vegetable that can be used in many ways, several of which we just shared with you. They’re mainly cooked along with other vegetables, though. Vegans love water chestnuts because they’re very nutritious and dense, making them a healthy food or snack.
This vegetable is commonly found in most stores, but if you still have trouble finding them, look in a higher-end store, such as a whole foods grocery store. This is especially true for the substitutes, except for the ever-present pecans.