Water chestnuts are nutritious because they are high in fiber, low in calories, and contain no fat. They also contain several vitamins and healthy antioxidants. Water chestnuts are an excellent source of: Vitamin B6.
What do fresh water chestnuts taste like? That's because real water chestnuts—the fresh kind, that is—are fantastically flavorful and downright fruity: sweet and nutty and tart all at once, like a cross between a coconut and an apple, with the texture of an Asian pear.
aquatic tuber vegetables
Despite being called chestnuts, water chestnuts are not nuts at all. They are aquatic tuber vegetables that grow in marshes, ponds, paddy fields and shallow lakes (1). Water chestnuts are native to Southeast Asia, Southern China, Taiwan, Australia, Africa and many islands in the Indian and Pacific oceans.
Why it is a problem: The National Parks Service says that water chestnut plants often form dense floating mats, severely limiting light. Once established, it can reduce oxygen levels, increasing the potential for fish kills. It competes with native vegetation and is of little value to waterfowl.
The best substitutes for Water Chestnuts are – White Turnips, Canned Water Chestnuts, Jerusalem Artichokes, Jicama slices, Almond flour, Hazelnut flour, Cassava flour, Celery, Bamboo shoots, fresh Ginger, Daikon, and Radish slices.
Water chestnut fruits are often found along the shoreline and bottom of waterways - they have very sharp spines with barbs that can cause painful wounds when stepped on. The dense mats of vegetation shade out native aquatic plants that provide food and shelter to native fish, waterfowl, and insects.
Growing water chestnuts are primarily cultivated in China and imported to the United States and other countries. Rarely, have attempts been made to cultivate in the U.S.; however, it has been tried in Florida, California and Hawaii with limited commercial success.
Use of invasive plants can have unintended effects, especially if non native species. As in this short link, there are two plants called water chestnut. Both have edible portions.
The water chestnut was first introduced to North America in the 1870s, where it is known to have been grown in a botanical garden at Harvard University in 1877. The plant had escaped cultivation and was found growing in the Charles River by 1879.
Birds can also use the water chestnut beds to forage on. They can walk out on the beds and eat the insects associated with the plant. Norway rats, eastern chipmunks, and gray and red squirrels also eat the nuts.
The harvesting efforts were believed to have been successful, and no plants had been reported until the summer of 1997 when a landowner on the Bird River noticed an unusual plant growing in the river. This led to the discovery of a small population of water chestnut in a cove just upriver from Railroad Creek.
European water chestnut is an aquatic perennial plant that grows in shallow or deep water. It can grow up to 3.5-4.5 m (12-15 ft) and form dense, floating mats.
Find out where to buy water chestnuts, and how to store and cook with them. An ingredient with a very unusual, utterly reliable crunch and light sweetness. They are not chestnuts or nuts but the corms of an aquatic vegetable that is native throughout Asia, Africa, Australia and Pacific Islands.
1 to 2 inches
The fruit, sometimes called Singhara nut, is 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) in diameter and usually has four spiny angles.
The water chestnut is not a nut, but an aquatic vegetable that grows in marshes, under water, in the mud. It has stem-like, tubular green leaves that grow to about 1.5 m (5 ft). The water caltrop, which also is referred to by the same name, is unrelated and often confused with the water chestnut.
The Water Chestnut is a plant of contradictions. It is rare in parts of Europe where it's native thus “endangered.” Europeans want to see more of it. But it's “invasive” in North America where officials want to eradicate it. In its native range it's rare because people ate most of it.
The name "water chestnut" comes from the fact that it resembles a chestnut in shape and coloring (it has papery brown skin over white flesh), but the water chestnut is actually not a nut at all—it is an aquatic tuber (rootlike part of a plant) that grows in freshwater marshes.
Despite the name water chestnuts are not a nut and come from the edible portion of a plant root. Chestnuts are in a different botanical category to peanuts and also to tree nuts and most people with chestnut allergy can tolerate peanuts and tree nuts.
Fresh water chestnuts can be eaten raw after they've been peeled. They're a favorite snack in Asia, served by street vendors. When cooking with fresh or canned, add both toward the end of the cooking process so they retain their maximum crunch.
You probably already know a few things about water chestnuts. They're white and crunchy, and you'll find them in a ton of Asian-style stir fry dishes. (We especially like them in Cashew Chicken with Ginger!) But you might be surprised to learn that these aquatic vegetables aren't actually related to nuts.