Tuberous aquatic vegetables known as Chinese water chestnut grow underwater in marshes, ponds, paddy fields, and shallow lakes. Therefore, A grass-like plant known as a water chestnut grows all over Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, and several islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Due to its shape and coloring like that of water chestnut, it is named the “water chestnut. It is actually a vegetable with a thick brown peel and an interior crisp white flesh that is heavily water-filled.
Water chestnut is actually a starchy root vegetable, despite their nut-like name. Water chestnut plants can be eaten raw or cooked. They are most well known for being a common element in Chinese cuisine. Although they have a mild, somewhat sweet flavor, even after cooking, they retain their crunch. Fiber, potassium, and a number of beneficial antioxidants are all present in water chestnuts in good amounts.
However, Eleocharis dulcis and Trapa natans are the two plants that are referred to as water chestnut plants. While the other can be cultivated and consumed in a variety of Asian recipes like stir-fries.
They are highly valued culturally and as components in many Asian cuisines. They can be found in sweet beverages or syrups as well as stir-fries, where the hemicellulose present in the tubers maintains the stir fry’s crunchy texture. Asian culture also makes use of water chestnuts for medicinal purposes.
Benefits of Water Chestnut
Water Chestnut has many benefits that are mentioned below:-
Reduces the risk of Oxidation stress and fights Cancer Growth
The antioxidant ferulic acid is present in very high concentrations in water chestnuts. This antioxidant makes sure that even after cooking, the water chestnut flesh retains its crunch. Additionally, numerous studies have connected ferulic acid to a decreased risk of a number of cancer.
In a test-tube investigation, researchers discovered that giving treatment to breast cancer cells with ferulic acid helps in slowing down their development and treating cancer completely.
Although other research conducted in test tubes revealed that ferulic acid put down the growth of cancer cells in the skin, thyroid, lung, and bone.
Oxidative stress has been linked to a higher chance of developing chronic conditions like type II diabetes, heart disease, and numerous cancers. Fortunately, foods high in antioxidants, including water chestnuts, may be able to stop this. The antioxidant content of water chestnuts is probably what gives them their anti-cancer properties.
Provides fiber supply
Due to their high dietary fiber content, water chestnuts provide a number of health advantages. Fiber improves digestion, lowers blood cholesterol levels, and controls blood sugar levels by making you feel fuller and more satisfied, which helps you eat less and consume less overall.
Reduces the blood pressure
The heart disease risk is treated by Potassium, which is present in water chestnuts, which helps to lower high blood pressure. According to studies, individuals with high blood pressure who consume a lot of potassium show disease in both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure. According to the same study, persons who consumed more potassium had a 24% lower risk of stroke and a generally lower risk of heart disease.
Helpful in weight loss
The food category for water chestnuts is high-volume food. Foods with a high volume usually have a lot of air or water in them. Both have no calories.
Despite having few calories, foods with a high food volume can efficiently satisfy hunger. A good weight-loss method involves replacing less satisfying items with full foods that have equal calorie counts because hunger can make it difficult to stay on a diet.
The calorie content of water chestnuts is quite low. About 50 calories are included in half a cup of sliced water chestnuts. Water chestnuts are very nutritious and contain fiber, proteins, copper, potassium, manganese, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 despite having a low-calorie count.
Water makes roughly 74% of the composition of water chestnuts. If you battle with hunger, switch to water chestnuts instead of your usual source of carbohydrates. It may help you feel satisfied for longer while consuming fewer calories.
High Levels of Disease-Preventing Antioxidants
Antioxidants, such as ferulic acid, gallocatechin gallate, epicatechin gallate, and catechin gallate, which shield the body from dangerous free radicals, are rich in water chestnuts.
Fisetin, diosmetin, luteolin, and tectorigenin are antioxidants found in water chestnuts that help to heal damaged cells and lessen inflammation. Therefore, the body is shielded against numerous diseases by these antioxidants, which are mostly found in the peels of water chestnuts.
Although the peel carries the majority of the antioxidants, the flesh also has a significant amount of them. Even after cooking, ferulic acid preserves water chestnuts crisp and fresh.
However, Antioxidants are chemicals that help in defending the body against free radicals, which have the potential to be toxic. Moreover, Free radicals can overcome the body’s defenses if they build up inside of it, leading to oxidative stress. However, oxidative stress has been associated with an increased rate of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and numerous cancers.
Uses of Water Chestnuts
The most common way to use water chestnuts is in a stir-fry with other vegetables in Chinese cuisine, but they may also be included in a traditional bacon appetizer or added to a creamy spinach dip for a welcome crunch. When cooking vegetables, add sliced water chestnuts at the end to transform a bland side dish into something exciting. How the water chestnuts are prepared will depend on whether they are fresh or canned.
Storage and Water Chestnut Shelf Life
To keep the collected kernels from drying out, you can store it in sealed plastic bags or containers at the bottom of the refrigerator. The damaged kernels are separated out before storage to prevent further handling and harvesting-related damage, complete water chestnut corms stored at -18°C displayed great shelf life in terms of eating and visual quality, while corms stored in aqueous conditions at room temperature exhibited the shortest storage life since the entire fruit went bad in 40 days.
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The Best Way to Cook Water Chestnuts
Water chestnuts can be consumed raw, boiling, grilled, pickled, or straight from a can. Due to their high ferulic acid concentration, water chestnuts are exceptional in that they maintain their crisp texture even after being boiled or canned.
Water chestnuts are favored for stir-fries and as a garnish in many Chinese recipes because of this characteristic. American-Chinese chop suey is one of the most popular dishes made with water chestnuts in the US.
The flavor of fresh water chestnuts is sweeter than that of canned ones. Water chestnuts should be well washed, peeled, and eaten raw if you want to appreciate them. Alternately, steam them and include them in a salad, soup, or stir-fry. Water chestnuts are a popular snack item, especially when pickled or candied.
Additionally, dried water chestnuts can be ground into flour or a thickening ingredient for use in baked goods.
Here are some dishes that incorporate water chestnuts:
Therefore, In stir-fry with hot meats or savory greens, including water chestnut.
Use water chestnut as a lettuce wrap filler.
Moreover, Water chestnut can insert into vegetarian egg rolls.
water chestnut, green beans, and ginger in a sauté
Bake the Bacon-wrapped water chestnut till crispy.
For more crunch, add water chestnut to chicken or tuna salad recipes.
Nutrition Values of Water Chestnuts
- Low in fat
- Low in sodium
- High in potassium
- Rich in minerals, including calcium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus
- Contains moderate amounts of fiber
- Good source of energy
Food Items Made Using Water Chestnut Flour
Water chestnut flour is used to make different dishes and food. Some of the foods are mentioned below.
Water Chestnut Pudding
To make the pudding, full cream milk that is 6 percent fat and 9 percent SNF uses. After boiling the milk for 5 minutes, it allows for cooling to room temperature. The milk combines with water chestnut powder (20%), honey (30%), and cocoa powder (2%). And the mixture cooks for 5–6 minutes while starting constantly stirring until it achieves the consistency of pudding. Before serving, the preparation for pudding is kept to room temperature (25–27°C).
Water Chestnut Cake
The eggs (2 total) were first broken apart and combined quickly to form a foam-like texture in a mixer. After that, the materials combine for 2 minutes add 30 g of butter after which 50g of water chestnut flour, 2g of baking powder, and add 54 g of powdered sugar. After adding guar gum @ 0.5g, the mixture stirrer for 5 minutes. Butter applies to the mold in order to prevent the contents from adhering.
30 minutes of baking and then prepared cake rested at room temperature for 15 minutes to cool. Remove the cake after cooling, wrapped in 100 gauge HDPE airtight packaging, and kept.
Water Chestnut Pasta
Therefore, in the preparation of the pasta, Use durum semolina and chestnut flour (10% semolina replacement). A metal stirrer uses to combine the water chestnut flour and durum semolina in a plastic bowl. Add the Drinking tap water to the mixture, which considers a water content of 30%, and then kneaded to create the dough. The water’s hardness was around 16.5° dH. The mixture places in a plastic bag and left to equilibrate for 24 hours at 4°C in the refrigerator.
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Water Chestnut Bread
After activating the yeast in hot water, wheat flour (97g) and water chestnut flour (3g) add in it. Following the combination of all the ingredients, the resulting dough refrigerates at 37°C for fermentation. After 2.5 hours, the dough removes, banged back to evacuate the additional gases, and then returned to the incubator to ferment. After 30 minutes, the dough removes, knock back, rolled, and form into pans before being left to ferment for an additional 35 minutes.
The pan has heated to 225°C in a bake oven for 30 to 35 minutes. The made bread is removed, allowed to cool, then cut into slices, and kept at room temperature.
Considered to be a good source of nourishment is the water chestnut. The crop has amazing natural qualities, including storage in a dry environment in the form of nuts and flour. However, they have considered a poor man’s diet and are an inexpensive source of food, especially in Indian villages where they have commonly consumed for breakfast. Due to its numerous health advantages, it is a good flour for routine consumption, rich in minerals and fibers, and it helps to treat a number of diseases. If it has used in place of refined wheat flour in foods like biscuits, pasta, cookies, and pizza, these foods will see as healthier alternatives to junk food.