Can You Freeze Water Chestnuts?

Can You Freeze Water Chestnuts?

Water chestnuts are a popular vegetable and a great addition to lots of dishes such as stir fry and Chinese Curry. If you have an abundance of these delicious aquatic vegetables you might be wondering whether you can freeze water chestnuts.

What Are Water Chestnuts?

Water chestnuts are not actually a nut, but a type of vegetable which is found across Asia, parts of Africa and Oceania. They grow underwater in marshes and muddy areas.

What Do Water Chestnuts Taste Like?

Water Chestnuts taste sweet and nutty but lose some of this flavour during cooking. The flavour isn’t strong enough to overwhelm the dish they are being used for.

Can You Freeze Water Chestnuts?

The answer to the question ‘Can you freeze water chestnuts’ is yes…….BUT.

Like many vegetables, and as the name might suggest, water chestnuts have a high water content, which means freezing them isn’t the best idea.

While you can freeze water chestnuts, freezing can impact the texture. More often than not, once defrosted the water chestnuts are softer and lose some or all of their crunchiness.

Water chestnuts actually keep quite well in the fridge, so freezing should only really be a last resort if you won’t use and them and don’t want them to go to waste.

Can You Freeze Canned Water Chestnuts?

Canned water chestnuts do not freeze well at all and tend to go very mushy after freezing so I would not recommend freezing them.

Canned water chestnuts will keep in the fridge for several days after being opened though so this should give you a few days to get them used up without the need for freezing.

How To Freeze Water Chestnuts

Water chestnuts can be frozen either raw or cooked. They can also be frozen either peeled or unpeeled so you’ll need to decide which of these combinations works best for you before freezing.

To blanch the water chestnuts before freezing simply place them into a pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Cool under running water and peel if required. Ensure they are cold before freezing.

If freezing water chestnuts while still raw, give them a good wash first discarding any that are damaged or bruised. Cover with water, add a TBSP of lemon juice and leave for 5 minutes before draining to prevent discolouration during the freezing process.

  1. Once you’ve prepared your water chesnuts using whichever method suits you best, place them in a freezer container, plastic bag, allowing space around the top for them to expand while freezing.
  2. Label and date the water chestnuts so you know when they need to be used up by and place them in the freezer.

How Long Do Water Chestnuts Last In The Freezer?

Raw water chestnuts last for around six months in the freezer. Cooked water chestnuts last for up to a year. After these times the water chestnuts may start to diminish in quality.

How To Defrost Water Chestnuts

Water chestnuts should be defrosted in the fridge overnight. This will stop them from entering the danger zone for bacteria to breed while they defrost which can sometimes happen when food is defrosted on the countertop.

The bigger the portion of water chestnuts, the longer they will need to thaw. Allow up to 48 hours for a particularly large portion.

How To Reheat Water Chestnuts

Once your water chestnuts have been defrosted you can use them as you usually would in any recipe. Always ensure they are piping hot before serving.

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