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Information on Water Chestnut

Water chestnuts are an integral part of the traditionalChinese cuisine. Water chestnut is a knobby vegetable which can becharacterized by a brown papery skin and it is actually an aquatic vegetablewhich grows in the marshes. It got its name because it looks a little like achestnut, but it grows in water. It originates from Southeast Asia and it hasbeen cultivated in ancient China all the way to the modern times. The growingseason for water chestnuts lasts for 7 months and needs to be frost free.

Theycan only be grown in tropical and semi-tropical areas and they usually come inbins or in a packaged form. They commonly cannot be purchased in the areas inwhich they are not grown locally.

Most well equipped supermarkets and groceriessell water chestnut in its canned form. When a person chooses fresh waterchestnuts, it is always a good idea to pick those whose skin is not wrinkledand who do not have any soft spots. Soft chestnuts usually turn mushy duringthe peeling process. It is always a good idea to purchase just a few more waterchestnuts than needed, because there is always a possibility of having spoiledones.

Storage and Preparation

Unpeeled water chestnuts can be kept in the refrigerator ina plastic bag for no more than two weeks. The skin needs to be peeled off andthe top needs to be removed before cooking. Canned water chestnuts need to bestored in a dry and cool place and it is always wise to consume within a yearsince the day of purchase.

The water chestnuts need to be placed in a sealedcontainer after opening the can and they should be used during the period of upto three days. Canned water chestnuts always need to rinsed under lukewarm runningwater in order to get rid of the tinny taste which sometimes can becharacteristic for all different types of canned food.

Water chestnuts can beused as a tasty addition to numerous different dishes. Fresh water chestnutsare crisper and sweeter than their canned counterparts, especially when theyare intended for use in various different types of appetizers.

Nutritional Information

Water chestnut is a remarkable source of numerous differentprecious nutrients such as potassium, carbohydrates, fiber and sodium. Oneserving contains approximately 130 calories. Water chestnut may sometimes besubstituted with jicama.

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