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Can You Freeze Water Chestnuts?

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By Ross Young

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If you’re looking to work some more nutrients into your meal without altering its taste a great deal, water chestnuts are the perfect addition. They’re rich in nutrients and have multiple health benefits, but they have a relatively light flavour. But what’s the best way to keep them?

Can You Freeze Water Chestnuts?

Yes, you can freeze water chestnuts for up to 6 months. You can freeze them raw or cooked, before or after peeling them. You will need to rinse and dry the water chestnuts before adding them to a freezer-safe bag and placing them in the freezer. 

Do Water Chestnuts Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Water Chestnuts? Yes

How to Freeze Water Chestnuts

Freezing water chestnuts is an excellent way of keeping them for a longer period of time. So, if you’ve been out in nature picking water chestnuts, you can preserve them for much longer by freezing them.

The good news is that freezing water chestnuts is easy, as we explain below: 

  1. Rinse and Dry
    Your first task is to rinse your water chestnuts. Place them in a colander and run them under the cold tap for around thirty seconds. Once rinsed, pat them dry with a paper towel and leave them to one side. 
  2. Peel (Optional)
    If you like, you can peel the water chestnuts before freezing them, but it depends on how you plan to use them. This step is optional, so you don’t have to peel them if you don’t want to. 
  3. Bag Up
    Place the water chestnuts in a suitably sized freezer-safe bag or container. Leave an inch or so of space at the top of the bag and press out as much air as you can before sealing. 
  4. Label and freeze
    Write today’s date and the use-by date on the front of the bag and place the water chestnuts in the freezer. Remember, you can freeze water chestnuts for around six months.

3 Tips for Freezing Water Chestnuts

Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing water chestnuts to have the best results:

Cook Beforehand
You can also freeze water chestnuts after cooking them. If you do this, you will need to allow them sufficient time to cool before bagging them up. Remove the chestnuts from the oven and place them on a tray before leaving them at room temperature for at least an hour before bagging them up.

Add Lemon Juice
If you freeze raw water chestnuts, it can be helpful to add one teaspoon of lemon juice to the bag before sealing. This will prevent them from discolouring during the freezing process. While not an essential step, it’s certainly useful to know.

Store in the Fridge Instead
Water chestnuts can also be kept in the fridge. The best way to preserve them is to add them to a bowl of water before covering them with cling film. Providing you change the water every few days, water chestnuts will be good in the fridge for around two weeks.

How Long Can You Freeze Water Chestnuts?

You can freeze raw water chestnuts for around six months. However, if you cook them first, they will be good in the freezer for up to one year.

Given that water chestnuts are very much seasonal keeping them in the freezer ensures you have a supply to use in the kitchen throughout the year.

However, if you’re planning to use your water chestnuts within a few days, you can add them to water and keep them in the fridge for up to one week.

You Can Freeze Water Chestnuts for up to 6 Months

How Do You Defrost Water Chestnuts?

The day before you plan to cook the water chestnuts, remove them from the freezer and place them in the fridge. This will give them sufficient time to thaw.

If you’re in a rush and forget to remove them the night before, you can defrost water chestnuts at room temperature.

It’s a good idea to check your recipe before thawing them, as you might be able to use water chestnuts from frozen, which saves you a step.

Can You Refreeze Water Chestnuts?

Yes, you can refreeze water chestnuts that you have thawed in the fridge.

Just be mindful that the texture of water chestnuts is likely to change a little once you refreeze them. This is due to the ice crystals that form during the freezing process, and it may cause your water chestnuts to lose some of their crunch if you freeze them more than once.

Do Water Chestnuts Freeze Well?

Generally, water chestnuts freeze really well. It’s helpful to know that you can freeze them raw, cooked, peeled, or unpeeled, giving you much more flexibility in the kitchen.

You can also freeze water chestnuts that you’ve picked yourself or those that come pre-packaged from the supermarket. Overall, water chestnuts do really well in the freezer.

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