Water chestnuts, often found in Asian dishes, are not nuts but aquatic tubers packed with health benefits. To ensure you get the most nutrition and avoid drawbacks, it’s crucial to prepare and enjoy them wisely. You can consume water chestnuts in various ways. What sets them apart is their unique ability to maintain their crispness, even when cooked or canned, thanks to the presence of ferulic acid. This article discusses whether water chestnuts are good for health and the healthiest way to eat water chestnuts.
Is water chestnut good for health?
Indeed, water chestnuts are actively considered a healthy addition to one’s diet. Water chestnuts have many benefits. They are low in calories and high in fibre, aiding in weight management and digestion. Rich in vitamins like B6 and essential minerals like potassium and manganese, they contribute to overall health. Water chestnuts also offer antioxidants, which help protect your cells from damage. Plus, their virtually fat-free content makes them heart-friendly. While they provide numerous health benefits, it’s important to consume them in moderation alongside a well-balanced diet to maximise their advantages.
How to eat water chestnuts?
In India, water chestnuts are primarily consumed during the winter season, especially during festivals like Diwali and Navratri. Water chestnuts or ‘Singhara‘ are an essential part of the Indian diet, particularly for those who observe fasting during various festivals. Here are some common ways water chestnuts are enjoyed in India:
Singhare ki Puri: Water chestnut flour actively forms the base for making puris (deep-fried bread). Individuals fasting during festivals actively prefer these puris and often serve them alongside potato or yoghurt.
Singhara Halwa: Water chestnut flour actively serves as the key ingredient in preparing a sweet halwa (pudding) that is flavoured with ghee, sugar, and cardamom. It’s a favourite dessert during fasting periods.
Singhara Paratha: Using water chestnut flour, one can prepare paranthas (flatbreads) that actively incorporate spiced mashed potatoes, providing a hearty and filling meal option.
Singhare ke Pakode: To make crispy pakoras (fritters), you can actively coat water chestnut slices in gram flour (besan) batter and deep-fry them. These are a popular snack during festivals.
Singhara Atta: Water chestnut flour actively thickens gravies and curries, imparting them with a unique texture.
Can you eat water chestnut raw?
Yes. You can eat water chestnuts raw. They have a pleasant, crisp texture and a mildly sweet flavour when eaten fresh. Many people enjoy slicing or chopping them and adding them to salads for an extra crunch. Raw water chestnuts are a popular choice for adding a refreshing element to salads, especially during the summer months. Just remember to peel them before consumption to remove the outer skin, which can be tough and fibrous.
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