This vegetable may sound nutty but actually water chestnuts are nothing like a nut at all.
Some people do panic and avoid eating any foods with ‘nut’ in the title when they have a nut allergy but you should be able to eat water chestnuts without any problems. If you do have any kind of reaction, bear in mind that anyone can be allergic to anything these days. Seek medical advice if you are at all worried.
But the short a simple answer is no, you should not avoid water chestnuts – they have absolutely nothing to do with nuts apart from sharing the scary name.
What is a water chestnut?
- The tuber of a tropical sedge that is widely used in Asian cooking, its white flesh remaining crisp after cooking.
- The sedge (Eleocharis tuberosa) that yields this tuber, which is cultivated in flooded fields in Southeast Asia.
So they are just the roots of an aquatic plant which grows in Asia and Australia and the only nutty thing about them is that they kind of resemble a chestnut in colour and shape but that’s it.
Water chestnuts are not nuts at all!
They are not a nut and not related to chestnuts in any way.
I couldn’t find any references to water chestnut allergy on the internet and Food Allergy Research & Education list them as most definitely NOT a nut in this information about tree nut allergy.
Can you eat water chestnuts?
Do you eat them? Or do you avoid them?
Or are you in fact allergic to them?
They do make a lovely addition to a stir fry with some bamboo shoots!
I made bacon wrapped water chestnuts for a party and only thought to look this up after. Thank you. Happy New year.
Ruth Holroyd says
Happy New Year to you too! Hope it’s a good one
This was really helpful! I am allergic to all nuts except coconut and now water chestnuts!
Kathleen TARANTO says
Thank you, I am so sick of all these recipes suggesting nuts by all chefs and dieticians.. We have anaphalaxis in our family which developed in their teenage years, I now can use a delicious recipe with a clear conscience.
Ruth Holroyd says
Lots of nut free recipes out there! Stay safe and thanks for the comment.