Marinated in coconut aminos and balsamic vinegar, these Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts appetizers are a beautiful balance of sweet, salty and crunchy. They are Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free and Paleo too!
Originally Published Dec 15, 2015;
Updated February 13, 2018
This has been one of my longtime favorite recipes. Whenever there is a dinner party, a holiday or a potluck at work, I go for this recipe first as my contribution. For many reasons, but mostly because there is just no way to beat the ease and flavor of this combination. Seriously, there's only FIVE ingredients to this.
If you're like me, you've seen hundreds or thousands of recipes involving bacon wrapped whatever such as bacon wrapped asparagus or bacon wrapped shrimp. Then there's the ever popular (and probably most common) bacon wrapped dates, which are so unbelievable. Although, I do find them a bit too sweet to eat regularly. I wanted to develop a recipe that gave that same satisfaction with a bit less sweet and a lot more crunch. Bacon wrapped water chestnuts were my answer. The bacon plays off the crunch of the water chestnuts which are soaked and then rolled in "sugar" for some sweetness
Traditionally, these bite sized snacks are made using a combination of ingredients that really aren't paleo friendly, like soy sauce and brown sugar. It was vital to me that these be Paleo compliant but maintain a good flavor. For the first round, I switched out the soy sauce for coconut aminos and the brown sugar for coconut sugar, but it was still missing....something. A few attempts later, I found what it needed. Balsamic vinegar! You don't need a lot to do the trick, just enough to give it a little touch of sweet but tart.
The first time I made these for people other than myself and my boyfriend to eat was Thanksgiving. I made a double batch for the whole group thinking that would be enough. Holy hell was I wrong. These were demolished in the first 20 minutes. I was a little sad I didn't have them to munch on for the next hour, but ultimately it was such a good thing. My family is full of different dietary needs and standards. While I eat Paleo, there are some of them that are low carb, some are low sugar, some are low fat, some are just really freaking picky eaters. It can take a lot for us all to agree on one thing. For example, the main holiday meal last year consisted of three different types of meat just so everyone could have something they liked. It's so unbelievably accommodating and I love my family for it, but I was beyond happy to finally have nailed a recipe that everyone wanted to get their fingers on.
Next time you're on the hunt for the perfect appetizer or small bites addition to your party, family gathering or even weeknight dinner consider trying these Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts. They're sure to please every person attending, whether they are paleo, gluten free or not!