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Cucumber

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Cucumber

• Slicing, pickling, and burpless are the three basic varieties of cucumbers. We bet you’ve never encountered an orange cucumber, but they do exist, along with white and yellow kinds.

• The cucumbers that we eat fresh are slicing cucumbers, which are unripe and green. When ripe, it’ll turn yellow and become bitter and sour. Although any cucumber can be pickled, commercial pickles are made from cucumbers specially bred for pickling.

• Compared to slicers, picklers tend to be shorter, thicker, less regularly shaped, and color can vary from creamy yellow to pale or dark green. Pickling cucumbers are sometimes sold fresh as “Kirby” or “Liberty” cucumbers.

• Cucumbers are originally from Southern Asia and belong to the cucurbitaceae family, which also includes squash, pumpkins and melons.

How-to Videos

Seasonality

Mar -Nov

Selection & Storage

• Select firm, plump cucumbers with relatively smooth green skin.

• Avoid cucumbers that have puckered water spots or are shriveled on the ends.

• Store cucumbers in the the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for about a week.

• After cutting into a cucumber, wrap the cut surface tightly with plastic wrap to keep fresh.

Cooking Tips

Whip up a smooth and cool yogurt dip with chopped cucumber, dill, lemon, and garlic to pair with grilled vegetables and seafood, or to serve as a dip with toasted pita.
Incorporate cucumbers into your mixed libations. Cucumber pairs particularly well with Pimms, gin, and vodka.

Clever Uses

• Cucumbers are rumored to be a hangover buster due to nutrients like B vitamins, electrolytes, and high water content. Nibble on a few slices before bed and wake up feeling better than you otherwise would have!

• Turn your kitchen into a zen-like mini spa by boiling a pot of water with a chopped cucumber. The soothing aroma will quell your stress.

Health Benefits

Both the seeds and the skin have more vitamins and nutrients than cucumber flesh. Eat them for a boost, but watch out for wax coatings sometimes found on conventional cucumbers, and stick to peeling those.

Cucumbers are unusually high in vitamin K, which is critical for bone health. Turns out it’s not all about that calcium!

Food Science

• Ever wondered about the origins of the phrase “cool as a cucumber”? Cucumbers have a legitimate ability to cool the blood and reduce swelling and inflammation in the skin.

• The phytochemicals in cucumbers are strong enough to bust bad breath. Simply pop a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth for 30 seconds.

Corrections or improvements? Email us at

content@sidechef.com

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