If you’re like me and decided to plant cucumber this year, it’s likely that you’re currently dealing with a deluge of them. Cucumber plants are an excellent choice for the frugal gardener since just one plant yields a lot of fruit. The tough part is coming up with ways to eat it all! There’s only so much you can share with friends and family. And leaving cukes on the vine too long can cause them to become seedy and tough.
The humble cucumber
Very light tasting, cucumbers are easy to incorporate into a variety of dishes. They’re low calorie and contain a lot of water, but that doesn’t mean they’re not packed with nutrients. The seeds alone contain a variety of healthy phytonutrients. Some interesting studies have also discovered the potential blood sugar regulation effects of cucumber. There are two main varieties: pickling and slicing. The latter type has thicker skin than pickling varieties. Though there’s no reason not to enjoy both varieties fresh.
Cooking with cucumber
Most commonly enjoyed fresh, cucumber tastes delicious sliced or added to salads. Here are a few ideas for eating up your mountain of oblong green veg.
- Sliced cucumber seasoned with salt and pepper
- Cucumber and lemon ice water
- Cucumber tomato salad
- Cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches
- Smoked salmon cucumber bites
- Quick pickled cucumbers
- Cucumber soup
- Cucumber chips
Save money at the grocery store
Heading to a potluck or need a quick side dish idea for tonight’s dinner? Consider all those cucumbers ripening in your garden! Avoid the expensive prepared salads aisle at the grocery store by using cucumber as an ingredient and take advantage of all that garden abundance. Simple cucumber salads are easy to make and don’t require pricey, hard to find ingredients. You won’t need fancy kitchen appliances, either. Still having trouble finding ways to use all those cukes? Find a fellow gardener to trade recipes with, or swap a cucumber or two for something you forgot to plant in your garden.
Steph Coelho is a freelance writer gardening in zone 5b. She is a certified Square Foot Gardener and has taught various garden-related workshops. When she’s not digging in the dirt or writing, she’s cooking up fresh produce, running, or listening to her favorite podcasts.