Cucumbers

cucumber, standard

We grow 3 types of cucumbers: standard green (pictured above), lemon and pickling (all pictured below.)  Lemon cucumbers, appropriately named because they are round and yellow, have the same flavor as a regular cucumber but have a thinner skin and therefore are milder for digestion. They are the perfect size for snacking. The pickling cucumbers are small with a thick skin.  They are obviously great for pickling but are wonderful eaten fresh as well.

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Storage and Preparation:

Cucumbers should be stored at 45-55 degrees.  Unfortunately, they do not store well.  So eat them while you can.  Cucumbers are in abundance when lettuce is sparse, so eat lots of cucumbers.

Recipes:

Refrigerator Pickles

4 c. sugar
4 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. pickling salt
1 1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. celery seed
1 tsp. mustard seed
3 med. onions, sliced thin
30 pickling cucumbers

Mix all ingredients together except the onion and cucumbers. Do not heat, stir until salt and sugar are completely dissolved.
Sterilize jar.
Slice one onion in the bottom of each jar. Slice cucumbers in half to fill the jars. Pour mixture over the cucumbers and onions. Fill to top of the jar. Screw on the lids and refrigerate for at least three days before using. Store in refrigerator after opening.

Makes 3 large 18 ounce jars. Will keep indefinitely.

Instead of onions, I put in a few cloves of garlic. I also made it spicy by adding red pepper flakes.

 

Cucumber Salad

This replaces our greens salads for much of the summer. Serves one. Double or triple it for your family.

2 pickling cucumbers (standards, or lemon may be used), sliced thin
1 tablespoon raw red onion, sliced thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt
3 grinds of pepper.
4 basil leaves, rolled and sliced (chiffonade)
Mix and serve. This is a refreshing treat after picking cucumbers.

 

Cucumber Juice
I learned this from a raw foods demonstration given by the Kind Cafe.

Simply juice cucumbers and apple mint. Any mint will do but apple mint is the mildest. I have also tried anise hyssop and found that to be a nice addition. Cucumber Juice is extremely mild, refreshing, and nutritious.

Other Recipe Ideas:

  • Cucumber Salad with Peaches- Simply add peaches (raw) to your traditional Cucumber Salad. This works with either the yogurt or vinegar variation. Peaches are amazing with a balsamic vinegar base.

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