Bet you didn’t know that the cucumber isn’t a vegetable or that it’s related to the watermelon… that’s right! What else didn’t you know about the cucumber? Find out…
The Cucumber: Not What You Think
The cucumber is generally treated as a vegetable although it is actually a fruit.
Cucumbers, Melons and Squash
The cucumber is related to the watermelon, zucchini, pumpkin, and other types of squash.
Fresh, Never Frozen
Cucumbers do not freeze well. They become limp and mushy. The best and most nutritious way to enjoy a cucumber is fresh and, ideally, with the skin.
The Bitter End
Cucumbers have a light, mild flavour but the ends can sometimes be rather bitter. For this reason it best to cut the ends off and discard.
A Healthy Choice
While cucumbers may be less nutritious than many other fruits and vegetables, when eaten fresh the cucumber still has a lot to offer. It is a very good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, manganese, folate, dietary fiber and magnesium and the mineral molybdenum. Furthermore, the skin contains sterols, which are compounds believed to lower cholesterol.
The best way to store cucumbers is in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. They typically last about 5 days. They prefer temperatures just above 40°F (the temperature of most refrigerators). Sliced cucumbers can refrigerated in a covered container for 2 days.
It may come as a surprise that cucumbers cook up quite well and actually have more flavour when served warm.
Cucumbers are best when fresh but if have a cucumber that is a little wilted, soaking it in salted ice water for 1 to 2 hours will restore most of it’s crispness.
Cool As A Cucumber
Cucumbers take this phrase seriously. With their high water content they have a uniquely moist and cooling taste.