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Cucumbers

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Preview of Cucumber

Available

July 30 - September 30

Harvest Period

July 30 - September 15

Cucumbers belong to the same family as watermelon, zucchini, pumpkin, and other types of squash. They were very popular in the ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, where people used cucumbers not only as a food but also as a remedy to heal skin irritations and swelling.

What to Look For

Cucumbers should be firm and heavy for their size, rounded at the edges, and medium to dark green. Avoid cucumbers that are yellow, puffy, sunken or wrinkled at their ends.

English-style cucumbers are individually sealed in plastic to protect their delicate dark green skin as well as to prevent moisture loss.

Cleaning and Preparation

While unwaxed cucumbers (in-season or English-style) do not need to be peeled, they should be washed before cutting. Conventionally grown cucumbers that are transported long distances are often waxed to protect their fragile skin from bruising during shipping.These cucumbers should always be peeled before consuming as the wax ingredients are not edible.

The seeds of the cucumber are edible and nutritious but can be removed for aesthetic reasons by slicing the vegetable lengthwise and running the tip of a spoon gently down the center.

Storage

Cucumbers should be stored in the refrigerator where they will keep for several days. If you do not use the entire cucumber during one meal, wrap the remainder tightly in plastic or place it in a sealed container so that it does not lose moisture.

Nutritional Information

While the flesh of cucumbers is primarily composed of water, it also provides a good source of vitamins C, A, and K.  The hard skin is a source of fibre and contains a variety of beneficial minerals including silica, molybdenum, potassium and magnesium.

½ cup (52g) of sliced, unpeeled cucumber provides 8 calories, 0g fat, 1.9g carbohydrate, 0.3g dietary fibre, and 0.3g protein.

How to Use

Fresh crisp cucumbers are most often eaten raw in salads, dips and sandwiches. They can also be cut into ½” slices and used in place of crackers for cheese spreads, seafood, and chutneys.