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Product Spotlight: Cucumbers

Cucumbers are the perfect summer snack! Cucumbers are made up of around 96% water, their rich water content can help you stay hydrated during the August heat. Cucumbers can add the perfect crunch to any salad or can be a great easy swap for chips when enjoying your favorite dips! 

How to Choose

When choosing cucumbers, it is important to know the different kinds you may find both in store and at your local Oklahoma farmers market

Varieties of Cucumbers

Garden Cucumbers

Garden cucumbers are the most common variety. Garden cucumbers are darker and thicker than English cucumbers, they have a slightly bitter flavor when eaten with the skin. These are also the most common variety to make pickles with!

English Cucumbers

English cucumbers are a lighter green with thin skin. They have small seeds and a mild flavor. Sometimes called “hot house” and often found wrapped in thin, tight plastic at the grocery store.

Armenian Cucumbers

While technically not a cucumber, they can certainly be enjoyed as one! Armenian cucumbers are melons that take the shape of a long, curled cucumber. With a mildly sweet taste, thin skin, and hardly any seeds, they are delicious when enjoyed by themselves! 

Armenian cucumbers are a farmers market gem. If you find them, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity! You can find a list of SNAP accepting farmers markets here.

When selecting any cucumber, you want to choose cucumbers that don’t bend easily. Look for medium to dark green skin, and avoid any yellowing, wrinkled skin, and soft spots. 

How to Store

Wash and dry cucumbers before storing them. Wrap in a clean dish or paper towel and place them inside an open plastic bag. Refrigerate on the middle shelf towards the front. Crisper drawers can be too cold for cucumbers. Make sure to keep cucumbers away from bananas, apples, and melons. These fruits produce a hormone that can cause cucumbers to ripen and spoil quickly. 

How to Prepare

Cucumbers are easy to prepare, just rinse and wash before using. Fresh cucumber can be sliced and added to any salad, sandwich, or wrap to provide some extra crunch! 

Need some ideas? Here are some recipes with just enough of their perfect crunch!

Curried Egg Salad & Cucumber Sandwiches

Crisp Cucumber and Watermelon Salad

Chicken Ranch Pitas

Summer Cucumber Dill Salad

You can also pickle cucumbers to make your own pickles! Combine 2 cups sliced cucumber, ½ cup water, ½ cup vinegar, 2 peeled and smashed garlic cloves, and 1 ½ tsp salt in a sealable container. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve. 

Cucumber Nutrition

Cucumbers are rich in water and a great source of different vitamins like vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium. Vitamin K aids in blood clotting, which helps us heal from cuts and wounds. Potassium helps to keep your body’s fluid regulated. Potassium and magnesium both help regulate your muscle contractions and nerve function. These nutrients help regulate your blood pressure and support your immune system.  

Summary

Cucumbers are in season from May to August and are easy to find at your local farmer’s market! It is rich in water and packed with nutrients to provide the perfect crunchy summer snack! Try it in one of our ONIE recipes, or add it to your favorite salad or sandwich. What is your favorite dish to add cucumber to? Let us know in the comments!

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