Whether you are a home gardener or just an avid cucumber aficionado, sometimes you may find yourself with a surplus of these bright green gourd fruits. Thankfully, different types of cucumbers are suited to many different uses. From tangy relishes and cooling beverages to flavorful soups and healthy snacks, you won’t believe how many innovative ideas come from having too much cuke! Make the most of your harvest (or grocery store scores) with these eight creative ways to use up your extra cucumbers!
1. Slice Them
Some types of cucumbers are simply divinely designed for slicing. They create perfect O’s with a sweet center and crunchy ring. A cuke salad with vinegar, salt, and dill is the most common use for sliced cucumbers – but why not shake things up? Sliced cucumbers can be tossed into any salad, pairing well with leafy greens, tomatoes, onions, chickpeas, cheese, and more. For instance, try making an Asian cucumber salad with a dressing of soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and ginger.
Aside from salads, sliced cucumbers also work well as a topping. Load them onto cottage cheese for a healthy breakfast, roll them into a maki sushi roll, or chop them into a tzatziki sauce. Believe it or not, cucumbers even taste delicious in a stir fry!
2. Pickle Them
A sandwich without pickles is like pie without whipped cream. Some cucumber varieties are best suited to pickling due to their relatively uniform size and shape. If you have extra Long English, mini or cocktail cucumbers, pickle them with dill, white vinegar and mustard for a savory delight. Try chopping your pickling cucumbers very finely to make your own relish!
Pickling requires canning equipment, all of which you can get for under $200. Then, you’ll be able to eat pickled and canned food cheaply for the rest of your life.
3. Whip Up Smoothies
Smoothies have become quite popular in the past decade because they allow you to get a full day’s worth of vitamins and minerals from one delicious milkshake-like drink. It’s easy to jam-pack them full of nutritious fruits and vegetables of all kinds – even some that may surprise you!
Cucumbers are an excellent addition to any smoothie because they blend easily due to their high water content. If you’re not a fan of dark leafy green in your smoothies due to too much bitterness, cucumbers may be a fantastic alternative. Blend your cucumbers with apples, ginger, bananas, milk, peanut butter, and protein powder for a high-quality post-workout snack.
4. Hydrate With Agua Fresca & Spa Water
If you like the sound of healthy smoothie drinks, you’ll probably also fall in love with agua fresca and spa water. Agua fresca is similar to a smoothie in that you blend all ingredients into a smooth liquid. However, agua fresca differs because it does not consist of milk products, generally sticking with fresh fruit and herbs. Try blending your cucumbers with lime juice, agave, mint, and watermelon for a hardcore hydration and flavor boost in the summer.
Meanwhile, spa water is another ultra-hydrating drink using only fruit and herbs. The main difference is that spa water does not blend the ingredients into a smooth, consistent liquid. Instead, the fruits and herbs are simply added to a glass of water as flavor enhancers. Try slicing your cucumbers and adding them to a carafe of water with mint, lemon, and rosemary for a drink that will make you look forward to hitting your daily water goal.
5. Mix A Fancy Cocktail
As we’ve seen so far, making beverages is a highly versatile option when finding unique ways to use up cucumbers. However, the saga doesn’t stop with smoothies, agua fresca, and spa water. Adult beverages are another fantastic sip-worthy outlet for your cucumber madness. Slice up some cucumbers with melon for a martini with vodka and dry vermouth. You can also pair them in a specialty gin and tonic. Try blending cucumbers with mint, lime juice, cayenne, and tequila for a hot and cool margarita. Or, dunk them directly into your favorite mojito recipe as an add-on. The possibilities for making cucumber-based cocktails are as open as your imagination!
6. Make Frozen Snacks
While you can freeze whole cucumbers, they will be soggy and less flavorful upon defrosting. If you do want to freeze them for use year-round, there is a better way to do it. Grab a tray of popsicle molds during your next trip to the store. Blend your cucumbers with your choice of fruit and sweetener, plus coconut water and some lime or lemon juice. Fill the popsicle molds with the blended goodness, stick them in the freezer, and enjoy! Remember to save a few for Fido. Cucumber popsicles also make a healthy and exciting treat for dogs. Read more about the best inventory management software apps sarkepo
7. DIY Skin-care
Did you know that cucumbers have non-edible uses, too? In fact, cucumbers are known for their ability to soothe, cool, and hydrate the skin. For instance, you can apply the slices to your eyes to help reduce puffiness and dark circles or to sunburns as a soothing poultice. Experiment with making your own toners, lotions, face masks, and soaps, too. If you have an overactive garden and are up to your neck in cucumbers, a smart move might be to make a side hustle out of selling homemade cucumber skin-care products.
With so many creative and enjoyable ways to use up extra cucumbers, there’s no need to let anything go to waste. Whether you pickle or slice them, make beverages or even soaps – the possibilities are plentiful. Not only are cucumbers an affordable and delicious ingredient in their own right, but cucumbers are also a great source of nutrition. You can check here how to invest money in an online business starting from scratch and succeed imujio. Among many health benefits, they are known for helping with hydration and vitamin C absorption and make an excellent source of vitamin K, antioxidants, and fiber. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with these eight unusual ideas. Your health will thank you in the long run!