For those of us who have grown cucumbers in our back yards, we know how crisp and tasty they can be in a lunch or dinner salad.
The thick dark green skin smiles at us saying “I am filled with nutrients”.
Wonderful it is when something tastes really good and is extremely good for us too.
In the case of the cucumber we wouldn’t want to limit our view of their use to just salads. Once we put some thought into it, they are exceptional in the way they provide other uses.
Let’s view a few of them.
Two probably come to mind first.
Salads, salads, salads. We love them with cucumbers.
For what perhaps would be the best taste, have you ever thought about growing them yourself? If you live in a hot climate, that is a very good start.
An expert at bonnieplants.com has some suggestions for growing juicy water filled cucumbers.
“A tropical vegetable, cucumbers thrive when the weather is hot and water is plentiful. Growing cucumbers is for warmer weather: Plants are so frost-tender that they shouldn’t be set into the garden until soil temperatures are reliably in the 70-degree range (no less than 2 weeks after the last frost date).
Cucumbers need warm, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8, although they will tolerate a bit more alkaline soil to 7.6. Work compost or composted manure into soil. Plant seedlings 36 to 60 inches apart, depending on variety (check the stick tag). For vines trained on a trellis, space plants 1 foot apart.
Cucumbers grow fast and don’t demand a lot of care. Just keep the soil consistently moist with an inch of water per week (more if temperatures sizzle and rain is scarce). Inadequate or inconsistent moisture causes oddly shaped or poor-tasting fruit. If possible, water your cucumbers with a soaker hose or drip irrigation to keep the foliage dry. This helps prevent leaf diseases that can ruin the plant.”
Very beneficial information.
The next obvious love for cucumbers is how they turn into some really tasty pickles. There is nothing like a pickle with some zest in it when added to a hamburger. It makes the hamburger really come alive.
With so many pickle manufacturers out there, how do you choose the pickle that is right for you?
It’s a tough job so we went the very simple way.
Go to Walmart.
There we found Famous Dave’s Pickles that look very enticing.
So as to not just rely upon our opinion, we visited influenster.com for some reviews.
Here are a few:
- Oh my word…these are some of the best pickles I have ever had. I love pickles and after having these, run of the mill pickles just will not do! They have just enough kick in them but not too much that you can’t enjoy them by themselves or in sandwiches
- Hands down best pickles!!! I don’t usually want pickles but as soon as i see these i want to eat the whole jar. I get the huge jars from Costco/Sam’s Club and put them on sandwiches and they’re great with bbq. That sweetness mixed with a little heat is perfect!
- I used to hate pickles until I became pregnant, then I tried these. 18 months later, these are a staple in my pantry. I absolutely love the spiciness of these pickles! They’re so, so, so, good.
- I love these pickles! They are very spicy and add a nice kick to sandwiches and burgers. If you like spicy foods and you love pickles, you will definitely love Dave’s.
Okay, we’re convinced. Famous Dave’s Pickles in definitely one way to go.
Now you make think that you can do it better yourselves. Perhaps you’re right. If you have already considered making pickles but don’t know where to begin, who better to explain to us how to make pickles than the entertainment mogul Rachael Ray?
Rachael Ray is an American television personality, businesswoman, celebrity cook, and author.
Here are her suggestions at foodnetwork.com on making your own pickles. “Heat small saucepan over medium high heat. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, and garlic to the pan and cook until it begins to simmer and sugar dissolves. Toss the dill, bay leaf, and sliced cucumbers together in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the simmering liquid over the cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Allow to cool to room temperature or chill before serving.”
Okay, now you’re all set.
Next, this may take some getting used to but have you ever sipped Cucumber juice?[adToAppearHere]
Many have. At livestrong.com they share some thoughts of the benefits of doing so. “Drinking cucumber juice can provide you with a good quantity of vitamin A.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture – National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, cucumber juice that comes from raw cucumber either peeled or unpeeled contains 86 to 109 IU of vitamin A per serving.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant that plays an important role in helping you with your eyesight, bone growth, reproduction and cell division. Vitamin A that comes from plant sources are called pro-vitamin A carotenoid, while those that come from animal sources are called preformed vitamin A. Sufficient amounts of vitamin A can also help promote healthy and intact surface lining in the eyes, respiratory tract, urinary tract and gastrointestinal tract.”
After reviewing that, now we know where to obtain a great source of vitamin A.
Staying with the benefits of eating cucumbers, at care2.com they educate that cucumbers:
- Keeps you hydrated. …
- Fights heat, both inside and out. …
- Flushes out toxins. …
- Nourishes you with vitamins. …
- Supplies skin-friendly minerals: magnesium, potassium, silicon. …
- Aids in weight loss. …
- Revives the eyes. …
- Cuts cancer risk.
Let’s take this to a whole other level.[adToAppearHere]
There are entire industries that feel a cucumber facial mask will make your skin look better. When we look at the makeup of the cucumber which is mostly water that makes sense.
Still, why don’t we at least allow one industry source to tell the story?
The giant beauty and cosmetics retail ulta.com who houses and comes into contact with many facial and skincare manufacturers had this to say about Freeman Feelings Beautiful Cucumber “Facial Peel-Off Mask, “A super-cooling, skin-quenching mask that gently peels away impurities that can cause skin to be rough and dull. Contains Cucumber Extract and Aloe to soothe while moisturizing, ensuring skin feels soft and silky-smooth after every use. Perfect for normal to combination skin.”[adToAppearHere]
More and more we are loving the cucumber experience.
It tastes so great in salads and as we’ve just reviewed, this powerful food, with the ability to provide us with myriads of other health benefits is turning us green with positive envy.
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