Cucumbers are super healthy and will benefit your body in so many ways. They are a great source of vitamin B, potassium and magnesium. They are also super low in calories. All of which are part of the reason I planted a couple of extra cucumber plants. Ok, four. I planted four extra!
While thinking about what I was going to write about cucumbers, the phrase “Cool as a cucumber” popped into my head. I was curious about the origin of the phrase, so I looked it up.
Evidently, even in the heat of a summer day, the inside of a cucumber is up to 20° cooler than the air temperature. The phrase dates back to 1732, to a poem by John Gay and it means “not bothered by heat, stress, or exertion”.
So now we know!
We were finally able to start harvesting from our Container Garden the last couple of weeks. Surprisingly, it was mostly cucumbers. Figures, because I hadn’t planned on canning much in the way of pickles. I searched online for ideas, but found little inspiration. There are just so few options calling for cucumbers. Guess I’ll be making pickles and pickle relish afterall later this summer.
So for now, I’ll stick with my usual standbys.
9 Easy Ideas for When You Have
an Abundance of Cucumbers
- Definitely in a tossed green salad. Shredded on top would be a nice change.
- Serve fresh slices with a yogurt based vegetable dip. Healthy & Easy!
- Chopped and added to a pasta salad. Delicious addition!
- To make a hydrating detox drink, fill a quart jar with filtered water, add a few cucumber slices, a few strawberries, and maybe a little lemon juice and a couple of mint leaves. Chill overnight. Add ice and this makes for a refreshing drink on a hot summer day!
- Keep a few smaller ones washed and ready, standing in an open jar in the fridge for a crunchy “Grab & Go” snack.
- For a delicious snack, shred cucumbers (either peeled or unpeeled, and if you don’t want the seeds in it, slice the cucumber length-wise and scoop out seeds before shredding). Let drain in a strainer for at least an hour, then stir into a bowl with a large block of softened cream cheese and 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped mint leaves. Chill for at least an hour. Spread on snack crackers. Unfortunately, this spread needs to be consumed within a few hours after mixing together, as it tends to get watery.
- Spread softened cream cheese on a slice of bread, then a layer of really thin sliced cucumbers. I like to sprinkle finely chopped fresh mint leaves on the cream cheese before adding the cucumbers. Top with another slice of bread. Cut off the crusts, if desired. Cut each sandwich into 4 triangles and then chill the sandwiches for at least an hour for a tasty little treat. Lay them on a paper towel on plate or tray and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Oh, my gosh….so yummy!
- Make a Creamy Cucumber Salad. (In yellow bowls above) Recipe below.
- Make Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles. Recipe below.
Creamy Cucumber Salad
This salad is a nice change from the vinegar based salad. I made it for dinner the other night, without the tomatoes.
- 2 medium cucumbers, 1/4″ slices
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp dried Dill weed (or 1/8 – 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill)
- Optional: 1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half) or 1 cup tomato chunks
Mix yogurt, vinegar, mayonnaise, sugar, salt & pepper, and dill together until smooth. Stir in the cucumber slices, onion slices and tomatoes.
Chill for a few hours or overnight.
Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles
Technically, these are pickles, but they make a wonderful little vinegar based cucumber side salad, too!
- 4 – 5 medium cucumbers, sliced (peeled if desired)
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- To make the brine, stir together water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add sliced cucumbers and onions.
- Put into jars (4 pints or 2 quarts) and refrigerate overnight.
To make these super simple, shake the brine ingredients together in one quart jar, then pour half of the brine into another quart jar. Layer the sliced cucumbers and sliced onions in the jars until the jars are full.
Serve chilled. These will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Enjoy these cool and refreshing cucumber ideas!