…. Cucumbers. Oh I can just hear the jokes from my brothers-in-law now…..
A few weeks ago we went to a lovely brunch where, among other yummy things, the bagels & cream cheese were accompanied by sliced onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Something I had seen before, but never really tried until that day. SO GOOD!! Since then, both Bill’s and my bagel-eating habits have changed for good.
There’s just something about the flavor of a cucumber that’s so incredibly fresh, clean, and both subtle and significant at the same time. Have you ever walked into a room where someone is slicing fresh cucumbers? The smell is so light but it fills the room. Perfect for a springtime snack.
So we’ve added cucumbers to our weekly grocery list- or, I should say, MORE cucumbers, since we’ve always enjoyed them on our salad. Now that we’re having them almost every morning on our bagels, we’ve had to kick up our order at the local Produce Junction.
I noticed at a spa once they put seeded cucumbers in a pitcher of ice water. It intrigued me at the time, but I have yet to try it. I also like them added to salsa, gazpacho, and just by themselves. Maybe snacking on more cucumbers will help me kick the sugar binge I’ve been on since Easter…
Want to know more about cucumbers? (C’mon. you know you do!) Here are a few facts*:
- The inner temperature of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside air.
- Cucumbers were believed to have originated in India and spread through Greece and Italy. They made their way into North America agriculture by the mid-16 century.
- “Cukes” belong to the same family as pumpkins, zucchini, watermelon and other squashes.
- The flesh of cucumbers is primarily composed of water but also contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling. Cucumbers’ hard skin is rich in fiber and contains a variety of beneficial minerals including silica, potassium and magnesium.
- Cucumbers should be long and slender for best quality. They should be a nice green in color, either dark or light, but not yellow. Purchase only firm cucumbers and refrigerate. Available all year. Large cucumbers are usually not the better ones and may be pithy.
- Do not store cucumbers near fruits, many fruit surfaces may contain ethylene gas to enhance ripening and looks. This will cause the seeds to become hard.
- Cucumbers have the highest water content of any vegetable and have only 13 calories per 3-1/2 ounce serving.
Have a great day, everyone!