Cucumber is a fruit that you can enjoy in a variety of different dishes.
You can also just eat it on its own, such as on really hot days when you need hydration. Cucumbers are made up of 96 percent water, while being low in calories and a good source of nutrients.
What nutrients are in cucumbers?
Cucumbers contain a variety of nutrients, such as Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and fiber to keep you regular.
If you love eating cucumbers, you might not finish them in one sitting or use a whole cucumber in a recipe. That’s why it can be useful to store your cucumbers. Here’s how to keep sliced cucumbers fresh.
Health Benefits Of Cucumbers
We’ve already mentioned that cucumbers have some important nutrients, but what are their other health benefits?
Here’s what to know about cucumber health benefits.
They are high in water content
As mentioned earlier, cucumbers are mainly made up of water. While you should drink lots of water, eating water-rich foods are also good to help you stay hydrated.
They contain antioxidants
Antioxidants, such as flavonoids which are present in cucumbers, protect the body against free radicals, therefore protecting you against oxidative stress that can lead to health conditions like arthritis, cancer, and others.
They reduce your blood pressure
Cucumbers contain potassium, a nutrient which is known for reducing blood pressure. Potassium relaxes tension in the blood vessel walls, which helps to increase blood circulation and this also helps to lower your blood pressure.
They are high in fiber
The calories in cucumber are mainly as a result of its fiber content, which not only keeps you regular but it’s good for your digestive health. Fiber also helps you to manage high cholesterol and diabetes.
They are low in calories
If you want a quick snack during the day, you should reach for cucumbers. Just half a cup of cucumbers contains eight calories! This also makes them ideal for adding to other foods.
They are low glycemic index foods
Since cucumbers have a low glycemic index, they don’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike. This, therefore, makes them a healthy fruit to eat if you want to better manage your blood sugar.
How Long Can You Keep Cucumbers In The Fridge?
Cucumbers usually have a waxy layer on their surface that ensures they can be stored in the fridge for a few days.
But you shouldn’t try to keep cucumbers in the fridge for longer than that because they spoil quickly.
How To Keep Cucumber Slices Fresh
The problem with cut cucumbers is that they become dry and deteriorate after they’ve been sliced.
This means that you have to ensure you store cut cucumbers in the right way to prevent this from happening.
- Only cut the amount you need. Instead of cutting too many cucumbers, you should only cut the amount of slices for what you will need, such as if you’re going to be adding them to sandwiches or salads.
- Wrap the rest of the cucumber in a paper towel. Then, put it in an airtight container to keep the cut cucumber fresh. Ensure you store the container in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
- Place cucumber slices in the middle of a paper towel. Fold the towel’s edges over so that you completely cover the slices. Then, place the paper towel inside a plastic bag. You should leave the bag open at the top to prevent the slices from becoming soft or mushy as it ensures moisture can be released.
Where To Store Cucumber Slices In The Fridge
You should put your cucumber slices in the warmest part of your fridge, which is in the crisper or vegetable drawer.
This is because cucumbers don’t fare well in very cold temperatures. If you store them at temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, after three days they will start to spoil, so you want to avoid that.
Make sure you keep your cucumber slices away from fruits that produce ethylene. This is a gas produced by fruits such as bananas, peaches, apples, and pears. It causes cucumbers to deteriorate faster than normal.
Should You Freeze Cucumbers?
You might avoid freezing cucumbers because of their high water content, which will cause them to become soft and mushy instead of crispy.
Cucumbers also spoil quickly. That said, there are ways to prevent this from happening. Here are the steps to follow when freezing cucumber slices.
- Place the cucumber slices in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle salt over them, then use a spoon to distribute the salt evenly over them.
- Put the cucumber slices in the fridge overnight.
- Remove the cucumber slices from the fridge and pour out their water. Squeeze out any excess water from the cucumbers by pressing them with your hand.
- Mix the cucumber slices with sugar and distilled white vinegar. You want the sugar to dissolve as you mix the ingredients.
- Now you can store your cucumber slices in a freezer-safe container. 7. Finally, add the sugar and vinegar blend to the container. This will preserve them. Leave about a quarter-inch of space at the top of the container.
By following the above steps, you can keep cucumber slices in the freezer for up to a year!
Other ways to store cucumbers in the freezer:
- Cut cucumbers into cubes and place them into the slots of an ice cube tray. Fill them with water so that the cucumber cubes are completely covered. Place the tray in the freezer until the water has frozen. Then, move the ice cubes into a freezer bag. You can freeze cucumber cubes for up to six months. Cucumber that’s been frozen in water is a great idea for flavored ice cubes you can add to cold beverages in summer.
- Freeze cucumbers on a baking sheet. You can cut your cucumber into spears and place them on a baking sheet that’s lined with parchment. Put the tray into the freezer so that the cucumbers freeze, then move them into a freezer bag. You can also freeze the cucumber for up to six months.
Bear in mind that frozen cucumbers are best used in recipes in which they will be pureed, such as soup.
This is because it doesn’t matter if the freezing process causes the cucumbers to lose their texture as you won’t notice the change.
Mistakes To Avoid When Storing Cucumbers
To ensure your cucumbers stay as crunchy and delicious as possible when storing them, there are some mistakes to avoid.
- Don’t store them when they’re moist. After washing cucumbers, make sure you let them dry completely before putting them in the fridge. If you don’t this will encourage them to spoil faster, while it also makes them soggy and moldy.
- If you want to store your uneaten, uncut cucumbers at room temperature, such as if your fridge isn’t working, make sure you eat them within two days to prevent them from deteriorating.
What Should You Do With Soft Cucumbers?
While you can still use soft cucumbers, this is a sign that they’re starting to get too old. Check that there are no signs of spoilage on the cucumbers, such as mold, before you eat them.
Use soft cucumbers in blended recipes, such as to make cocktails, cucumber juices, smoothies, or even soup. This prevents you from wasting cucumbers that are about to spoil.
Note that if a cucumber is overripe, it will have yellowed skin that’s smooth in texture. You can still safely eat an overripe cucumber, but it will likely taste bitter. You should therefore rather use it in recipes such as relishes.
Do cucumbers help you to lose weight?
These fruits can help you to lose weight because they fill you up. They’re also crunchy, which makes them satisfying when added to meals.
Are cucumbers healthier than pickles?
Cucumbers are healthier than pickles. This is as a result of them being naturally low in both sodium and sugar.
If you love eating cucumbers but you always waste them because you can never finish them in one sitting, after reading this article you know how to keep cucumber slices fresh.
We’ve featured important information you need to know, from how to store cucumbers to how to freeze them so they’ll add a fresh, crisp element to your healthy salads and other delicious dishes.