Thursday, July 30, 2009

What's in season: Cucumbers

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 10:50 AM

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​Tea sandwich and pickling enthusiasts rejoice -- it's time for cucumbers! And cucumbers are one of the easiest vegetables to eat.

"We just eat them raw. We don't have boxed snacks, so instead we just pick our snack food off a vine and eat them," says Dan Heryer, one for the farmers at Badseed Farm.

Cucumbers are available throughout the year, but are best in the summer months. Pick ones that are medium to dark green and firm to the touch.

Cucumbers and melons are actually in the same family -- the Cucurbitaceae

-- which has 825 species including squashes and gourds. And like

watermelons, cucumbers are going to offer a lot of water in every bite.



"When it's hot and dry, there is something so refreshing about eating a vegetable that is filled with water," says Heryer.

In addition to being refreshing, cucumbers are used in spa treatments because of the vegetable's silica content which helps keep skin healthy. When you're not putting slices on your eyes, there are lots of options for bringing cucumbers to your dinner table.

If a cucumber has a waxy surface, you should always peel it. If not,

you just have to wash the exterior thoroughly.

Cucumber gazpacho is a simple cold soup that doesn't require you to turn on the oven. Cucumber yogurt sauce, also known as Tzatziki, goes well with grilled chicken. Need a summer drink? A cucumber cocktail, made with vodka and gin, is a beautiful green color.

[Image via Flickr: vizzzual]

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