As members of the Curcubitaceae family, cucumbers are relatives of melons and squashes, and actually come in an array of colours, sizes, shapes, and textures. They are also technically a fruit, not a vegetable!
Cucumbers can thrive is temperatures ranging from 15 to 33°C, and therefore are suited to both temperate and tropical climates.
Originally from Western Asia or the Middle East, cucumbers were actually mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a story about a Mesopotamian King of Uruk, ca. 2500 BC.
Eventually, cucumbers began to be cultivated throughout Europe, until they were brought to North America by colonists in the 1500s. Now, cucumbers are cultivated worldwide. China is the world’s largest producer, providing about two-thirds of the world’s supply. Annually, cucumber production is about 84 billion pounds.
Two major types of slicing cucumbers are grown in Ontario: English and Field Cucumbers.
English Cucumbers are the ones which are wrapped in the grocery store, with no wax coating. They tend to be longer than their field counterparts, and are usually grown in hothouses. They tend to be seedless.
Field Cucumbers are the regular, unwrapped, waxed cucumbers. They have thicker skin, and some seeds, and are shorter and rounder. They are slightly more bitter than English cucumbers.
Cucumber seeds and skin contain a lot of these nutrients, and are actually more beneficial than the flesh.
Yellow, puffy, sunken water-soaked, or wrinkled cucumbers should be avoided.
If you are worried about seeds, thinner-skilled cucumbers tend to have less.
If the whole cucumber was not used, store it in a tightly-sealed container in the refrigerator to prevent drying out.
Do not keep cucumber at room temperature, as they will wilt.
To easily seed a cucumber, however, simple cut it lengthwise, and gently scoop out the seeds using the tip of a spoon.
- Baked Beet, Cucumber and Feta Salad
- Chicken Curry Bowl
- Chickpea, Cucumber, Tomato & Avocado Salad
- Cucumber & Black Bean Salsa Salad
- Cucumber and Lemony Dill Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches
- Greek Pulse Salad
- Greek Salad Pasta
- Hummus-Stuffed Pitas
- Salmon, Avocado & Cucumber Salad
- Turkey Hummus Spinach Wraps
- Vietnamese Hot Dog
- Watermelon-Cucumber Salad
|June to October|
Nutrition per 4 slices of cucumber (82 g), peeled:
|Total Dietary Fibre||0.2 g|
|Vitamin C||1 mg|
Provided by Health Canada