Growing vegetables benefits health and fosters knowledge.
Part of our self-reliant-retirement-lifestyle is growing our own organic vegetables. It helps keep our food budget on track, but mainly I love the many health benefits that home-grown vegetables provide. (Find out how a vegetable garden can benefit you.)
This year’s crop of cucumbers was amazing! It was fantastic to see our cucumber vines heavy with fruit.
Since moving to a cold climate, we’ve had no success growing cucumbers. So you can imagine how happy we were with our large harvest.
Whenever I have an abundance of a particular garden vegetable, I research how to preserve it for long-term storage. I also take the opportunity to learn more about the vegetable itself.
This season I learned about the health benefits of cucumbers and what to do with them when you have too many.
I’ve always thought that cucumbers lacked any real health benefits. I was wrong!
(Cucumbers flower and contain seeds, they are actually fruits.)
Because cucumbers are not leafy greens or dense root vegetables, I took it for granted that they were basically a free food that made delicious pickles and added crunch to salads.
However, I’ve discovered that the health benefits of cucumbers are of considerable worth.
>Cucumbers are 95% water which makes them an excellent source for hydration and keeping cool. Everyone’s heard the expression “cool as a cucumber”. Because cucumbers are juicy and full of water, like watermelons, they cool you down fast. If you’re suffering from menopausal hot flashes, keep an arsenal of cooling cucumbers handy as a home remedy for dousing the flames.
>If you’re fighting middle-aged spread, cucumbers can help you with that too. With about 16 calories per 1 cup of sliced cucumbers, they are great for helping you maintain a slim waistline.
>Suffering from constipation? Cucumbers are a good source of dietary fiber which means they can help make your elimination easy. The most concentration of fiber is in the peel. So for best health benefits, eat the cucumber with the peel on.
> Is dragon breath a problem? Chow down on a few cucumber sticks to sweeten bad breath.
In addition to the health benefits of cucumbers mentioned above, take note that cucumbers contain a host of B vitamins. Studies show that B vitamins are good for heart health.
B vitamins are also known for helping your body maintain a healthy nervous system. This is why many people take a B-Complex supplement.
Furthermore, cucumbers contain antioxidants which protect your body from the effects of free radicals.
Weird things people do with cucumbers because they have too many.
The weirdest thing I did with cucumbers was to bake them.
After reading an article about baking cucumbers on the Old Farmer’s Almanac, I decided to recycle my refrigerated pickled cucumbers into cucumber crisps.
The browned ones were tasty, but overall I wasn’t pleased with my results. I think the reason being that my cukes were cut too thin and this made them stick to the pan.
This list of weird and not-so-weird uses for cucumbers will definitely help you if you have too many.
- Smoothies – Add a cucumber to your favorite green smoothie recipe.
- Freeze them – It’s easy! Peel. Slice in half. Remove seed. Put in freezer bags for long-term storage.
- Rub on your mirror – Does your bathroom mirror fog up when you take a shower? Rub it with a slice of cucumber to get rid of the fog.
- Bake spiced cucumber nut bread – Get the recipe here.
- Shine your faucets – Rub a slice of cucumber on your faucets or stainless steel sinks to give them a streak-free shine.
- Cucumber Magic Eraser – Use the skin of a cucumber to erase pen and crayon marks.
- Polish your shoes – A freshly cut cuke contains chemicals that provide a quick water repellent shine!
The many health benefits of cucumbers shouldn’t be taken for granted. They are an excellent source of water, soluble fiber, B vitamins, and antioxidants.
And if you have an abundance of cucumbers, there are plenty of useful ways to take advantage of your good fortune.
Do you have any other ways to use cucumbers? Share with us!