Part of our self-reliant-retirement-lifestyle is growing our own organic vegetables. It helps to round out our food budget without having to pay high prices at the supermarket for organically grown. But, what I truly love are the many health benefits that home-grown vegetables provide. (Find out how a vegetable garden can benefit you.)
One of the standouts in our garden this year was the cucumbers. We had a bumper crop and it was fantastic to see our cucumber vines dripping with fruit.
Growing cucumbers in our cold climate is difficult. Until now, we’ve had no success. So you can imagine how happy Rebel Retiree and I were with our colossal cucumber harvest.
Whenever I have an abundance of a specific vegetable, I discover many new ways to prepare it. In addition, I research how to preserve it for long-term storage. All of this presents me with the opportunity to learn more about the vegetable itself.
This season I learned about the many health benefits of cucumbers and what to do with them when you have too many.
Do cucumbers have any nutritional value?
Yes, they do.
I was wrong in my initial thinking that cucumbers lacked any real health benefits.
(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.
Here are the ways cucumbers can help your body.
>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.
Additionally, cucumbers contain a host of B vitamins which studies show 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.
You may want to check the price of vitamins on Amazon. We get a small commission if you buy, and it doesn’t affect your price at all.
Furthermore, cucumbers contain antioxidants which protect your body from the effects of free radicals.
The weird thing I did with my cucumbers.
The weirdest thing I did with cucumbers was to recycle my refrigerated pickled cucumbers into cucumber chips.
I thought it sounded like a good idea after reading an article about baking cucumbers on the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
The browned ones were fairly tasty, but overall I wasn’t pleased with my results. I think the reason was that my cukes were cut too thin, and they stuck to the pan.
I still had an abundance of cucumbers to deal with. Fortunately, I discovered some useful and clever ways to utilize this versatile fruit.
Weird and not-so-weird uses for cucumbers 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!