The coolest summer veggie in town (or country)
Today, we are spotlighting a healthy, refreshing, versatile summer produce item …
Cucumbers are a great summer vegetable (and they are often considered a fruit!) as they can provide both coolness and crispness to a variety of dishes while simultaneously serving as a wonderful snack all on their own. We want to dive a bit deeper into the qualities and characteristics of the cucumber…and show you just where the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank suggests that you grab some this summer.
Cucumbers are fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie, low-sugar, and high in antioxidants, proving themselves to a be healthy eating choice for you this summer. Their high water content can also help you stay hydrated on warm summer days.
Storage and Preparation
Cooled storage is recommended. They will usually stay fresh unpeeled for about a week long. Washing is recommended before eating or slicing, and cucumbers can be eaten with or without the peel.
Cucumbers can be prepared and eaten in a variety of ways. They can be sliced and enjoyed raw, they can be added to salads, they can be pickled, they can serve as a great addition to a sandwich or wrap; they can even be used in salsas, sauces, and 'slaws. Cucumbers have a mild flavor and a hearty crunch, making them an easy way to boost the nutrition value (and satisfaction value!) of a variety of meals.
Here at the TNWOFB, cucumbers are often available at our grocery store on wheels, The Harvest Market. The Harvest Market regularly visits food-insecure communities across Henry, Williams, and Fulton County, offering a variety of grocery items as well as locally-grown farm products. The Harvest Market accepts food assistance benefits as well as credit and debit cards. Almost all of our Harvest Market locations and dates will be offering cucumbers this summer, and we hope that you will join us in celebrating and enjoying the cucumber!
What is the Harvest Market? Click here to learn more.
Let’s Get Practical
Now that we’ve learned (to an
extensive degree) all about the cucumber, we’d like
to share two recipes that you can easily utilize the cucumber in this summer.
Easy Cucumber Salad
- 2 long English cucumbers
- 1 medium onion
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Slice the cucumber in half and then in slices, cut the onion into thin strips, and mix cucumber and onions in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Mix white wine vinegar, water, and sugar in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the cucumbers and onions, and stir well.
- Sprinkle with fresh chopped dill and stir.
Cucumber Cracker Sandwich
- 32 RITZ Crackers
- 1/3 cup cream cheese spread
- 1 small cucumber, cut into thin slices
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 16 small fresh mint sprigs (optional)
- Spread 16 crackers with cream cheese spread.
- Top with cucumbers; sprinkle with garlic powder, and place mint sprigs on top.
- Cover with remaining crackers to make 16 sandwiches.