Cucumber is a fruit that offers a lot of beneficial nutrients. And, yes, it’s a fruit that can be eaten by itself or used as one of the ingredients of a dish. You can use it in a salad, make some soup, or prepare juice with it. Of course, you’ll also want to know how to store cucumbers, right?
One thing to remember is that cucumbers do not have a long shelf life. However, you can prolong its shelf life through proper storage. At this point, if you are at a loss on how you can store cucumber, read on and find out how you can store cucumber properly so you can make the most out of this healthy member of the gourd family.
How to Store Cucumbers
Are you ready to get into all the details you need to know about storing cucumbers? Then keep on reading as we’ll share the best tips and tricks with you.
#1: Store cucumbers at room temperature
While cucumbers are great to eat when they are chilled, the best way to store cucumbers is at room temperature. Since they are sensitive to low temperatures, it is advisable to store them at temperatures of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
When they are stored at temperatures under 50 degrees, they may suffer chilling injuries. These injuries include pitting, faster decay, and excess water.
#2: Store cucumbers away from other fruits and vegetables
Similar to many fruits and vegetables, cucumbers are sensitive to ethylene. Ethylene is a natural gas released by fruits and vegetables as they ripen. If exposed to the gas, cucumbers will ripen faster and eventually become spoiled.
Due to this, you should store them away from other fruits and vegetables to extend their shelf life. Products that release a lot of ethylene include melons, tomatoes, and bananas.
#3: Wrap cucumbers in plastic
Wrapping cucumber in plastic reduces its moisture content. With minimal moisture content, the decaying process of cucumbers will slow down. If plastic is not available, you can use a paper towel or dishtowel. Making sure the fruit is dry allows it to avoid getting soggy and prevent mold formation.
#4: Store sliced cucumbers in the warmer section of the fridge
If you slice cucumber since you only needed half of it, it is better to put it in the refrigerator. But make sure to put it in the section that is not too cold, which is usually the crisper section. Cucumbers do not freeze properly so never put it in the freezer.
Before you put the cucumber in the fridge, cover the cut portion with a damp paper towel. But you should keep the skin dry. Keep in mind that you should store sliced cucumber in the fridge for two days only so you should consume it within 48 hours.
#5: Protect cucumbers with plastic
If your kitchen has limited space and you have no option but to store sliced cucumber together with other products, you can still protect it from ethylene in the fridge. You can wrap the fruit in plastic. But make sure to wrap the cucumber first with a paper towel.
What to Do With Excess Cucumbers
There may be instances when you bring home more cucumbers than you can serve for dinner. While you can eat it as a snack, you may not want to consume all of it before its shelf life ends. But you don’t have to worry since there are several things you can do to use any excess cucumbers you have at home.
Check out the following list of the things you can do with excess cucumbers
Pickling is the perfect way to preserve any excess cucumbers you have at home. When cucumber is properly pickled, you will considerably extend its shelf life. In fact, pickled cucumbers have the longest shelf life among all cucumber dishes.
To make pickled cucumber, heat some sugar, salt and vinegar in a saucepan. In a separate bowl, combine cucumber with other relishes you want to include in your pickled dish. Then pour the vinegar mixture into the cucumber and other relishes before transferring everything into a sterilized jar to process it.
Cucumber chips are healthy snack alternatives to potato chips store-bought snack items. They allow you to ensure your excess cucumber does not go to waste. Moreover, you can store it for a very long time.
You can make some crispy cucumber chips by thinly slicing some cucumber. Then place the sliced cucumber into a dehydrator. You also have the option of baking them in an oven for three to four hours at 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Planning a small party at home? You can liven up the mood with some cucumber chips and a cucumber salsa dip. It is fast and easy to make and lighter compared to some other fruit-based salsa. Just prepare the cucumber and other ingredients you want for the dish.
Put the cucumber and other ingredients, such as jalapeno and tomato, into a food processor. Pulse the food processor until everything is chopped. After this, serve the salsa with the cucumber chips you made earlier.
If you are a fan of turkey sandwiches, you may want to try using cucumber jam on it. You can also use this healthy jam on crackers and cheese. Moreover, you can also mix it in a vinaigrette recipe to give it a unique twist.
To make cucumber jam, you need to combine chopped and peeled cucumber with ingredients you want to use for your ham. Then, allow it to boil while mashing the ingredients together. After this, add the sugar and allow it to boil again for a minute. Then remove it from the heat and remove the foam. At this point, you can transfer it into a jar and process in a boiling water bath.
Another way for you to turn any excess cucumber into something you may want to have for dinner is to make cold cucumber soup. A bowl of cold cucumber soup is perfect for a hot summer night. It does not take rocket science to make it since all you need is a blender and the ingredients you want in the soup.
The first thing to do is to put some peeled and chopped cucumber into a blender with yogurt and the seasonings you want. Then, turn the blender on until you get a puree. After this simply pour the soup into serving bowls and add some garnish.
If you like to eat smoothies, then consider cutting up cucumbers into small chunks and freezing them. Then, when you’re making your smoothie, take out a few of them and throw them in frozen. It’s a nice, refreshing treat, especially in hotter weather and the texture change doesn’t matter in this type of dish.
Summary on How to Store Cucumbers
While cucumber has a short shelf life, you can extend it if you know how to store this fruit properly. It’s quick, simple and easy to extend the life of one of the most popular fruits or veggies.
Storing Cucumbers: FAQs
There are a number of important questions that people have about how to keep this fruit fresh for as long as possible. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
How do you Keep Cucumbers Fresh Longer?
To keep cucumbers fresh for longer, wrap them in plastic wrap which helps slow the process of decay by minimizing the moisture on them. Then, put them in the fridge and they can keep for 7-10 days.
How Long do Cucumbers Last at Room Temperature?
At room temperature, cucumbers can last for around 3 days. If you want them to last longer, wrap them in plastic and keep them in the fridge where they can last for a week or even longer.
How do you Know if a Cucumber is Bad?
There are a number of ways to know if a cucumber is bad, including a squishy rather than firm feel, or mold or slime on the skin. If you notice any of these things, they should not be eaten.
Can you Store Cut Cucumbers in Water?
Cut cucumbers can be stored in cold water in the fridge for a few hours, but not longer than that. For longer-term storage, don’t cut cucumbers but instead keep them whole.
Have your Say about Storing Cucumbers
Do you have any other ways of storing cucumbers? Or, a genius way for using lots of them? Tell us about it by leaving a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
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And, if you can’t get enough of these food storage tips and tricks, be sure to check this out: Storing Fresh Asparagus.