Cucumbers were first cultivated in India around 3,000 years ago and were further propagated around the world by the Greeks and Romans. In fact, the Roman Emperor Tiberius was so fond of this refreshing delight that he ordered cucumbers to be served to him every day of the year.
Belonging to the cucurbitaceous family, which also includes zucchini, pumpkin, melon, and watermelon, this light green squash is now a common household ingredient used in everything from salads, pickles, and coleslaw to super healthy green smoothies, juices and natural detox drinks.
In fact, cucumbers are also used for beauty purposes. They are excellent for your skin and hair and are used in creams, peel-off masks, face masks and a variety of other skin care products. You can also use cucumbers in face masks to lighten your skin naturally and treat sunburn.
Cucumbers are an extremely light and nutritious snack, especially during the summer months, as they contain 95 percent water and help hydrate your body. As for the rest, cucumbers are rich in fiber, antioxidants and minerals like magnesium, potassium, manganese, and vitamins C and K. And to top it all, a 300-gram cucumber contains only about 11 grams of carbs!
As easy as it is to simply slice up a cucumber, storing them presents another problem entirely. Due to their high water content, they tend to spoil easily and this probably prevents you from loading up on cucumbers. So, we tried and tested a few cucumber storage methods that will solve this problem in a jiffy.
We will show you two ways to store cucumber the right way for short-term and one incredibly simple way to pickle cucumbers for long-term storage.
- Short-Term Storage
- Method 1: Refrigerate
- Method 2: Store at Room Temperature
- Long-Term Storage
- Method 1: Pickling
Method 1: Refrigerate
You probably refrigerate cucumbers as soon as you get home from the market, yet they still turn watery and slimy after a mere 3 days. We have an easy fix for you on how to store cucumber the right way that will extend their shelf live to 1 week or more.
# Whole Cucumbers
If you do all your grocery shopping over the weekend and want to keep your cucumbers fresh for the week ahead, you can use this incredibly simple trick to keep cucumbers and other green veggies like broccoli or celery fresh for up to 1 week or more.
Whole cucumbers will stay good longer, as the outer peel forms a protective covering and keeps them from decaying.
Things you’ll need:
- Ziplock baggie
- Paper towel
Single-Step Method: Wrap it in a paper towel, seal it in a baggie & refrigerate it.
- Wrap it up tightly in a paper towel.
- Place it in a ziplock baggie and seal it shut.
- Place the baggie in the fresh zone of your refrigerator.
Your cucumbers will stay fresh for 7 to 10 days using this method. For storing a whole batch of cucumber the right way, you can wrap the cucumbers individually, seal them in a ziplock baggie and refrigerate them. You can unzip the baggie and take one or more out as needed.
# Peeled & Sliced
Store cucumber the right way by refrigerating the slices for 7 days. Follow the below steps to know how. This way, you can just pop out a few at the end of a long, tiring day and munch on the refreshing and healthy snack.
Cucumber slices tend to go limp quite soon, due to the loss of moisture. Using an airtight container prevents this and the paper towel absorbs the excess moisture, preventing mold growth and decay.
Things you’ll need:
- Cucumber, peeled and sliced
- Airtight container
- Paper towel
Single-Step Method: Put the slices in an airtight container, cover them with paper towel & refrigerate them
- Peel and cut a medium-sized cucumber lengthwise into 4 slices.
- Place the fresh slices in an airtight container.
- Cover the slices with a paper towel. Tuck it in around the slices.
- Place the airtight container in the fresh zone of your refrigerator.
You can store cucumber slices for up to 1 week using this method. Whenever you find yourself craving a cucumber slice, just take one out and cover the rest.
Method 2: Store at Room Temperature
While storing cucumbers the right way in the refrigerator has its perks, it can cause cold damage if the temperature is too low. In fact, storing cucumbers at temperatures lower than 50°F/ 10°C can lead to wateriness, pitting and faster decay.
Single-Step Method: Store whole, dry cucumbers at room temperature
- Store whole, dry cucumbers in an open or breathable basket in your pantry.
Cucumbers will stay good for around 7 days at room temperature. Just make sure that they are completely dry.
Method 1: Pickling
If you are one of those people who love growing their own vegetables and want to preserve your harvest of fresh, crunchy cucumbers for a longer period, then the best way to do so is by pickling them. You can use this method to store carrots and cabbages as well.
To store the cucumber the right way you may try freezing your stock, but as mentioned above, cucumbers do not react well to low temperatures and freezing them may very well destroy their texture and taste. Not to mention that frozen cucumbers can go bad during the thawing process.
We will show you how to prep and pickle your cucumbers to preserve them for up to 1 year. All you have to do is preserve the slices in a basic pickling solution of white vinegar and kosher salt. We also added water and a few spices to enhance the taste and keep the cucumbers crisp.
Things you’ll need:
- Cucumbers, peeled and sliced – 2
- White distilled vinegar – ¾ cup
- Kosher salt – 1 tablespoon
- Garlic, chopped – 2 cloves
- Whole black peppercorns – 1½ tablespoons
- Fennel seeds – ½ teaspoon
- Bay leaf – 1
- Basil leaves, chopped – 2 tablespoons
- Water – 1½ cups
Step 1. Peel and slice the cucumbers
- Peel 2 cucumbers.
- Slice each one lengthwise into 4 spears.
Step 2. Prepare the pickling solution
- Pour ¾ cup of white distilled vinegar into a container.
- Add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt.
- Mix them well.
Step 3. Put the cucumber slices in a jar; add basil and garlic
- Put the cucumber slices in a glass jar.
- Add 2 tablespoons of chopped basil leaves.
- Add 2 chopped garlic.
Step 4. Add the spices for pickling
- Add 1½ tablespoons of whole black peppercorns.
- Add ½ teaspoon of fennel seeds.
- Add 1 bay leaf.
Step 5. Pour in the pickling solution and water & refrigerate
- Pour in the vinegar and kosher salt solution.
- Pour in 1½ cups of water as well. Ensure that the cucumbers are fully immersed in the liquid.
- Shake the jar to mix up the contents.
- Refrigerate it for at least 8 hours.
Keep the jar refrigerated and take out cucumber slices when needed. You can add fresh cucumber slices to the brine for preservation. Cucumber slices stored this way will stay good for up to 1 year.
You can add the pickled cucumbers slices to your salads, burgers or just munch on them as healthy snacks.
- Ensure to store the cucumber the right way, by avoiding to put them in the bottom drawer, as it has the lowest temperature.
- The development of soft spots and wrinkled skin are early indicators of spoilage.
- When you buy cucumbers, the first thing to do when you get home is to remove them from their wrapping and thoroughly check for any soft or moldy spots, cut that part out and consume the cucumber that day. You can store the ones that are fresh, firm and do not have any bad spots without washing. Wash them once you are about to consume them.
- You can also store other vegetables like peas, bell peppers, sweet corn and sweet potatoes for up to 1 year.
- You can grow and consume armenian cucumbers if you are not the peeling-and-slicing kind of a person. They are absoletely effortless to eat. All you have to do it just wash one and start munching.