Delicious and refreshing, cucumbers can be served without much fuss — no need to heat up the kitchen to prepare this crunchy vegetable! If you’re lucky enough to have a vine or two in your garden, cucumbers are hard to beat simply sliced and sprinkled with sea salt, but they’re great in recipes, too.
The cucumber belongs to the same family as zucchini, watermelons, pumpkins and other squashes. They take many forms, but all varieties have a crisp texture and mild, pleasant taste that’s often described as “grassy.”
Cucumbers are available year-round, but they hit their flavorful peak in the summer. When it’s just too hot to cook, think moist, crunchy, undemanding cucumbers. You don’t need a stove and you’ll stay cool as…well, you know!
Why choose organic cucumbers?
- Cucumbers are #9 on the Environmental Working Group's “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce,” a list of produce that carries the most pesticide residues when grown conventionally. In addition, conventional cucumbers are coated with a petroleum-based wax that’s applied to retain the vegetable’s moisture and prolong its shelf life. If you buy waxed cucumbers, always peel them.
- At Earthbound Farm, our organic cucumbers are a healthy choice in more ways than one. We grow them using sustainable farming methods that build rich soil, support vibrant field ecosystems, and keep potentially hazardous chemicals out of our environment and our food supply. We believe organic food is the healthiest choice for people and the planet, and we think organic cucumbers taste better, too!
- WhatsOnMyFood.org from the Pesticide Action Network shows you searchable results for vegetables like cucumbers and a wide range of other organic and conventional foods. It’s an easy-to-use and empowering tool for learning about pesticide residues and their health effects for all of us.
How to select and store cucumbers
- Look for firm, deeply colored cucumbers without soft spots, shriveling or discoloration. Avoid cucumbers with yellowing skins. A cucumber’s ends are the first areas to deteriorate, so check to make sure they’re not soft or flabby.
- Store your cucumbers, unwashed, in the refrigerator. The common waxed variety can keep for up to a week, but thin-skinned and unwaxed cucumbers have a shorter shelf life.
Tips for using cucumbers
- Working with cucumbers is so easy! Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove the skin, if desired. To remove the seeds of common cucumbers, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a small spoon, starting at one end and dragging the spoon to the other.
- Cucumbers are 96% water, so some recipes specify a preliminary salting and draining step that draws out their water and avoids diluting dressings.