Some interesting facts and uses for cucumber you may not know which I have recently come across and wanted to share.
And of course there are numerous ways to enjoy eating them so why not pop over to Kit’s Kitchen after for some delicious, simple recipes.
- Cucumbers originate from South East Asia.
- Cucumbers are fruits, not vegetables, as are tomatoes.
- There are several types of cucumbers, some of which can grow over 2 foot long.
- China produces 76% of cucumber and gherkin production in the world.
- Cucumbers can be grown in soil or by hydroponic cultivation.
- The large leaves on a cucumber plant provide shading for the developing fruits.
- It takes just 12 weeks from sowing cucumber seed to harvesting the fruits.
- Some supermarket-bought cucumbers can be at least 2 weeks’ old.
- A raw cucumber is 95% water.
- A whole cucumber is just 16 calories, depending on length.
- They contain most of the vitamins you need every day. Each one has vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6, as well as vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
- Because they are a good source of B vitamins and carbohydrates they can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours and even curb that mid-afternoon food craving.
- Cucumbers have been used for centuries by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
- Cucumbers were first pickled as way to preserve their shelf life.
- Small cucumbers are often referred to as gherkins.
- In Northern England, pickled cucumbers are sometimes called “wallies”.
- In Roman times, Emperor Tiberius had cucumber on his table daily all year round.
- Christopher Columbus is said to have taken cucumbers to Haiti in 1494.
- During the 17th century, hygiene prejudices meant uncooked foods, such as cucumber, fell out of favour.
- Cucumbers can cool the body and the blood, which gave rise to the phrase “as cool as a cucumber”.
- A slice of cucumber on the eyes can ease puffiness.
- The cooling effects of cucumber can soothe sunburn. Mix up a puree and apply it to affected areas.
- A slice of cucumber pressed to the roof of your mouth for 30 seconds can kill bacteria and freshen the breath.
- Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumber along your problem area for a few minutes. The phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too.
- Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache.
- Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water. The chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
- Just finished a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath. (Hopefully there are a few sandwiches left that have a slice or two of cucumber in the filling, as one isn’t inclined to carry a cucumber in one’s briefcase!)
- Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe – its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
- Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
- Out of WD40 or oil, and no olive oil either to fix a squeaky hinge? Rub a cucumber slice along the problematic hinge, and the squeak is gone.
- Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in an aluminium tin or plate and place in your garden. The chemicals in cucumber react with the aluminium to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drives garden pests crazy, making them flee the area.
- Looking for a “green” way to clean your taps, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
- Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls.
And of course there are numerous ways to enjoy eating them. Why not pop over to Kit’s Kitchen for some delicious, simple cucumber recipes.
I love cucumbers. I also thought I knew about cucumbers, but a couple things here surprised me, such as the food craving thing. I can completely believe that cucumbers can be two weeks old in stores. I dislike how limp they always are, so I’m impatiently waiting for my husband’s garden to grow, grow, grow!
Yes, I learnt one or two things myself. Can’t beat freshly picked ones from the garden. We aren’t growing any this year as we get so many I struggle to eat them, especially as I have difficulty biting them and there’s only so many cucumbers you can eat in a week! 🙂