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   Jul 25

The Cucumbers are Producing! Now what to do with them? Tips and Recipes

cucumbersI love biting into a fresh picked cucumber (the flavor is quite different then ones that have been stored in the fridge) and I use a lot of them. Some recipes I use are to follow these tips on harvesting your cucumbers.

Cucumber Harvest: Learn When And How To Harvest Cucumbers

 By Bonnie L. Grant

It is hard to wait for those first tastes of your summer harvest, and cucumbers are no exception. You should know when to pick a cucumber in order to experience the crisp, juicy flesh that is perfect for salads, pickling and many other uses. But when and how do you harvest them?

There are two main types of cucumber. Slicing varieties are meant to be eaten fresh, while pickling types are bumpy, rough and require blanching and pickling for best flavor. Whichever variety you choose to grow, you need to know how to tell when cucumbers are ready to pick.

When to Pick a Cucumber

Cucumbers need a long growing season and are ready for harvest in 50 to 70 days. Harvesting ripe cucumbers at the right time ensures sweet fruits that have no bitterness. Cucumbers left on the vine too long have a bitter taste that ruins the fresh flavor. The fruits ripen at different times on the vine, so it is essential to pick them as they are ready.

Harvest when the fruit is the right size, which is usually eight to ten days after the first female flowers open. Cucumbers must be picked before they show the first signs of yellowing, which indicate the fruits are past their prime.

How to Tell When Cucumbers are Ready to Pick

The question, do cucumbers ripe after you pick them, must be met with a resounding, “no.” Unlike some fruits, cucumbers do not continue to develop after harvest. Ripe cucumbers have a firm, green flesh. The exact size depends on the use and variety. Pickling fruits may be two to six inches long. Slicing cucumbers are best at six inches and the “burpless” varieties are best harvested at 1 to 1 ½ inches in diameter.

During the peak of the season, you will be harvesting ripe cucumbers every day or two. The optimum time for picking is early in the morning when the vines are cool. Now that you know when to pick a cucumber it is time to see how to harvest cucumbers.

How to Harvest Cucumbers

Remove fruits that are stunted and not growing, have rotten ends or are past their prime. This prevents the plant from focusing energy on fruits that are a waste anyway.

Use garden shears or pruners when harvesting ripe cucumbers. Removing the fruit with a sharp implement will prevent injury to the vine by twisting or pulling. Cut the stem ¼ inch above the fruit.

The long burpless cucumbers are sensitive to bruising. Lay them gently in a basket or box as you gather ripe fruit.

Storing Cucumber Fruit –

Go to Source of this article Gardening Know How

NOW FOR SOME RECIPES

Author: Chris

Ingredients

  • For the dressing:
  • 2 TBSP good olive oil
  • 1 TBSP walnut oil (or more olive oil)
  • 4-5 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • chili flakes, to taste
  • For the noodles:
  • 1/2 large cucumber
  • handful of tightly packed fresh mint
  • 1 green onion (only the green part), finely sliced
  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds

For Directions go to Source of this article: Tales of a Kitchen

Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho

1 large ripe pineapple – peeled, cored and chopped
about 4 small or 1 large English cucumbers – peeled and chopped
1 cup pineapple juice  or water
1 sweet yellow orange or red pepper– seeded and diced
1-2 teaspoons sea salt – to taste
1 green onion – chopped
1 tablespoons avocado oil or an avacado

Put into blender and blend til desired consistency. I like mine a bit chunky.

Refrigerator Pickles
4 Quart size Mason jars
Roughly 12-16 kirby cucumbers (pickling cukes)
6 c water
2c white vinegar
1.4c + 1 Tbsp sea salt (I prefer pink Himalayan)
4 cloves garlic
4 tsp pickling spice
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh dill

For Directions Go to Source of this recipe: Diary of a Health Nut

Quinoa Avocado, Cucumer, and Spinach Sushi

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • pinch salt
  • 1 small cucumber
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 california avocado
  • 4 sheets nori sushi wrap
  • For directions Go to Source of this Recipe: The Smart Cookie Blog

Cucumber Mint Quinoa Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa (we prefer red quinoa)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled if thick-skinned, unpeeled if thin-skinned (about 3/4 pound cucumber)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint
  • 1 Tbsp thinly sliced green onion or chopped chives
  • 3-4 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped (optional)

For Directions Go to Source of this Recipe: Simply Recipes

Photo source http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/CucumbersEx.jpg

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