Too many cucumbers

What to do with excess cucumbers

So this past spring I thought it was an awesome idea to plant 15 cucumber plants. The kids eat loads so I thought why the hell not.

The kids are now sick of cucumbers.

Typical.

Anyway, dealing with a kg of cucumbers a day gets a bit overwhelming, you can get a bit sick of them, and being a salad veggie they don’t last all that long in the crisper.

So I went on a mission to find some ways to extend the harvest and not let any go to waste (that’s a lie the chickens got a couple of kgs and the compost got a fair amount too).

Juicing

When asking the instagrams and facebooks the general consensus was to juice them. Apparently it’s delicious, I didn’t try juice per se because my juicer is way up the back of the storage shelf collecting dust so instead I blended and sieved. This was really refreshing with some mint and orange juice. But you could go crazy with the combinations.

Moisturiser

Using a very small amount of juice (around a tablespoon) I blended it with some aloe vera gel from about 5 leaves. Stored in the fridge this actually was a great little moisturiser! Very refreshing, although it doesn’t last long before it goes off so use it quickly. I suspect this would be a great one to have after a little too much sun.

Fermenting

When I started to collect lots of big cucumbers, and saw the next batch coming, I decided to start picking the tiny ones. I then used these to make a brine dill pickle. Kinda like a sauerkraut. It’s super easy to do.

What you need:

  • 400gms of tiny cucumbers (fresh is best, if bigger than 1cm in diameter slice them length ways)
  • 1 Tablespoon of mustard seeds
  • 5 Cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of peppercorns
  • 4 Sprigs of fresh dill
  • 1 Tablespoon of Salt
  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • A cabbage leave
  • A sterilised jar (Around 1 litre)
  • A weight

How you do it:

  1. Wash your cukes and soak them in an ice bath (this makes them plump up and helps them to retain their texture).
  2. Add to a sterilised jar the mustard seeds, garlic, peppercorns, dill and cucumbers.
  3. Mix your salt and filtered water together until the salt has dissolved. Pour it into the jar over the cucumbers ensuring the brine is completely covering the veggies.
  4. Place the cabbage leave on the top and use it like a lid and pushdown the cucumbers to ensure they are fully submerged. Add the weight to stop it moving to the top.
  5. Place lid on the jar loosely (you might want to put it on a plate incase it overflows) and store it at room temperature for 3 days.
  6. Remove the weight and the cabbage, pop the lid on tightly. And pop in the fridge. They’ll be ready to eat in 2 weeks. Eat within 6 months.

Pickles

We normally do our ‘bread and butter’ pickles with zucchini, but they work just as well with cucumbers and you can barely tell the difference (the skin is just a little tougher).

What you need:

  • 10 Lebanese cucumbers
  • 2 brown onions
  • 5 cups of white sugar
  • 5 cups of white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon of mustard seeds
  • 2 Teaspoons of turmeric
  • 1/2 Cup of salt

How to do it:

  1. Slice the cucumbers and brown onions thinly (a food processor with a slicing blade is your friend).
  2. Pop in a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Let sit in the fridge overnight (I actually forgot about mine and did them 2 days later and they turned out awesome).
  3. Drain off the brine created from the overnight soak.
  4. And place in a saucepan with the vinegar, sugar, turmeric and mustard seeds.
  5. Bring them to the point of boil and bottle them up and seal while hot.

We’re now down to 3 plants and that’s keeping us well supplied. I’ll plant out some seeds for the next succession but next year I won’t plant so many!

What is your go to way to use your glut of cucumbers?

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