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They’re a wonderful addition to any diet and a beloved staple in home gardens, where they produce a lot of fruit with minimal maintenance. Plus, they’re commonly sold at farmers markets and included in community supported agriculture (CSA) shares.
If you have an abundance of cucumbers and wonder what to do with them, look no further.
Here are 12 ideas for ways to prepare cucumbers, plus a few of our favorite recipes to help you get started.
Breakfast may not seem like the most natural meal to add cucumbers to, but there are many ways to enjoy this hydrating fruit first thing in the morning.
1. Breakfast classics
Notably, cucumbers are a breakfast staple in some parts of the world.
Many Mediterranean cultures incorporate fruits and vegetables into breakfast regularly while some cultures in China pair cucumbers with eggs.
To start your day with cucumbers, try:
2. Cucumber smoothie
Cucumbers have a fairly mild flavor, so you can easily add them to any of your favorite smoothies. Otherwise, try one of these recipes that highlight cucumbers themselves:
- power green cucumber smoothie
- easy cucumber smoothie
- creamy pineapple cucumber cmoothie
- cucumber watermelon smoothie
3. Cucumber yogurt parfait
You can easily make a cucumber yogurt parfait savory or sweet.
If you’re in the mood for something savory (and have a little more time on your hands), try this yogurt bowl with cucumbers, melon, and chickpeas or this one that incorporates beets and pistachios alongside cucumbers.
For a sweet version, try this strawberry cucumber breakfast yogurt.
If you’re looking for a simple way to add something green to your lunch, cucumbers are the way to go.
4. Cucumber sandwiches
You may already enjoy adding cucumbers to veggie sandwiches or atop traditional deli meats like ham and turkey. You may also be familiar with classic cucumber sandwiches that pair creamy cheeses with this crisp, crunchy fruit.
If you want to make cucumbers the highlight of your sandwich, try swapping bread out for cucumber.
You can even try cutting a single cucumber in half, scooping out the insides, and packing the interior with your favorite sandwich ingredients to mimic a sub sandwich, as this recipe suggests.
5. Cucumber kimchi
Kimchi is a Korean dish made from fermented vegetables, garlic, ginger, and chili peppers. It’s nutrient dense and packed with beneficial probiotics.
It’s often made with cabbage, but cucumbers are commonly used in kimchi as well.
Here are a few cucumber kimchi recipes to try:
6. Cucumber salads
There’s a reason why cucumber salads are one of the main ways to enjoy this fruit. They’re fresh, fairly simple to make, and packed with flavor.
If you’re tired of the usual combos with dill or tomatoes, try one of these instead:
7. Cucumber noodles
Replacing traditional wheat or grain-based noodles with spiralized veggies is a simple way to cut back on your meal’s carb and calorie count while adding extra nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Cucumbers make a great spiralized veggie due to their naturally long shape.
If you have a spiralizer at home, you can easily make recipes like these:
8. Cucumber soup
Especially in the heat of summer, a cool cucumber soup is refreshing — and appeals to the eye with its bright green color. Plus, cucumbers are the perfect partner to summer herbs like basil and cilantro.
Cool off this summer with one of these cucumber soup recipes:
- cucumber, tomatillo, and cilantro gazpacho
- cucumber, avocado, and honeydew gazpacho
- basil cucumber gazpacho
9. Stuffed cucumbers
Cucumber boats are a great vehicle for packing in extra veggies, grains, and protein.
Pickles, drinks, and chips are other fun ways to eat cucumbers.
Arguably one of the most popular ways to enjoy this fruit is in the form of pickles.
Not only are pickles a fresh, crunchy, low calorie snack, but making your own is a great way to preserve cucumbers when you’ve got a big batch and need to save them before they spoil.
Here’s a recipe for a classic dill pickle that doesn’t require any canning but stays fresh in the fridge for a few weeks.
You may also be interested in this Mediterranean-inspired pickle recipe that’s flavored with coriander, bay leaf, and jalapeños.
11. Summertime drinks and deserts
Cucumbers are in their prime during the peak of summer. They’re already quite refreshing, but you can add them to desserts and summertime drinks — alcoholic and nonalcoholic alike — to help cool off.
13. Cucumber chips
Cucumbers are renowned for their crunch when fresh or pickled, but they work surprisingly well as dried chips, too.
You can make your own cucumber chips with a food dehydrator or in your oven.
Both methods take a few hours between the prep and the cook time, so cucumber chips may be best when you have a big batch of cucumbers.
Cucumbers are a healthy, refreshing fruit. You can enjoy them throughout the day in meals, snacks, drinks, and desserts alike.
If you want to experiment with some new ideas, try one of the easy cucumber recipes above.
Just one thing
Try this today: Many of cucumber’s health benefits are attributed to the nutrients found in its skin. To get the most nutrition from this fruit, leave the skin on rather than peeling it.