What to do with Cucumber

    Cucumber nutrition facts

    Ever wonder how to beat the scorching summer heat? Just remember your backyard, humble crunchy cucumber! Nonetheless, this wonderful low calorie vegetable indeed has more nutrients to offer than just water and electrolytes.

    It is one of the oldest cultivated crops, and believed to be originating in the northern sub-Himalayan plains of India. The plant is a creeper (vine) akin to other members of Cucurbita family such as gourds, squashes, melons, zucchini, etc.

    Botanically; it belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family; and is known scientifically as Cucumis sativus.

    Cucumber is easy to grow. Varieties, varying in size, shape, and color, are cultivated all around the world under different climatic zones. In general, the fruit features dark-green skin, crispy, moisture rich flesh, and small edible seeds concentrated near its core.

    As in other squash members, cucumbers too are best-harvested young, tender and just short of reaching maturity; at the stage when they taste sweet, have crunchy texture, and almost neutral flavor. If left uninterrupted, the fruit continues to grow in size, its skin becomes tougher and turns yellow, and seeds become hard and inedible. Fresh cucumbers are available throughout the season and can be eaten raw, in vegetable salads or juicing.

    Armenian cucumbers (Cucumis melo var. flexuosus) are long, crispy, thin-ribbed, curvy, and possess light green color. Although grouped botanically in the melon family, they appear and taste just like cucumbers.

    Miniature varieties such as gherkins, American-dills, and French-cornichons are very small in size and usually preferred in pickling.

    Dosakayi is a yellow Indian curry cucumber. It has mild sweet taste and neutral flavor. It is used extensively in the preparation of stews and curries, particularly during the summer season in southern parts of India and Sri Lanka.

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