Find the Cucumbers!

Cucumbers, a member of the gourd family, have been cultivated by man for at least 3,000 years.  They originated in the foothills of the Himalayas, probably in or near present day India.  They eventually found their way to Egypt and were subsequently cherished by the ancient Romans and Greeks.  Incidentally, the first documented use of the phrase“cool as a cucumber” was in the poem “A New Song” by English poet and playwright John Gay in 1732.

There are three main types of cucumbers:  traditional cucumbers (long with a waxy, shiny green skin), pickling cucumbers (3-4 inches long) and Mediterranean cucumbers (very long and thin). Always choose cucumbers that are very green and firm. Avoid those that have yellow spots and are too soft. Smaller cucumbers have less seeds.The skin, (if it is not waxed), and the seeds of cucumbers are edible.  As the cucumber matures however, the seeds can start to become bitter. Rich in water, store cucumbers  in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator. They will remain flavorful and crisp for a week in storage. Once cut, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Cucumbers are very low in calories. One cup of sliced cucumbers contains only 14 calories! They are also a great source of Vitamins A, B, C and help to balance out the heat from the warmer months. Here are some more tips:

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon? Put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. 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.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemical 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!!!

6. 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!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. 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.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. 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 released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish 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 photochemical will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, 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 it won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. 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!

A little ingenuity and you will FIND all kinds of uses for CUCUMBERS!!!!

 

 

1 comment on “Find the Cucumbers!

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