The July Vegetable of the Month is Cucumbers!
Cool as a cucumber is a totally factual statement. The cucumber is a refreshing and delicious treat on a hot summer day! (Yes, vegetables can be treats!) And when the temperature gets too warm to spend hours in the kitchen, the cucumber is always there, no cooking required.
Cucumbers may be on the lighter side, but they’re still full of nutrients and health helpers. And a full cup of cucumbers has just 13 calories!
Did you know…
- Here in South Dakota, cucumbers can only be grown in summer. Now is the time to pick up some at your local farmers market!
- The inside of a cucumber can be up to 20 degrees colder than the exterior.
- Cucumbers are part of the Cucurbitaceae family. Their relatives include gourds, melons, pumpkins, and squashes.
- The thicker a cucumber is, the more seeds it has. Shop accordingly!
- Cucumbers are 96% water, so they’re a super ally in your summer quest for hydration.
- Leave a cucumber’s skin on! If you remove it, you lose out on fiber and VItamin A.
Six ways to eat more cucumber
- Get into a pickle. Check out this recipe from SDSU Extension about how you can make your own pickles at home. Four pounds of cucumbers generate 5 – 6 pounds of pickles!
- Pining for you. If you’re feeling adventurous with your salad recipes, combine chunks of cucumber, pineapple, onion, and some cilantro. Drizzle with lime juice and salt. (Add cayenne pepper and chili powder if you’re feeling spicy).
- Crunch time. Sub in cucumber slices for chips or crackers as vessels for dips.
- Noodle on this. Lighten up a pasta salad with some cubed cucumber and lemon juice.
- Cucumber-ade. Toss some thinly sliced cucumber into your lemonade. Add some mint for an extra snap!
- Sushi you later. Thinly slice strips of cucumber and wrap them around avocado, carrots, shrimp, and whatever else sounds tasty.
Can’t get enough fruits and veggies? Be sure to check out Harvest of the Month, a downloadable educational program designed to make learning about fruits and veggies easy, tasty, and fun!