If your garden is producing an abundance of cucumbers, then you’re probably looking for creative ways to use them all up. After all, there are only so many pickles one can eat! Here are two delicious and easy recipes to help you use up all of those cucumbers.
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Seasonal amnesia happens to the best of us: We plant a bunch of cucumber plants that quickly overwhelm us with cucumbers. We trod through a pickling marathon. We volunteer to host the family Labor Day picnic just so we can serve pickles, and give them away at Christmas.
We vow to never grow cucumbers again.
And then it’s January and we’re planning our garden. Ten cucumber plants don’t sound like too many! Rinse and repeat.
(If you haven’t had luck with cucumbers, don’t despair: My Grow the Best Cucumbers post will get you there!)
Cucumbers have so many amazing health benefits like vitamins B & C, electrolytes, anti-inflammatories, anti-carcinogens, and a boatload of other micronutrients.
So even though Mr. TAF doesn’t care for them much, last year I was insistent that we grow at least some. My plan backfired when I got a giant harvest, and realized he wasn’t going to eat any of those pickles I made. I tried cucumber salsa and Greek salad to try to find that perfect taste combination that he might tolerate. No dice. We gave a bunch away.
Recipes for the Cucumber Hater
Being the ever-stubborn person that I am, I insisted again on growing cucumbers this year. They are healthy! We need the variety in our diet! And then the harvest started rolling in. What else could I make besides pickles and Greek salad?
#1: Cucumber Chips Two Ways
I’ve been on a kick this year to discover more of the benefits of having a dehydrator (here’s mine). After all, dehydrating fruits and vegetables creates lightweight, packable, shelf-stable food. It requires few tools and equipment, and is energy-efficient.
Dehydrated fruit and peppers are nice, but what about all those other veggies? Case in point: Kale chips. Why not cucumber chips?
Try this healthy, crispy, potato chip alternative. Rather than sprinkling the cucumber chips with sea salt, try these blends:
Barbecue Flavored Cucumber Chips (spice blend)
In a bowl, mix:
- 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Transfer spice blend to an empty salt shaker and sprinkle over cucumber slices before dehydrating.
Herbed Cucumber Chips (herb blend)
Blend together into a powder (I use my coffee grinder):
- 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
Slice a pound of cucumbers into thin, 1/8-inch thick slices. A mandoline slicer will make this easier. Transfer herb or spice blend to an empty salt shaker and sprinkle over cucumber slices.
To dehydrate, place cucumber slices in a single layer on dehydrator trays, and dehydrate at 135 degrees F for 4 hours or until crispy.
#2: Cucumber Watermelon Salad
When I got a watermelon in my CSA share and saw it sitting next to a stack of cucumbers on the kitchen shelf, a light bulb went off. Surely, I thought, someone out there in the interwebs has already figured out how to combine the two into a tasty dish?
Indeed, I found this recipe for Watermelon Cucumber Salad. The dressing looks simple and divine, and would be a nice touch for a meal served to company.
But for an everyday meal, let’s be honest. We just want to get wholesome food on the table as fast as possible. Forget the dressing and check this out.
- Cucumbers and Watermelon. Ratio: 4 cucumbers to 1 mini watermelon (if you like more cucumber) or 1 regular-size watermelon to 2 cucumbers (if you like more watermelon)
- Peel, de-seed, and chop cucumbers
- De-seed and chop watermelon (avoid rind)
- Combine cucumber and watermelon pieces
- Serve cold
Jury: Mr. TAF thought the salad was delicious and easy to eat. The juicy watermelon really distracts from the cucumber taste, though it’s present enough for those who enjoy cucumbers. The cucumber chips will be an easy addition to packed lunches for months to come.
What have you made with your cucumbers besides pickles and Greek salad?