How to Keep Sliced Cucumbers Fresh
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Knowing how to keep sliced cucumbers fresh isn't some monumental task. There's a few simple things you can do using items you already have around the kitchen.
Forget about throwing away half of a cucumber you weren't able to use. Stop worrying about slicing too many at once. We can fix all of these conundrums for you.
If you're looking at storing cut cucumbers, you just need to be aware of a few techniques. Here's a comprehensive guide for you to keep your cucumbers fresh for a number of days.
How To Keep Sliced Cucumbers Fresh
As of 2022, people in the United States ate on average 8.2 pounds of cucumbers per year. Like many other fruits and vegetables, after harvesting cucumbers can also become soft and soggy, posing a problem for our hunger habits. This is the reason why you should follow some steps to keep them nice and crunchy for as long as you need them.
Preparing to Store Your Sliced Cucumbers
Cleaning is the most important step when you bring these cucumbers to your home. Moreover, cucumbers have a short shelf life so; you should keep these instructions in mind before you purchase them.
If you've bought them from the grocery store, remove the vacuum packaging, and put them in cold water. Even if they are freshly-picked from your garden you'll need to wash off all the dirt and the toxic substances.
With this simple step, you can make sure that the cucumber you're storing isn't rotten or mushy. By handling it, you'll notice if there's a problem before you start slicing into it. Once the cucumber is thoroughly washed, dry it using a paper towel or one of the paper towel alternatives.
After drying them, cover them in a clean dishtowel or paper towel. This step will keep the excess water or humidity away, which later helps to avoid sogginess, growth of any microorganism, and decaying.
After washing and peeling the cucumber, you can now slice them into thin slices using a sharp knife. Cutting the cucumber into small slices is the most convenient way to preserve them. Don't peel them if you want to maintain more of the nutritional value, as the nutrients are stored in the skin.
Moreover, when peeling a cucumber, you should start peeling from the lighter-colored end. This avoids the bitter oil that is present in the darker skin of the cucumber from spreading over the whole cucumber.
Keep The Cucumber Slices Inside a Sealed Bag
Now take these dried and sliced cucumbers and place them in a plastic bag. It's necessary to block the air from passing through them, but you must allow the moisture to escape, too.
Additionally, it's okay to allow a little airflow to prevent condensation so, if you're using a reseal able plastic bag, keep it open at the top. You can come back and close it later once they've dried more.
You should keep cucumber away from those commodities that produce ethylene gas. If the cucumber is exposed to this gas, it starts to ripen and decompose.
Furthermore, cucumber is more susceptible to this condition than any other fruit or vegetable. This is why tucking it in a plastic bag is a good way to separate them from other items.
Nowadays, it's not difficult to find such bags or containers that are used to store fruits and vegetables for a desired period of time. The grocery store sells them by the dozens for cheap.
Refrigerate The Slices
Keep the plastic bag in the warmest place of your refrigerator. Generally, a spot that is close to the door or a vegetable drawer in a fridge is the best place to keep your sliced cucumbers. Likewise, you can also place them at the front of the middle shelf.
By using this technique, you can use the cucumber in your foods over the whole week. Remember to zip up the bag with the remaining cucumber slices again before putting it back in the refrigerator.
Wrapping the cucumber slices in a plastic cling wrap or any plastic wrap alternatives protects the flesh of the cucumber from drying out. This is a way to keep its texture nice and fresh. You can do this before tossing them in the bag, though it's not a must.
If you use this technique to store cucumbers, you'll never have to worry about them getting mushy, moldy, or squishy ever again. However, it can't be used for more than 4-5 days if you're refrigerating them.
Preparing to Freeze Them
Freezing is another answer to "how to store sliced cucumbers". Put the slices in a large mixing bowl. Make sure to lay them as flat as possible. Furthermore, spread the slices out in a single layer.
Then sprinkle salt on the top of the slices. The more you spread these slices out, the easier it is to sprinkle the salt. Also, pick a bowl that can tolerate cool temperatures because you'll be freezing it.
The salt should be distributed evenly across the cucumber slices. By using salt, we can keep its texture crunchy. If you don't use salt in a proper manner, the cucumber will become too moist and soft. As a bonus, these salted cucumber slices add more flavor to your drinks and salad dressings.
Cover and keep the bowl in whatever types of refrigerators you have and leave it there overnight. Drain water from the slices, the next day. This step is crucial, and you must not skip it.
Freeze These Cucumber Slices
For freezing these cucumber slices, you have to create brine. Take some white distilled vinegar in a container, add some white sugar in it. Mix these two ingredients well to make a solution.
Then take a half cup of vinegar and add one and a half cup of sugar into it. When you're done making this solution, put the cucumber slices into it. Soak them well and keep them again in the freezer.
The proportions of vinegar and sugar depend on your tastes. In most cases, higher amounts of sugar and a lower quantity of vinegar is used for sweeter cucumbers. On the other hand, if you want to make sour pickles, use more vinegar and less amount of sugar.
Lastly, leave headspace in the container and then seal it. Keep it in the freezer, afterward. Some people also use ice trays instead of containers. This way, you can store the cucumber slices over a year in your fridge.
How Long Do Cucumbers Last After Being Cut?
Sliced cucumbers typically last 48 hours if they're dried of excess moisture and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This length of time can vary and reach several days if you're willing to cut off the portions that are becoming soft. If brined and frozen, they can be stored indefinitely.
Why to Store & Eat Fresh Sliced Cucumbers
Cucumber grows during early summers and spring. China produces the largest number of cucumber and then comes to India, Russia, and the United States.
Cucumber belongs to the cucurbit family and is found in three types, i.e., seeded, seedless, and small-sized. Basically, cucumber is a vine crop, or as many call them, climbing vegetables. You can grow them on the well-drained ground, on poles, or on trellises where it's suspended in the air.
Cucumber is popular because of its refreshing taste. Moreover, it has a very high water content which makes it the perfect fruit for hot weather.
There are many dishes in which we used them. You must have eaten pickled cucumber or other types of pickles as a side dish to your meal before. Plus, it is rich in soluble fiber, so it aids in weight loss. People find cucumber flavored water extremely refreshing in high heat.
Cucumber contains vitamins like vitamin K and vitamin C, and it's also rich in minerals like magnesium, manganese, and potassium. Ninety-six percent of the weight of a cucumber is due to its water content.
However, in any dish, peeling reduces its nutrient value because its peel has a lot of fiber. So, it's best to consume cucumber without peeling it if you're worried about nutritional value. That's why when we answered "how to keep cut cucumbers fresh" above, we mention peeling but ask you not to do it.
In recent times, many industries are adding cucumber to their skin products. This is because cucumber contains compounds that provide multiple benefits for our skin. Its cooling effect may reduce irritation and swelling. In addition to that, you can apply it to your eyes to get rid of morning puffiness.
Cucumbers are a healthy food that, according to research studies, can aid in reducing the risk for certain ailments. We won't get into the details here but you can look it up to learn about the benefits of this wonder food.
That's How to Keep Sliced Cucumbers Fresh
Cucumbers are a great addition to your food, especially if you know how to keep cut cucumbers fresh. They add flavor to your dishes when used in pickled form.
Especially, it's best to have beverages made with cucumber in the hot seasons as they are known for hydrating our bodies. So many health benefits make it the best fruit to add to our diets.
Additionally, it has a low-calorie count, which makes it the best choice for the people who are on specific diet plans. For those people who hoard their groceries because of their busy schedules, these methods on storing cut cucumbers can be super effective.
Cucumber is the most common vegetable, and it's used in almost every household. This is because you can also grow them indoors. Also, you can use cucumbers to make a number of appetizers anytime, if you have stored them in your house.
Mostly, people keep them at room temperatures; in that case, they last for less than a week if you don't slice them. But now all of us know the methods on how to keep sliced cucumbers fresh.