As the season of crisp and juicy cucumbers approaches, it’s important to keep in mind the downside of this beloved summer vegetable: it’s notorious for spoiling quickly due to its high water content. So how can you avoid the disappointment of cucumbers turning slimy and shriveling just days after purchase?
Cucumbers are an excellent source of hydration during the hot summer months, but they also tend to spoil quickly. When faced with a slightly mushy cucumber, the question arises: should you cut off the affected part and eat the rest, or simply throw it away? According to a nutritionist, it’s best to resist the temptation and discard the entire cucumber as it has likely already begun to rot and can cause digestive issues if consumed.
The key to storing cucumbers properly is to maintain the appropriate storage temperature. The ideal temperature for cucumbers is around 10 degrees Celsius with a humidity level of 90%, making the vegetable drawer in a refrigerator the best place to store them. Lower temperatures can cause cucumbers to develop frostbite, leading to discoloration and faster spoilage.
It’s also important to store cucumbers in an airtight plastic bag without washing them first. Wrapping the cucumber in a paper towel can also be helpful as it absorbs excess moisture, keeping the cucumber fresh for longer. It’s also advisable to keep cucumbers away from ethylene-producing fruits such as tomatoes, apples, and avocados, as these can cause cucumbers to spoil faster.
When choosing a cucumber, look for a firm one with no visible bruises or blemishes, and a dark green color. Thin-skinned cucumbers tend to spoil faster than thick-skinned ones, so keep that in mind when selecting. And before worrying about how to store cucumbers, it’s best to consider your meal plan and only purchase what you can consume within a week to avoid unnecessary waste.