Monday, 4 August 2008

Freezing Cucumbers

I think I mentioned that I have had extraordinary beginner's luck with my cucumbers. We have harvested over 50 from six plants and I only hope I will be able to use them all. At the moment we are averaging two per day but my sister-in-law has just left so we have gone from being nine to six. Luckily we all (still!) like cucumber but even so, one a day is easily enough.

One of our "use up cucumber" recipes is Tzatziki. It works very well as a salad or as an accompaniment to meat. Here's my recipe but please feel free to vary the quantities at will - you might think an entire cucumber was excessive for example!

Peel and finely chop one cucumber
Mix it with three or four natural yoghurts (or one big one)
Add some finely chopped garlic
Add the juice of one lemon
Mix it up and it's ready to eat!

However, even this isn't enough to use up ALL the cucumbers!

Max is looking after a chateau/hotel this week. The owner is away on holiday with his family and Max is basically house manager/caretaker/trouble shooter. The evening meal is cooked by a chef who comes in each evening to provide the dinner ordered by the guests. He is a delightful man and last year, when Max did the same job, surprised us by presenting us with a "takeaway" gourmet meal on the day Max finished there. It was delicious and all my favourite things.

Max mentioned to Christian yesterday that he was worried I might be planning on buying another fridge as the one we have is stuffed full of cucumbers. "No problem", said Christian (well, actually it was "Pas de probleme", but anyway...) "Just freeze them!"

Oh ha, ha. I have been looking all over the internet to find out how to freeze the wretched things without all sorts of complicated manoeuvres involving brine. I don't have enough tomatoes to make Gazpacho but that's coming. Back to Christian and I happily give you his very simple and straightforward advice.

Peel the cucumbers
Cut in half length ways and remove the centres (which is where most of the water is)
Sprinkle both sides with salt.
Put in plastic bag, seal and freeze.

Just for the record an ice cream scoop is brilliant for taking out the centres.

I froze four this afternoon and will de-freeze one later this week to see how it tastes. Results will be reported here!


Kelly said...

Thanks for that! We are generally overrun with cucumbers too...we give a ton a way, but there is only so much people can eat and we have been wondering about freezing them! woohoo! thanks!!!


Gen said...

Does the salt affect the taste at all? I love making Cucumber 'smoothies' in the summer, but live alone and often find the cucumbers go bad before I use them all.

Carrie said...

I tried searching your blog to see if you reported back on how this worked and couldn't find anything. I wanted to know how your frozen cucumbers came out. Most of the freezing recipes I've found use vinegar and salt and I would love a way to freeze them without committing them to a recipe.

Anonymous said...

what is a cucumber smoothie? How do I make it?


Anonymous said...

How did they turn out once thawed?

Up The Garden Path said...

Hi Anonymous
They were dreadful! Total disaster and went to the pigs. Now we just eat them. However.i do have one friend who liquidises them and then freezes them for future use in soup.

Anonymous said...

Hi there everyone,
I had terrible luck with our first time cucumbers. It rained records amount here in va all summer. I was able to get bulk cucumbers from local farmers though. We have started living healthier and juicing or making green smoothies. What I've been successful doing with all my cakes is juicing them and putting the juice in ice trays. I take out cute cubes and bag them in freezer bags then vacuum seal them. I have taken out the cubes and placed them in blender with my smoothie and I have added them to our juice as ice cubes to make it very cold. It is so good !

Julie said...

Oh my god that is brillant Wendy! Why didn't I think of that? I came across this site looking for a way to freeze cucumbers for smoothies. Freezing there juice would be perfect because I often juice them to make a cucumber limeade drink but really almost want to juice a lot at a time anyways because it's a pain in my but to clean my juicer. I would can but that in itself is a pain in the but. Thanks for the ideal!

Anonymous said...

The most delicious and refreshing drink is to juice cucumber,carrot and celery. I keep a 1/2 gallon in fridge during summer. I use tuna cans to freeze cucumber juice, then bag them to have in winter with carrot and celery juice.

Anonymous said...

I make a smoothie with cucumbers, pineapple, celery and a little coconut water. It is delicious and good for re-hydrating your thirsty body. I am so glad to know that they freeze well by blending them with water and putting them in ice trays :)

Rosina said...

For a bit bigger volume,I blend and freeze in muffin pans. Once frozen they easily pop out and I then put 4 pucks per food saver bag, seal and pop back in freezer for smoothies or whatever other idea I get. My fridge is currently overrun and it is only mid summer. My neighbours get a lot as well. Now if only the tomatoes would hurry and ripen. Then it will be greek salad time. Yummmm.
I also have a freezer full of lettuce frozen in this manner. Romain is best but any do. Lettuce got way ahead of me so went researching and found this out. Any greens works great this way. Can also add to soups as well or wherever you want to sneak extra nutrition in.