Add delicious cucumbers to your shopping trolley this October.
Did you know this versatile and fresh vegetable is actually botanically classed as a fruit? Cucumbers are 96% water so they are low in kilojoules. They are also a source of fibre, vitamins A, C, K and potassium.
Lebanese cucumbers are a sweet cucumber with dark green, thin skin and juicy flesh. They are similar in size to zucchinis. Continental cucumbers are the longest and thinnest cucumbers and are usually sold in plastic wrap. Green cucumbers are usually shorter and fatter than continental cucumbers, with thick dark green skin and relatively large seeds.
Look for cucumbers with smooth, unblemished skin. Choose ones that are firm without any soft patches.
Keep cucumbers in the crisper of your fridge for up to five days.
Rinse cucumbers before use, then peel if you prefer. Chop as desired. Use cucumbers in a range of meals, salads, sides and sauces.
3 ways with cucumber
Try serving this flavoursome cucumber raita with spicy curries: combine 2 cups low-fat natural yoghurt with 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, 2 very thinly diced Lebanese cucumbers and a dash of freshly-squeezed lime juice.
For a refreshing spring time drink, combine equal parts freshly squeezed apple and orange juice, with 1/4 cup each chopped strawberries and cucumbers and some mint leaves in a blender. Process until smooth.
This salad makes a tasty light meal. Toss together 2 cups rocket leaves, 1 chopped cucumber, 1 tablespoon chopped cashews, 1 tablespoon Asian-style dressing, chopped fresh coriander and a squeeze of lemon. Serve with 100g grilled chicken breast.