Everyone loves cucumbers. They are crisp, refreshing and work well in salads.
But can you freeze them? Can you store cucumbers in the freezer?
These are questions that we get asked all of the time.
In this blog post, we will answer these questions by looking at freezing specific vegetables in general.
Here are some helpful hints when it comes to how long they will stay fresh and, more importantly, edible.
Are Frozen Cucumbers Still Good?
Cucumbers are known for their refreshing, crunchy taste and versatile culinary uses.
Cucumber skin is also a good source of silica which can help with digestion as well as other bodily functions such as cell regeneration in the human body.
Cucumbers can be frozen and enjoyed at a later time as well, which is great for saving some of the season’s crop.
But how do you know if they’re still good? Here are few signs to look out for.
If when thawed or cooked, there is an unpleasant odor coming from them it could mean that bacteria has started growing on them – don’t eat.
They have gone bad if they feel slimy or mushy; this means harmful bacteria have grown quickly in these conditions and will cause food poisoning symptoms like nausea and vomiting if consumed.
This cucumber product should not be eaten by anyone who chooses to consume it.
You would also notice any changes in coloration such as bruising, browning, or darkening.
If the cucumber has sprouted vines on it then they have gone bad and should not be eaten because that is a sign of spoilage.
Can You Freeze Whole Cucumbers?
Sure. Cucumbers are a natural choice for the freezer as they have such high water content that they will not be adversely affected by the freezing process.
If you are looking for a new way to use up your cucumbers, this is it.
Just wash and dry them thoroughly before putting them in Ziploc bags or other freezer-safe containers.
Make sure to label what’s inside so you don’t forget.
When ready to eat, allow frozen veggies to thaw at room temperature over several hours then enjoy as desired.
How to Freeze Cucumbers
Freezing cucumbers is often discouraged because they have a high water content, but consider how much better freezing them is than not having any.
Frozen cucumbers are inferior to fresh ones because they get spongy and the taste is subdued.
Trying to store unwashed cucumbers in the freezer? Pickling whole cucumbers is a great way to keep them fresh for many months.
Use your favorite pickling recipe and follow the same instructions as if you were pickling fresh cucumbers.
If you want to freeze them, blanch them first in boiling water for about 30 seconds then shock them by running cold water over them before placing on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
This will stop fermentation that can take place when they’re frozen at room temperature or otherwise.
Different Methods to Freeze Cucumbers
1 – Cut them into thin slices
Place the slices in a bowl with some sliced onion and flavor with salt, pepper, and vinegar or lemon juice.
Pour cold water over the cucumbers to cover them completely.
Cover the bowl with a towel for 30 minutes then drain off any excess liquid.
Once they cool you can place in freezer bags and freeze.
This is an excellent way to keep fresh produce such as cucumber from spoiling while also freezing it at its freshest quality without having it lose nutrients during freezing process.
2 – Drain and rinse cucumber slices.
Add salt and pepper, then stir in onion. Allow to rest for 3 hours before squeezing out remaining liquid.
Place sugar, vinegar, celery seeds, and mustard seed into a separate bowl.
Pour the mixture over cucumbers before refrigerating them for at least 3 days.
And put the pickles in the fridge for a day or two before you eat them.
3 – Puree them.
One alternative to pickling cucumbers is to mix them in a blender, then pour the contents into ice cube trays.
Once they have frozen, transfer the frozen cubes to a sealed container.
Then when you need them, just pop a cube out of the container and defrost it in some water.
How to Freeze Cucumber Slices
Cucumber slices are often used in salads, sandwiches, and other food dishes.
The cuke is also perfect for making cucumber cocktails.
Here are the steps for freezing sliced cucumbers:
- Rinse them and then cut into thin slices.
- Arrange on a cookie tray or other flat surface in a single layer. The trays allow for better air circulation than unwrapped rounds do, which freeze more quickly without directing moisture towards them.
- Freeze about 30 minutes to an hour until solid but not stiff like ice cream when handled gently.
- Then store in freezer bags if you cannot use all right away, as this prevents clumping and getting water inside your bag.
How to Thaw Frozen Cucumbers
Place frozen cucumbers in a colander and briefly run them under warm water.
Squeeze out the excess liquid from the cucumbers before using them.
You can use this simple technique for any type of fruit or vegetable as well, such as blueberries, strawberries, grapes, or onions.
How to Use Frozen Cucumbers
Frozen cucumbers may not be of the same quality as fresh ones, but there is still a myriad of ways one can use them.
One could for instance, eat the frozen slices and spears on their own or add them to recipes like sandwiches, smoothies, chilled soups and cucumber water (among other possibilities).
For green juices, just add a handful of frozen slices into your blender along with other ingredients.
For smoothies, the cucumber can be added to any fruit blend.
In addition to the usual work of slicing and dicing for salad or eaten as is, as a snack on apples or with yogurt dip; slice them into small rounds and try your hand at making sorbet.
Combine your favorite fruits and berries (or chopped ingredients), blend together, freeze well again and an incredibly refreshing dessert is yours.
Add frozen cucumbers to a glass or pitcher of water and enjoy a chilled, cucumber-infused drink.
Cucumbers can also be used in cold soups for an extra refreshing experience.
Frozen slices are great as sandwich filling or added to wraps with other ingredients (e.g., tuna salad).
Frozen spears make excellent finger foods served alongside hummus dip, yogurt dip, fruit dips or even pesto sauce.
Or, blend the cucumber with yogurt and dill, and you’ve got yourself a yummy chilled soup.
Try applying cucumbers to your face and eyelids, the back of you neck, or your scalp.
Cucumber slices can also be used in a facial mask:
To make this cucumber face mask, place the thawed cucumber slices on a plate and sprinkle them with sea salt.
Spread the cucumbers out evenly on the plate so that they are in one layer.
Cover your face (or just your problem area) with plastic wrap, then press the thawed cucumbers onto you skin to cover it completely.
Wait 15-20 minutes or until the cucumber is cold before removing it from your skin.
Cucumbers help refresh tired eyes and remove those pesky eye bags.
Simply put the frozen slices over your eyes for a few minutes to take care of any under-eye circles.
Cucumbers are the ultimate food staple in almost every household and it’s perfectly understandable to not know how many ways you can use them.
Share your favorite cucumber recipes, tips on preserving them and more in the comments.