Early to mid-summer is the best time for cucumbers. Cucumbers were first cultivated in Western India and Asia. Most varieties fall into two categories: slicing – for eating them fresh – and pickling, which keeps their crispness after canning. There are specialty cucumbers appearing now at farmers’ markets, such as the narrow, straight Japanese cucumber, seedless cucumbers, or thin-skinned Persian cucumbers. They are easy to grow and can be planted easily from seeds throughout late spring to early summer.

Fresh cucumber juice is the best rejuvenation tonic in the world. It contains electrolyte compounds and 50 trace minerals.  Cucumbers provide other critical nutrition, too, such as chlorophyll in their skins. There are just 16 calories in a cup of cucumber with its peel (15 without). You will get about 4 percent of your daily potassium, 3 percent of your daily fiber, and 4 percent of your daily vitamin C. They also provide small amounts of vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and vitamin A.   

Cucumbers as a cooking ingredient may look boring, but one could:

  • Add them to smoothies. Cucumbers are cool, mild, and refreshing making them an excellent choice for summertime smoothies.
  • Make gazpacho
  • Ferment them
  • Pickle them
  • Chilled cucumber soups

OR make

Our Favorite Cucumber Salad

Magda Born
Course Salad


  • 3-4 Cucumbers (peeled)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1/4 Tbsp Salt
  • 1/4 Tbsp White pepper


  • Using a cheese grinder, slice the cucumbers (on the largest setting) or use a food processor
  • Adjust spices according to your liking. Could be served at room temperature or cooled

Library resources available:

The Farmers Market Cookbook by Julia Shanks

Vegetables illustrated: An Inspiring Guide with 700+ Kitchen-tested Recipes from America’s Test Kitchen

Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson



Magda Born


Community Services Librarian

Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

625 Minnesota Ave.

Kansas City, KS 66101

913-295-8250 ext 1103