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Use for overgrown cucumbers

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Daisy8s, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just harvested a dozen HUGE cucumbers that got too big for pickles. Wasn't sure what to do since no one in my family enjoys eating them raw. Then, today I came across a recipe for zucchini bread and was inspired to substitute in shredded cucumber instead.

    I'm eating my first slice warm from the bread machine as I type and it's wonderful! I peeled, seeded, and then shredded the cucumber just as you would zucchini. Where the recipe called for some allspice and orange zest I doubled the amounts to add more flavor to make up for the blandness of the cucumber.

    I do think perhaps I should've added more fluid as the bread is a tad bit dry--I guess less moisture in cucs than zuccs. But, overall it was very successful.

    Anyone else have recipes for using overgrown cucumbers? I still have 10 more giants to use up!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I just split them down the middle and set them out for the chickens--they will gobble them up right away.
     
  3. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    Chickens... my chickens LOVE LOVE LOVE cucumber... Last year, I had so many cucumbers that I ended up feeding them one or two every day! I unfortunetly did not grow the pickling kind...
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I've got a whole field full of them. We've sold all we need to, processed all we need, personally, and have fed the birds all they need. There comes a time when I just allow this stuff to re-feed the soil. Frankly, there is an awful lot of produce that we will just disk under. You sort of have to mentally re-frame your thoughts, at some point, in the late season. It's OK. Just compost it in. Later, in fall, the chickens will pick and scratch for weeks on end. The soil needs to be fed too. Our motto, borrowed from Kentucky's leading organic gardener is: Remembering The Fish.

    (referring to the old story of how the Native's helped the Pilgrim's understand planting in the new world.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  5. LiveFree603

    LiveFree603 New Egg

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    I'm surprised to learn the cucumber bread was dry! You'd think cukes would be moister than zucchini. Anyhow, because they're members of the same family as squash, you should be able to use them in much the same way as you would use zucchini or summer squash... I've sauteed my overgrown cukes in olive oil before and was pleasantly surprised at the result.
     
  6. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred,

    You're right, I do need to remember to feed the soil. I actually have plans to set aside some beds and let them rest (under deep piles of compost and horse manure) next year. It's kind of exciting to be beyond those early days of gardening and be at a place of maturity that this is required.

    I really wanted to use these cucumbers, though, because they're my only crop of cucs this year. I replanted twice this spring before I got anything to come up and then I'd been checking and thought I wasn't getting any cucs at all. Yesterday I checked them from a different vantage point and suddenly realized I was looking at a whole row of gigantic green-turning-orange cucumbers down low and nearly hidden from view! Argh!! I was so disgusted with myself and absolutely determined to use the darn things somehow, someway!

    (They may have been dry because they're way past prime).

    Oh, and my birds aren't avid seed eaters. I break open squash for them often, and have even ground up the seeds and guts into a slurry and they'll sort of pick at it but they aren't excited. They did get all the seeds from these cucs, though, via the compost pile.
     
  7. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can actually pickle them. I've done that with my oversize cukes. I slice them lengthwise and scoop out the seeds...give them to the chickens. Then I cut them into strips or chunks and give them a long, ice cold water bath to crisp 'em up. You can dill them or make them sweet or even treat them like watermelon rind and make some really tasty pickles out of 'em!
     
  8. Celie

    Celie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are raising rabbits, they love cucumbers and melons, especially on hot days.
    I bread cucumbers in egg and seasoned bread crumbs and fry them like fried pickles.
    You can also use them in almost any recipe as a substitute for squash.
    You can use them as an astringent, to clean and re-freshen your skin.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nice tips, thanks! I hadn't thought of breading and frying. Maybe I'll try that and use it as I would breaded tofu.

    I am making pickles from them...after three big batches of dill, bread-and-butter, and sweet hamburger pickles I think I've exhausted our appetite for pickles for the next year!

    Does anyone know if you can freeze shredded cucumber? I was thinking of peeling, seeding, and then shredding just like you would zucchini before baking it into bread...but then freezing it in batches. I'm afraid it'll just go to a watery mush, though. Any advice?
     
  10. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They'll come out pretty much like zucchini does. Very watery, but you can add it in to your stews and some casseroles. You can also thaw it to room temp and give it to the chickens...a nice treat for them in winter. I wouldn't peel or de-seed for them though.

    I always freeze my zucchini in 1 or 2 cup packages, since most recipes call for that amount...makes it easier on the back end, LOL
     

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