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Publication #FCS8877

Florida Fresh: Cucumbers1

Claudia Peñuela2

Nutrition Facts

The Florida cucumber contains:

  • Water. Water maintains your body's hydration, preventing water retention.

  • Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to heal cuts and keeps teeth and gums healthy.

  • Minerals such as phosphorus and potassium.

• No fat, cholesterol or sodium. They are low in calories.

Figure 1. 
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Why buy locally?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that the average farmers' market produce travels about 50 miles to its destination, compared to 2,000 miles for supermarket produce.

Buy locally and get these benefits:

  • Freshness and good nutrition. Fruits and vegetables harvested in their peak have better flavor and nutritional characteristics.

  • Social/cultural. Helps the community to be aware of the importance of agriculture.

  • Environmental. Protects the natural resources such as green space, wildlife, water, air, and soil.

  • Economic. Promotes local labor force.

Where are Florida's cucumbers harvested?

Most of Florida's cucumbers are grown in West Central and South Florida. Florida farmers produce fresh cucumbers for the market, and for processing and pickling.

When can you buy Florida cucumbers?

You can buy Florida cucumbers October through June. This is nine months of the year!

Table 1. 

JAN

FEB

MAR

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

Select

  • Cucumbers with a deep green color.

  • Cucumbers that are firm in their entire length, with no soft spots.

  • Cucumbers that are well-shaped and heavy for their size.

  • Cucumbers that have not dried up at their tips.

Figure 2. 
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Figure 3. 
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Florida Fresh Cucumbers: From Market to Table

Cucumber Yogurt-Dip

Yield: 6 Servings / Time: 15 minutes

2 cups plain low-fat yogurt

2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and grated

½ cup nonfat sour cream

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp fresh dill

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup baby carrots

1. Peel, seed, and grate one cucumber. Slice the other cucumber and set aside.

2. Mix yogurt, grated cucumber, sour cream, lemon juice, dill, and garlic in a serving bowl. Chill for 1 hour.

3. Arrange tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, and carrots in a colorful platter. Serve with cucumber dip.

*Nutrition info per serving: Calories: 100 cal; Total Fat 2 g; Sodium 90 mg; Total Carbohydrate 17 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein 7 g; Vitamin A 70%; Vitamin C 35%; Calcium 20%; Iron 4%. *Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron listed as % of daily value based on 2,000 calories.

Adapted from: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/downloads/explore_recipe_cards.pdf

Florida Cucumber Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yield: 2 Servings / Time: 15 minutes

For the dressing

1 Tbsp finely chopped thyme

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

- - -

1 cucumber with peel, washed and thinly sliced

Cracked black pepper, to taste

  1. In a small saucepan, add the thyme, vinegar and olive oil. Heat over very low heat to blend and intensify the flavors, about 5 minutes.

  2. Remove from heat and whisk in the mustard until well blended.

  3. In a serving bowl, add the cucumber slices. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and toss to coat evenly.

4. Add the black pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition info per serving: Calories: 160 cal; Total Fat 14 g; Sodium 184 mg; Total Carbohydrate 8 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 3 g; Potassium 255 mg; Saturated fat 2 g; Calcium 37 mg; Monounsaturated fat 10 g

Footnotes

1.

This document is FCS8877, one of a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. First published: August 2009. Reviewed, with minor revision: September 2012. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Claudia Peñuela, nutrition assistant-EFNEP, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences; Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.