How to store fresh cucumbers
The question of how to keep fresh cucumbers longer is relevant not only for gardeners, but also for those who buy vegetables in stores. Knowing the basic rules and some secrets, you can significantly extend the shelf life of these fruits. Let's look at how to store cucumbers in the refrigerator.
Fresh cucumber storage
Keeping cucumbers fresh requires some knowledge and preparation. It should be remembered that this vegetable contains a large percentage of liquid (about 95%), the evaporation of which leads to the drying of the fruit, the loss of their shape and taste.
Cucumbers do not tolerate temperature changes - with increased humidity and excess heat, they begin to rot. However, too low temperatures (below 0 ° C) are also not suitable for storing cucumbers - vegetables are covered with mucus, become soft and unfit for consumption.
Not all cucumber varieties have good keeping quality - remember this when acquiring new seeds. First of all, this applies to greenhouse varieties with an early ripening period - they cannot be stored for a long time. Thin-skinned vegetables also cannot boast of high keeping quality.
The best option for storage - cucumbers with a dense skin that grew in the open ground.
Cucumbers for storage must be carefully selected, discarding rotten and damaged fruits. Overripe vegetables also will not work - it is better to preserve them for pickling, cooking cucumbers or getting seeds.
How to keep cucumbers fresh longer? In no case do not wash them after harvesting, since the fruits have their own protection against moisture evaporation: cucumbers from the garden have a naturally formed film, and bought ones are specially coated with a wax layer.
To keep fresh cucumbers as long as possible, try to put them in the basement or refrigerator immediately after harvesting. Leaving them in the sun or in a warm room, you significantly reduce the potential keeping of fruits. It is better to use cucumbers that you pick yourself for storage, because vegetables from the market, and even more so from stores, cannot be just picked.
In the fridge
How to store fresh cucumbers in the refrigerator? The main thing is to keep them away from the freezer and separate from other fruits (apples, pears, bananas, etc. can secrete a substance that accelerates the ripening process) .. Best of all - use the lower compartment, designed for vegetables.
The most common storage of cucumbers in the refrigerator, without any tricks, allows the fruit to remain fresh for 3 to 5 days. How can cucumbers be kept in the refrigerator longer? Put them in a bag (without closing), and cover them with moist gauze on top. Or, as an option - wrap each vegetable with paper towels, and then fold the cucumbers in a bag.
In the basement
Cucumbers love cool places
Where to store fresh cucumbers if they did not fit in your refrigerator? The room should be cool and dark enough. The necessary conditions for storing cucumbers are usually provided with a basement. Fruits must be placed in a wooden or cardboard box - in this form they retain their qualities for a month. The only condition is a regular inspection of vegetables and timely "rejection" of sluggish, dry or rotten ones.
Some summer residents recommend using a damp cloth for storing cucumbers: the fruits wrapped in it are placed in the basement, regularly inspecting and moistening the “wrapper” as necessary. If you have an earthenware barrel, you can use it as a container. Putting the cucumbers inside, sprinkle them with thoroughly washed, dried and sifted river sand. Even better is to dig a recess in the basement, place a keg in it and slightly dig it.
How to save cucumbers for longer using folk recommendations? Many years ago, our grandmothers kept cucumbers in water, which prevented evaporation and helped maintain the right temperature. To do this, the fruits were placed in a net, which was then lowered directly into the river with clean running water. Thus, the cucumbers persisted for a long time, until the winter.
How to store fresh cucumbers in water, if there is no river nearby and we are talking about an ordinary apartment? At home, you can use an enameled or glass container filled with water for a couple of centimeters. We put the cucumbers vertically in it, with tails in the water, and then put it in the basement or in the refrigerator (water needs to be changed daily). The fruits will remain tasty and crisp for several weeks.
- Regular chicken protein helps keep fresh cucumbers as long as possible. The fruits must be thoroughly washed (preferably with boiled water) and dried dry. We separate the raw protein from the yolk and carefully lubricate the skin of the cucumbers with it. We hang the fruit by the tail and wait until the protein dries and a film forms, and then we put it in the refrigerator. Cucumbers in such a film remain fresh for a long time and do not lose their qualities.
- Cucumbers can be placed in a bucket, covered with gauze and lowered into the well. It is important that the bucket does not sink completely, but only touch the bottom of the water.
- Horseradish root will help keep fresh cucumbers as long as possible. It is cleaned and cut into pieces, and then put on the bottom of a sterilized jar. Carefully washed and dried cucumbers are laid on top. The lid is scalded with boiling water and a jar is twisted. Place such cans in the basement.
- Using a paraffin candle, you can create an airless space in a jar of cucumbers, which will allow them to be stored for much longer. Before you roll up the jar, place a lighted candle in it - in about ten minutes a vacuum will form in a closed container.
- After pouring a thin layer of vinegar on the bottom of the enameled pan, place a strainer or net over it. Place cucumbers on top (they should not touch vinegar) and cover with a lid. Place a container in the cellar.
- A very interesting way to keep cucumbers fresh is to place them inside the cabbage heads. For this, cucumber seedlings are planted between rows of late-ripening cabbage. When small fruits appear, they are placed between the leaves of cabbage (without tearing off the ovary), and left to grow like that. When the cabbage head takes shape - the cucumber will be inside it. Cabbage is stored in the basement and with it fresh cucumbers.
- Where can I not store cucumbers? They should not be placed in a tightly sealed bag without holes. Since air cannot penetrate into the bag, the fruits will be doomed to rot. (An exception is the vacuum packaging in which store cucumbers are sold - for greater safety, try not to open it for as long as possible.)
- You can occasionally pull cucumbers out of the refrigerator and sprinkle with water. The most important thing is that the fruits dry completely before returning to the shelf, otherwise they will begin to rot.
- When buying cucumbers at the market or in the store, pay attention to the condition of the entire batch: it makes no sense to choose individual "beautiful" specimens from a pile of sluggish, because their keeping quality will be equally low.
- Do not buy fruits that are in very chilled display cases (if possible, specify how many degrees are in the refrigerator). Remember that the shelf life of supercooled cucumbers is minimal, and taste is very doubtful.