Can you freeze cucumbers? How to make it well to enjoy it after defrosting? What types and varieties of cucumber exist? Is it a fruit or a vegetable?
Known as Cucumis sativus, the cucumber is a type of squash that produces green, cylindrical fruits when growing on a vine at the top of the ground.
Can you freeze cucumbers?
Is the cucumber a fruit or a vegetable?
The Larousse definition of the word fruit, in the botanical senseis the next : Plant organ resulting from the development of the ovary, following the fertilization of the ovules, and which, at maturity, contains the seeds. Biologically, specialists explain that “ The fruit of a plant is born from a flower, following the fertilization of the female organs by pollen, whether or not from the same flower. The pistil of the flower (the fertilized ovary) is gradually transformed to become the fruit whose fleshy envelope protects the seeds, and the pips or the stone. The role of the fruit is to protect the seeds and to participate in their propagation. It’s not always edible “. Eggplant, pumpkin, green bean, pepper, tomato, to name but a few, are therefore fruits!
As for their consumption, they fall into two main groups: fresh and pickling cucumbers. One can be sliced and eaten fresh, the other, crispy pickles, must be soaked in water and seasonings to be marinated and eaten.
Varieties of cucumbers exist. There are seedless and seeded. The former are generally sweeter.
Given the characteristics of the fruit, can it be frozen?
Cucumbers contain 95% water. With their water content, they freeze perfectly well. Preservation is possible, but can we eat them after defrosting? Yes, they can be frozen and stored for year-round consumption.
Once thawed, will they be edible?
However, it is advisable to freeze cucumber slices rather than whole fruits. By freezing them whole, they become soggy and lose their flavor once you thaw them.
Freezing times and methods
How long should the freezing last?
Cucumbers should not be stored in the freezer for more than 9 months. Indeed, they must be kept between 6 and 9 months.
There are 4 freezing methods. Just before, wash them well! Two of these methods allow the consumption of salads and soups, the other two – rather drinks.
Parchment paper method
Cut the washed cucumbers into rings or spears. Line a baking or cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the slices in a single layer on the parchment sheet and add it to the freezer for two to three hours. Take them out of the freezer and place them in plastic bags before putting them back in the freezer for longer storage.
If you want, peel them. What you need to do is cut them into slices. Put the cucumber slices in a large bowl with the sliced onions and two tablespoons of salt. Mix the ingredients well. Let the slices sit for two hours, then wash them in cold water.
Drain the water and put the traches in another container. Now add oil, vinegar (apple cider vinegar or white vinegar) and sugar – two-thirds cup each – along with a teaspoon of celery seeds. Add cucumbers and brine to freezer bags or other airtight containers. Be sure to leave an inch of free space.
Freeze. For best flavor, wait at least a week before thawing.
Ice cube method
Place the thin slices in the compartments of an ice cube tray. You can add lemon slices, mint or rosemary. Then place the trays in the freezer. You can use the cucumber ice cubes to make cucumber water or to add a refreshing flavor to cocktails and other drinks.
Place the slices and a small amount of cold water in a food processor to blend until smooth. Before pouring cucumber puree into ice cube trays, add lemon juice. Then place the trays in the freezer. Later, you can use these cubes to enhance drinks, cold soups like gazpacho, or other recipes.
To thaw frozen cucumbers, leave the slices in a large container and let them thaw in the refrigerator between 6 and 8 a.m. Then drain the slices. Cut them up and use them for cucumber salad, cucumber soup or other recipes.
Avoid thawing them outside the refrigerator, at room temperature. This would expose them to bacteria! Never thaw them in the microwave! This would make them pasty.
Eat frozen cucumbers
We think of many uses:
Toss frozen cucumber slices and fresh herbs into cream cheese for a creamy dip. If you still decide to thaw it, drain and chop it to add it to Bulgarian or Greek yogurt with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill and salt to make tzatziki, a Greek dip that goes well with pita bread and vegetables.
Add frozen slices to a fruit smoothie or green smoothie. The water content of the smoothie will increase and give a smooth fresh flavor to the drink.
Puree it with a cup and a third of sugar. You can also add fruit or fruit juice for more flavor. Pour the ingredients into an ice cream maker and freeze according to your recipe instructions.
Toss frozen slices with Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Add half a teaspoon of honey, black pepper and salt, then mix the ingredients until smooth. Refrigerate the soup for at least four hours, then serve with additional cucumber slices.