Cucumber is a healthy and delicious snack, but it can become shriveled and stewed after a few days. Extend the shelf life of the vegetable by wrapping the slices in a wet piece of paper towel and refrigerating. For longer storage, mix the slices with brine before freezing them. Use proper storage techniques so that the slices stay fresh until it's time to use them.
freezing the slices
- 7 small cucumbers;
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) of salt;
- 1 1/2 cup (360 g) of white sugar;
- 1 1/2 cup (360 ml) of white distilled vinegar.
Method 1 of 3: Preparing Cucumbers for Storage
Step 1. Wash cucumbers before storing
Remove them from their packaging, even if they are in a vacuum-sealed plastic. Then wash them with cold running water in the sink. It is not necessary to use soap, but its use also does not harm the vegetable.
Step 2. Dry them completely
Cucumbers need to be very dry before being stored. Use a paper towel to remove most of the moisture, then wrap them with another paper towel or a kitchen towel. The material will absorb the remaining moisture until it is time to slice the vegetable.
Any cucumbers that are soft or with mold marks should be used immediately. Cut these parts with a knife
Step 3. Peel the vegetable to store it more easily
Use a vegetable peeler and remove the dark green skin, leaving the light green flesh exposed. It's difficult to keep the skin from softening, so it's easier to remove it, unless you prefer not to cut the cucumber into slices.
Step 4. Cut cucumbers into small slices
Use a sharp knife to slice the vegetable into smaller pieces. Try cutting pieces half an inch long. The size doesn't have to be exact, so you don't need to use a ruler. Try to keep them small and even to prevent water buildup.
Cucumbers taste best when used immediately. If you're not going to use them yet, don't cut them. Instead, wrap them in a dry paper towel and place them and a bag in the fridge
Method 2 of 3: Cooling the slices
Step 1. Moisten a paper towel
No matter how you slice the cucumbers, it is always necessary to keep the peeled parts covered with a paper towel. Moisten the paper slightly with cold running water, but avoid soaking it, as the extra moisture will soften the vegetables more quickly. Squeeze excess water from the paper.
- The easiest way to store cucumbers is to cut them into slices, but that's not the only way. Another option is to cut it partially, as long as you keep the pulp moist and the skin dry.
- For example, if you cut it in half, cover the other exposed half with a damp paper towel. Cover the rind with a dry one so that it doesn't absorb moisture.
Step 2. Wrap the vegetable in a paper towel
Place the cucumber pieces in the middle of the paper towel. Then bend the ends to cover them completely. The small amount of moisture should keep the vegetable fresh without letting it wither.
- If you're concerned about adding too much moisture, wrap the slices in a dry paper towel.
- Since moisture makes the vegetable soft and moldy, store the slices separately from the uncut cucumbers.
Step 3. Store the rolled cucumbers in an open plastic bag
The bags of vegetables and fruits available in supermarkets are great for storing them in the fridge. You can also use the sealables. Leave the bags open so the cucumbers are not shriveled and to allow moisture to escape.
Step 4. Place the bag in the least cold part of the refrigerator
The vegetable drawer is an ideal place. Another option is to position the bag at the front of the middle shelf. Cucumbers will be better away from cold air, which accumulates closer to the ground or near the freezer.
Studies show that cucumbers don't do very well in the cold. Temperatures below 10 °C start to damage them after three days. Control the temperature as much as you can and eat the slices as soon as possible
Step 5. Keep slices away from ethylene-producing fruits
Cucumbers are sensitive to ethylene and degrade more quickly when in contact with it. Avoid storing fruits with this vegetable. If you put them in the same refrigerator, place them on opposite sides or use boxes or cans to reduce exposure to gas.
Invisible gas is produced by fruits like lemon, banana, apple, peach and pear. Tomatoes can also wilt cucumbers quickly
Step 6. Use in two days
The vegetable doesn't last long, especially after being sliced. Try to use it within two days. With proper storage and a little luck, it can last up to a week.
As cucumbers tend to spoil quickly, minimize the number of slices for storage. Leave them whole until it's time to use them
Method 3 of 3: Freezing the cucumbers
Step 1. Place the sliced cucumbers in a bowl
Place the slices as flat as possible in a large bowl. Spread them out in a single layer if possible. The more you can spread, the easier it will be to add salt. Also, choose a bowl that can withstand cold temperatures.
Step 2. Sprinkle salt over the vegetable
One tablespoon (15 g) of salt can be used for seven cups of sliced cucumbers. Reduce the amount of salt when storing less than that. Use your fingers or a measuring spoon and distribute the ingredient evenly. You can also mix the slices by hand or with a spoon to coat them well.
- If you are unsure of the amount of salt, sprinkle just a little on each slice. Use as much as you can get between two fingers.
- You can freeze the vegetable directly without salt and other ingredients, but they wilt because they contain a lot of water. However, you can still use them to flavor drinks, soups and smoothies.
Step 3. Refrigerate the cucumbers overnight
Place the bowl in the refrigerator. You don't need to do anything else now, just wait and leave the canister untouched for up to 24 hours. If you want them to be very crispy, cover the bowl with a towel and put a handful of ice on top.
Step 4. Drain
The next day, remove the container from the refrigerator and discard the water. Press the cucumbers well with your hands or with a kitchen utensil to squeeze out excess water. This process is essential to keep them very crispy.
Step 5. Mix with sugar and vinegar
Add the ingredients to the bowl and mix well, allowing the sugar to dissolve while soaking the cucumbers for a few minutes.
Adjust the aspect ratio to your liking. Often more sugar and less vinegar are used for sweeter cucumbers. Using more vinegar than sugar produces very sour pickles
Step 6. Store in freezing containers
Remove the bowl again and transfer the pickles to frost-resistant, sealable containers. Also transfer the vinegar and sugar solution, leaving a space of half an inch at the top. Cucumbers will last a year in the freezer.
- To keep vegetables fresher for longer, avoid slicing them until it's time to use them.
- Use soft cucumbers immediately. Cut off any soft, moldy parts and do not store.