Cucumbers are a low-calorie, delicious vegetable that can be enjoyed as a snack or in a recipe such as cucumber soup. It is a favorite with gardeners, but what happens at harvest time? You are likely to have too many to eat before they go bad. A solution is to freeze them but is it possible to do this? The simple answer is yes and in this article, we will be telling you how to freeze and defrost them as well as giving you tips on how to use them once they have thawed.
There are two different ways of freezing cucumbers. Both are reasonably easy and don’t take up too much time. How you decide to freeze them depends on how you intend to use them.
Freezing Cucumber Slices
If you want to use your cucumber in soups, juices, or other recipes, this is the best method to use.
- Wash the cucumbers and dry them. You don’t want to leave any excess water as cucumbers are watery enough. If you want to have peeled cucumbers, do this now.
- Chop the cucumbers. You can do this in slices or chunks.
- Flash freeze the cucumber slices or chunks. Put them on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer. Make sure that the slices are separate so that they don’t stick together. Leave them in the freezer for two to three hours. The point of this is to freeze the outside of the cucumber. They don’t need to be frozen all the way through at this stage.
- The next step is to put the cucumber slices or chunks into freezer bags and put them back into the freezer. It’s a good idea to put a label on the bag with the date it was frozen. It’s all too easy to forget the date especially if you freeze a lot of items. The slices or chunks shouldn’t stick together so you will be able to take out how many you need.
Freezing Cucumbers in Water
An excellent way to use frozen cucumber is in a drink. What could be better than having a hint of cucumber in your gin and tonic? It makes a change from lemon or lime. You could also add it to a slushie or juice. If you are going to do this, why not freeze your cucumber into ice cubes. It’s easy to do and even easier to use.
- Wash the cucumber and dry it thoroughly.
- Chop the cucumber into small chunks, small enough to fit in an ice cube tray.
- Put the cucumber chunks into the ice cube tray and cover them with cold water.
- Freeze for a few hours and then take the ice cube tray out of the freezer.
- Put the ice cubes into bags and leave in the freezer until you need to use some. They shouldn’t stick together so it will be easy to take just a few cubes out of the bag.
Some Tips for Freezing Cucumbers
It’s easy to freeze cucumbers, but we’ll give you some tips so that you get perfect results.
- Flash Freeze Always. If you don’t flash freeze, you will probably end up with clumps of cucumber. These won’t be that nice when they are defrosted.
- Don’t Use in Salads. Unfortunately, cucumber will lose some texture when frozen because it has a high water content. Because of this, it won’t be suitable for salads. You really just need to use frozen cucumber in recipes or drinks.
- Make Cucumber Ice Cubes. Cucumber will still retain flavor when frozen in water, so ice cubes are a great addition to water, juice, or a gin and tonic.
How Long Can You Keep Cucumbers in the Fridge For?
The good news is that you can keep cucumbers in the freezer for up to 10 months whether you freeze them in water or not. If you can freeze them as soon as they have been picked, all the better. They will keep the fresh flavor and also the vitamins and minerals they have. Frozen vegetables can often be better than fresh if they go into the freezer straight away. If you buy fresh vegetables, you won’t know how long they have been sitting on the shelf.
It isn’t difficult to defrost cucumbers. In fact, if you are going to use it in ice cube form, you will probably just drop the cubes into your drink just as you would a normal ice cube. You can put them in your gin and tonic, or juice, or even a slushie. The cubes will add texture to a slushie.
If, however, you want to defrost the cucumber to use in a recipe, all you need to do is take the frozen cucumber out of the freezer and put it into a bowl. Then, put this in the fridge and allow it to thaw. It should only take a couple of hours. However, it will lose a lot of liquid as it defrosts so add this to the recipe you are preparing. If it’s a hot dish, you can just throw in the ice cubes as they will melt.
Is it a Good Idea to Freeze Cucumber?
If you want to use your cucumber in a salad, it isn’t advisable to freeze cucumber. This is because it has a high water content and the texture changes a lot when frozen. However, if you want to use it as an ingredient in something like a soup or drink, it does freeze well because what you are looking for is the flavor rather than the texture.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may have some questions about freezing cucumbers and hopefully, the following questions and answers will help you.
Is it Possible to Freeze Cucumber Salad?
Perhaps you want a simple dressed cucumber and tomato salad, or maybe you want to make an Asian-inspired cucumber salad with chili and lime. Maybe you think that you could make this in advance and freeze it for the future. However, it isn’t a good idea. Defrosted cucumber loses some of its texture and doesn’t work in a salad. In addition, dressings frozen with vegetables don’t freeze well. It is important to remember that frozen cucumber will be too mushy to use in a salad of any sort.
Is it Possible to Freeze Cucumber Soup?
It’s always handy to have a container of soup in the freezer for emergencies. So does cucumber soup freeze well? The answer is simple, yes, as long as it doesn’t contain any dairy ingredients. If you want to have cream in your cucumber soup, the best thing to do is to add it when you are heating the soup. You can use either method of freezing that we have explained here.
Is it Possible to Freeze Cucumbers for Smoothies?
Yes, it is. You can use either method of freezing. Another great idea is to blend a cucumber puree to freeze and when defrosted, add it to the smoothie. It’s not too difficult to create a puree. Just blend the cucumbers with a little water and then pour it into the ice cube tray. All you have to do is take out a couple of cucumber ice cubes when you want to put them in the smoothie. These ice cubes will help to keep your smoothie nice and cool.