13 Ways to Beat the Heat with Cool Cucumbers

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Not sure what to do with all the cucs you grew this year? Here are 13 things to do with cucumbers that will have you wishing you had an endless supply of this refreshing veggie.

As summer peaks, I’m once again beginning to suspect I’ve planted too many cucumbers.

For the last few weeks, I’ve had Boston picklers and S80 cucs overflowing my veggie drawer and taking up way too much room on the counter. To keep up with the continuing harvest and to avoid wasting any of these hard-earned veggies, I’ve been busy experimenting with a lot of different recipes and have found some definite keepers.

So, whether you’re like me and have recently found yourself neck-deep in cucs or the heat of summer just has you craving some refreshing cucumber-centric snacks, you’re going to love these 13 cucumber meal, treat, and drink ideas.

1. Simple Cucumber Salad

Vegan | Total time: 40 minutes

Simple Cucumber Salad
Photo: Girl with the Iron Cast

Don’t let the prep time fool you; this cucumber salad is super quick to make. Plus, it only requires a handful of ingredients that can be tweaked to fit your tastes. The cucs do need some time to sit with salt to draw out the excess water, but the actual hands-on time for this easy salad is minimal.

2. Creamy Cucumber, Avocado, Chickpea, & Sun-Dried Tomato Salad

Vegan | Total time: 5 minutes

Creamy Cucumber, Avocado, Chickpea, & Sun-Dried Tomato Salad
Photo: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen

Speaking of quick and easy, this creamy cucumber salad is perfect for whipping up when you are short on time. All you have to do is chop the veggies and toss them with oil and vinegar. The avocados break down in the marinade, creating a creamy texture that just can’t be matched.

3. Cucumber Sandwiches

Vegetarian | Total time: 15 minutes

Cucumber Sandwiches
Photo: Spend With Pennies

These tasty cucumber sandwiches aren’t just for the Brits. A decadent cream cheese spread filled with fresh herbs and garlic powder means these bite-sized sammies can hold their own as a lunchtime centerpiece with or without a kettle of hot tea.

4. Quick Refrigerator Pickles

Vegan | Total time: 15 minutes plus 24 hours to cure

Quick Refrigerator Pickles
Photo: Once Upon a Chef

This super simple pickling recipe is my husband’s go-to for dealing with our excess cucs. It doesn’t require any sterilizing or canning experience and the pickles will stay good in the fridge for up to three months. The recipe warns against using non-pickling specific varieties, but we have had success with our spacemaster 80 cucs as long as we harvest them on the slightly immature side.

Looking to pickle more than just cucumbers? Check out our quick pickle recipe to find out how to preserve everything from beets to peppers.

5. Lacto-Fermented Pickles

Vegan | Total time: 10 minutes plus 3 to 5 days to ferment

Lacto-Fermented Pickles
Photo: Feasting at Home

If you want to take your pickles to the next level, try these amazing fermented pickles. Instead of relying on vinegar to make the cucs tangy and crisp, this recipe uses brine to create just the right environment for healthy bacteria to thrive. These friendly microorganisms create the acidity needed to turn the cucumbers into tasty tart pickles. Plus, you get the added bonus of probiotics.

6. Tzatziki

Vegetarian | Total time: 15 minutes

Tzatziki with a pita chip
Photo: Cookie and Kate

While this tangy sauce is often associated with greek dishes, it actually pairs well with a variety of meals and snacks. I would eat tzatziki plain if it was socially acceptable, so my favorite way to enjoy it is simply with some fresh veggies or pita chips. But it also makes a great topper for roasted vegetables, salads, and for chickpea pancakes.

7. Cucumber Water

Vegan | Total time: 2 minutes

Cucumber Water
Photo: Pickled Plum

Cucumber water seems like the kind of thing reserved for fancy hotel lobbies and spa retreats. But, if you have an excess of cucumbers taking over your kitchen, why not treat yourself to this amazingly simple and refreshing beverage? Not only does it taste amazing, but it’s full of extra electrolytes that make it even better for you than plain old water.

8. Cucumber Salsa

Vegan | Total time: 15 minutes

Cucumber Salsa
Photo: Platter Talk

Cucumbers in salsa? It might sound a little strange, but really, the watery consistency and crunchy texture of cucumbers make them perfect for this Mexican staple. This cucumber salsa recipe utilizes bold flavors like lime, jalapeno, and garlic to give the dip a bit of a kick, but you can easily adjust the ingredients to make a dish that suits your individual tastes.

9. Cold Cucumber Soup

Vegetarian | Total time: 30 minutes

Cold cucumber soup
Photo: What a Girl Eats

This no-cook cucumber soup is perfect for hot summer evenings when you are looking for something refreshing and not too filling, but also not too labor-intensive. Once the cucumbers have “sweated,” all you have to do is toss the ingredients into a blender, and dinner is served.

10. Cucumber Martini

Vegan | Total time: 2 minutes

Cucumber martini
Photo: Fox Valley Foodie

If you are looking for a decadent but fresh way to treat yourself after a long day, this cucumber martini is here to help. Not only is it a cinch to make, but it offers the perfect way to wind down and settle into the evening. The lime, basil, and cucumber flavors play exceptionally well together and help create a drink that is simultaneously relaxing and uplifting.

11. Cucumber Eye Treatments

Young woman with face mask treatment putting cucumbers on eyes.
Photo: Sviatlanka.yanka/Bigstock

Did you know that cucumbers are anti-inflammatory? The ascorbic and caffeic acid in this veggie helps reduce water retention, while the high water content of cucs themselves helps relieve puffiness in the soft tissues around the eyes. To get the most out of your in-home cucumber eye treatment, pop your cuc in the fridge for a while before slicing it, then relax for at least 25 minutes after placing a cucumber slice over each eye.

Of course, to get the full cucumber treatment you’ll need to whip up some zesty cucumber sandwiches and a refreshing cucumber martini to keep you company while this super-simple eye treatment does its work.

12. Pineapple Cucumber Smoothie

Vegan | Total time: 5 minutes

Two glasses of green smoothie dressed with sliced cucumber and lime.
Photo: Minimalist Baker

This amazing smoothie from Minimalist Baker is as healthy as it is tasty. Tangy lime and pineapple meet sweet coconut milk and bananas to create a killer taste combination. Then refreshing cucumber comes in with a handful of spinach to round out that flavor for the perfect, healthy summer pick-me-up.

13. Cucumber Infused Vodka

Vegan | Total time: 5 minutes (let sit 5-7 days)

Glasses of mixed drinks made of cucumber infused vodka, dressed with sliced lime.
Photo: The Mostly Vegan

This homemade cucumber-infused vodka is so easy to make, you’ll be wondering why you ever bought the stuff from the store. And it’s so awesomely delicious, you’ll also be wondering why anyone would ever drink plain vodka. Simply peel and chop your cucs, drop them in a jar of vodka, and wait for the magic to happen.

Sara Seitz

About the Author

Hi and thank you for wanting to get to know me and my passions.

I’m a professional freelance writer with decades of experience learning about and living a green, clean life.

I grew up in Colorado under the influence of three generations of knowledgeable women who knew their way around the garden. I graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor of science in biology and a minor in English. A year before graduation, my life was upended by an unexpected diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes.

Facing the reality of living with an incurable autoimmune disease I left to reflect hard on my lifestyle. While this type of diabetes cannot be cured or treated with diet, I was certain that focusing on her health and fueling her body with clean food would help her better manage her condition. As a lifelong animal lover, it wasn’t difficult for me to transition fully to a vegan diet.

Inspired by the changes I felt after going vegan, I sought out a community of like-minded plant-based eaters, gaining knowledge and experience that would fuel my future career.

In 2018, I brought my daughter into the world. Wanting the opportunity to be home to raise her, I decided to pursue a career as a freelance writer, starting my own company in 2019. http://penandpostwriter.com

Today, I’m lucky to have a long list of clients who pay me to write about my many passions. At the top of that list is gardening and eating a clean diet for the sake of my health, the planet, and all the animals I love.

When I’m not constructing articles for clients, you can find me wrist-deep in dirt in my vegetable garden, hiking with my dogs, or back in front of the computer creating imaginative worlds in my quest to become a published fiction writer. More articles by Sara.