Cucumber is a refreshing lean and long green garden vegetable with a high water content from the same family as pumpkins and watermelons. These are technically fruits but are more considered and cooked as a vegetable as these have a mildly sweet and cool taste, and slightly tastes like a melon fruit. This creeping vine plant is under the Cucurbitaceae family that almost always bears spherical or cylindrical fruits. There are many benefits to this fruit-vegetable such as preventing constipation, lowers blood sugar, and for a healthy weight loss.
A short Introduction
Is cucumber a fruit? What does a cucumber plant look like? Cucumbers or ‘Cucumis sativus’ is a cultivated climbing plant under the Cucurbitaceae family that produces spherical and cylindrical fruits. A popular plant with a subtle sweet and refreshing taste, has light lime to dark green color with an elongated cylindrical shape that can be as long as 24 inches with a 4 inch diameter. An annual plant with 3 varieties; pickling, seedless, and slicing, which under these 3 have several other cultivars. These are said to have originated from the Himalayas to China and Thailand and have since then grown to almost every continent, commercially grown and traded on the global market.
Consisting of 95% water, this, while considered a fruit, is a botanical berry with no hard rind and no divisions. Similarly to fruit-like vegetables like tomatoes or plants from the squash family. These are more likely to be prepared as a vegetable. Popularly eaten in salads, or drank as cucumber water or juice that is said to help detox, made into cucumber sandwiches to give a fresh taste and a bit of a crunch, added into sauces, burgers, and many more.
Cucumber calories are about 10 out of a serving of 100 grams, with a list of cucumber nutrition coming to a list of 1.5 carbohydrates, 0.7 protein, 0.1 fat, and 0.6 fiber. This high water content vegetable-fruit is very beneficial as it’s packed with antioxidants, fiber, low in calories, is full of water and is ideal for hydration and weight loss. Here are more benefits:
- Keeps you hydrated, similar to water it just keeps the body from having indigestion, keeps the body temperature regulated, supplement kidney function and brain cognition.
- Promotes weight loss, being high in water and has a good amount of fiber. It keeps the gut healthy and regulates bowel movement. It helps with your metabolism which because it helps the gut and keeps you fuller for longer it helps remove excess weight.
- These are high in Vitamin K which is very much needed to promote bone health reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
- Has anti-cancer compounds, ‘Cucurbitacin B’ a plant compound found in this fruit help fight breast, liver, lung and prostate cancer. Many recent studies are studying the effects as these might destroy cancer cells.
- Has potassium that keeps the heart healthy and your blood pressure low. The Cucurbitacin B compound also helps fight the fatty buildup around the artery walls as well as reduce cholesterol.
Pipino farming in the Philippines:
Cucumber or ‘Pipino’ sometimes spelled ‘Pepino’ in Tagalog is a highly profitable agricultural crop in the Philippines. While widely known to be associated with Mediterranean dishes, they are also popular in the Philippines as there are 3 varieties: the spiny cucumber, white cucumber, and the common green cucumber. Eaten raw, added into salads, sauces and or pickled to be eaten for later or to eat as a natural probiotic. While seldom eaten or seen in Filipino dishes here are some Cucumber Recipes we recommend :
- Crab Sandwich – a savory sandwich you can dress up and dress down. White bread that’s filled with kani, white onion, mayonnaise, honey as a sweetener, tomatoes, pipino, lettuce, and your choice of cheese.
- Shrimp Spring Rolls – fulfill your Thai cravings with this easy and delightful vibrant spring rolls filled with spring onions, pipino, carrots, vermicelli noodles, lettuce, more vegetables, and juicy well seasoned shrimps.
- Tuna Kimbap – a simple and filling delicious color wrap, the beautiful Korean sushi made with pipino, egg, mayo, carrots, crab sticks, spicy tuna, pickled yellow radish, in rice covered by nori and a drizzle of sesame for more flavor. Find the beef version here Gimbap (Korean Rice roll).
- Spicy Kani salad with Mango – a chilled creamy savory salad made with all the works, leafy vegetables, crab sticks, mangoes, carrots, and pipino.
- Make simple cucumber salads like the aesthetically pleasing watermelon cucumber feta salad, quick and easy asian cucumber salads like the creamy cucumber salad also known as the mashed potato Japanese cucumber salad that is very much beloved by those with a sweet tooth, Chinese cucumber salad that’s spicy and refreshing, and the Korean cucumber salad similar to the Chinese salad being spicy and full of aromatics.
- Some also add these into sauces like a deliciously delicate Greek cucumber sauce, Tzatziki, or Gyro sauce.