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Choose firm cucumbers without soft spots or wrinkles, which can indicate rot or moisture loss. Conventionally grown cucumbers often contain pesticide residues, so look for organic options whenever possible.

Wash and dry cukes, wrap loosely in a clean cloth or paper towel, and store in an open plastic bag in your crisper drawer for up to a week.

Wax On, Wax Off

Many cucumbers are coated in wax after harvesting to aid moisture retention. Though the wax is edible — and made with nonsynthetic ingredients, if the cucumbers are organic — you may still wish to remove it before eating. Try soaking rinsed cukes in a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and water for several minutes to loosen the wax, then scrub to remove. When in doubt, peel cucumbers before serving.

Slice or Pickle

There are many varieties of cucumbers, but they mostly fall into two categories: slicing cucumbers that are eaten fresh, and smaller cultivars used for pickling. Use any slic­ing variety to make our Cucumber-Pineapple Smoothie at or our Summer Cucumber and Tomato Soup. Want to try your hand at pickling? Find our tips for Quick-Pickled Veggies.

Hydrate and Replenish

More than 90 percent water by weight, cucumbers are an excellent hydration source. They’re often used in skincare and spa products because their vitamin C and caffeic acid reduce skin irritation and inflammation. Cukes are also rich in proline, an amino acid that supports collagen production. (Try this ice pop recipe made with cucumbers and mint.)

This article originally appeared as “Cucumbers” in the June 2021 issue of Experience Life.

Kaelyn Riley

Kaelyn Riley is an Experience Life senior editor.

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