Facts about Lemon Cucumber

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Facts-about-Lemon-Cucumber

Lemon Cucumber Quick Facts
Name: Lemon Cucumber
Scientific Name: Cucumis sativus var. sativus
Origin India or the Middle-East
Colors Light green when young turning to golden yellow
Shapes Small, spherical to oval-shaped fruit, approximately 5-7 centimeters in length
Flesh colors Pale green to yellow
Taste Slightly sweeter, earthy flavor
Health benefits Relive burns caused by piles, good for heart diseases, fight against stress. eliminate constipation, cure all type liver diseases
Lemon cucumber, also known as Garden Lemon, yellow cucumber, Apple cucumber, Budamkaya, Dosakai, Crystal Lemon, Crystal Apple, is part of the gourd family, which includes squashes and melons. Lemon cucumber, botanically classified as Cucumis sativus var. sativus, get their name from the lemon-yellow color of its skin but does not have a flavor similar to an actual lemon. A slightly sweeter version of the green cucumbers you’re probably used to, lemon cucumbers are spherical in shape and bright yellow, giving them the appearance of a lemon. Due to their slightly sweet nature, lemon cucumbers are more adaptable than their traditional green cousins, although harder to find.

Lemon cucumber offers quite a few beneficial nutrients, including vitamin A & C, iron, and calcium, as well as various antioxidants and active ingredients. However, compared to other vegetables and fruits, lemon cucumber has a relatively low concentration of nutrients. There are only about 20 calories in one cup of raw lemon cucumber.

Plant Description

Lemon cucumber is an annual vigorous climbing plant with long, weak, trailing and climbing stems which are four to five angled and up to 5 m long. The plants are vines that grow up to 5 m (16.4 ft.) long. The leaves are hairy and alternate. The flowers are yellow having 4 cm (1.6 in) as a diameter. The plant yields flowers during summer and early autumn. The lemon cucumber plant thrives well in moist, well-drained and nutrient-rich soil. The plant completes its lifecycle in one year.

Fruit

Lemon cucumbers are a small, spherical to oval-shaped fruit, approximately 5-7 centimeters in length and often have a small protrusion at the blossom end, somewhat like a navel orange. Although the skin of the fruit is a light green during its development and closely resembles a lime, it will turn a golden yellow when the fruit becomes ripe. Fruit skin is thin and tender with some striping and mottling and has tiny spines that are edible but can easily be removed. The inner flesh of this fruit has a similar consistency and appearance to traditional cucumber with edible seeds and has a mild, sweet taste with a cool, crisp texture. However, the flavor is slightly sweeter than the bitter, earthy flavor of traditional cucumbers. Cucumbers are actually fruits that are commonly referred to as vegetables, but the yellow cucumber takes this one step further and disguises itself as a fruit namely a lemon! There is also a small bulbous growth on one end of this fruit, giving it the appearance of a navel orange.

History

Lemon cucumbers are believed to have originated in India or the Middle-East in the 16th century as referenced by ancient Middle Eastern texts. , it was introduced to America sometime between 1894 and 1905 but there are Middle-Eastern documents that mention this variety from the 16th century, making its likely origin from around this time in either the Middle-East or India. Today, Lemon cucumbers can be found at farmers markets and specialty grocers in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Lemon cucumbers are grown just like regular cucumbers. They are a vigorous climbing variety that can be grown indoors in a greenhouse or polytunnel or outdoors in humus rich, moist soil and sunshine. They can also be grown in containers and given trellises to scramble over.

Traditional uses and benefits of Lemon Cucumber

  • Lemon cucumbers are great for hydrating as the flesh has a very high water content.
  • They also contain some vitamin C and caffeic acid, two well-known antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Skin, or rinds, can also be eaten to boost your fiber intake and if your lemon cucumbers are grown in ideal soil conditions, they will contain a lot of silica, potassium and magnesium.
  • Lemon Cucumber will eliminate constipation by regular intake in the food.
  • Lemon Cucumber will make urine passage easy because of its high water content.
  • Lemon Cucumber when ripen will generate heat in the body and unripe will cool the body.
  • Lemon Cucumber seeds decoction will cure all type liver diseases when it was taken early morning.
  • Lemon Cucumber will give relive burns caused by piles.
  • Lemon Cucumber seeds (dried) will give strength to body and improve sperm quality.
  • Lemon Cucumber seed is very useful for people suffering from heart diseases.
  • Lemon Cucumber contains 96% of water (moisturizer) and potassium, vitamin-C because of this, the paste act as a powerful face pack.
  • Lemon Cucumber will fight against stress.

Juices with Lemon Cucumber

  • Lemon Cucumber seed powder + Grape juice will remove all types’ infections while passing urine and eliminates stains.
  • Lemon Cucumber juice 1 glass+ Honey 1 Tbsp. 2-3 times a day will make easy passage for urine and also cures BP, associates, nephritis, cystitis etc.
  • Lemon Cucumber + Mint Juice will quench thirst and controls diabetics and indigestion.
  • Lemon Cucumber + Butter milk + Salt Juice will act as a remedy for sunstroke.
  • Lemon Cucumber + Beetroot + Onion stems Juice will strengthen bones.
  • Lemon Cucumber seeds (dried) + Coconut flowers (dried) + Milk will control diabetes.
  • Lemon Cucumber seed powder + Almonds + honey + Milk will give coolness to the body, eliminates fatigue, gain weight.
  • Lemon Cucumber seed powder + Curd will cure burning sensation while passing urine.
  • Lemon Cucumber roots + rinsed rice water + Honey will stop blood bleeding from nose and mouth.
  • Lemon Cucumber + Pereira tuberose (Kudzu) +Sugar Cane Juice will eliminate stones in urine passage.
  • Lemon Cucumber seed (dried) + chili powder + Salt powder will cure burns while passing urine and eliminate constipation.

Beauty regimen with Lemon Cucumber

  • Lemon Cucumber paste + Sandalwood powder + Turmeric + Raw milk + Almond oil + rose water, mix and apply as a face pack. This will give radiance and color to the skin.
  • Lemon Cucumber paste when applied on face, eyes, neck gives coolness and freshness.
  • Lemon Cucumber paste when applied on the face will avoid pimples and gives a glow to the skin.
  • Lemon Cucumber paste when applied under foot will eliminate foot burns.

Culinary Uses

  • Lemon cucumbers are most often used in raw preparations but may also be pickled.
  • They can be used sliced in fresh green salads, tofu salads, zucchini and pea salads, or sliced and served fresh with basil pesto.
  • Lemon cucumbers can also be juiced and used in cocktails, agua frescas, and smoothies.
  • It pair with tomatoes, summer squash, carrots, fresh herbs and cheeses, citrus, olives, and vinegar.
  • Lemon cucumbers are essentially interchangeable with traditional cucumbers in recipes. They can be added to salads, sliced thinly and used in sandwiches to add crunch and light flavor or sliced diagonally in half-inch thickness to be used instead of crackers as a vehicle for foods such as pate, dip or tuna salad.
  • They’re great with other diced fruits and veggies, such as tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, snap peas or radishes.
  • You can chop them up for crudité platters, toss them into salads, or use them as a side dish with tofu or tuna salad.
  • Adding slices of these fruits to cocktails, or even blending them into smoothies, can provide a unique and healthy burst of flavor.

Storage

If you want to store a few lemon cucumbers for later use, proper storage is essential. The best way to protect their nutritional content and sweet flavor, wrap them in a dry paper towel and store inside a closed plastic bag in the refrigerator. These fruits should remain firm and plump for 1-3 days, but will slowly begin to wilt or lose their freshness. For best results and the best flavor, these fruits should be used immediately after purchase or harvest.

Recipe

Lemon Cucumber Pickles

Lemon Cucumber Pickles

Ingredients

  • 5-6 lemon cucumbers, sliced into wedges
  • 1/4 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 Serrano chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 qt. glass Mason or other jar
  • 1 Tb. Himalayan or sea salt
  • filtered water

Instructions

  1. Place sliced cucumbers in a large bowl and mix with the minced pepper, ginger, and lime juice. Pack this mixture into your 1 qt. glass jar.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the salt with 1 cup filtered water. Pour this into the jar over your cucumbers. Add more filtered water to bring the liquid about 1 inch below the top of the jar. All of the cucumbers should be covered (rearrange/remove a few if they are not).
  3. Cap tightly and allow to sit for 3 days at room temperature.
  4. Open the jar and see if the liquid is fizzy. If not, re-cap and allow them to sit for 1-2 more days. If there is evidence of lacto-fermentation (that’s the fizziness), go ahead and taste a pickle. If you are satisfied with the flavor, transfer to the refrigerator for storage.

Lemon Cucumber Tofu Salad

Lemon Cucumber Tofu Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 lemon cucumbers, quartered and cut into thick slices
  • 1 handful of fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup  Avocado Oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 big pinches of lemon sea salt
  • 8 ounces organic extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 of a large, ripe avocado

Instructions

  1. Toss the cucumbers, dill, avocado oil, lemon juice and salt in a medium bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes so that the cucumbers absorb all of the goodness.
  2. In the meantime, cook the tofu and a pinch of salt in a skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes, or until the pieces are browned on one side. Toss gently once or twice, then continue cooking for another minute or so until the tofu is firm, golden and bouncy. Set aside.
  3. Just before serving, cut the avocado into cubes.
  4. Spoon the cucumbers out of the lemon-avocado oil mixture into a large salad bowl. Add half of the remaining dressing, the tofu and half of the pine nuts. Gently toss. Taste. Add more dressing or salt, if needed. Sprinkle the avocado across the top of the salad and gently toss once or twice. Top with remaining pine nuts, serve and enjoy!
  5. Cucumbers love sea salt! Experiment with different salts like Hawaiian black lava salt and lime sea salt.

References:

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=12580

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=cusa4

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