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What to Do with All Those Cucumbers?

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 How to use up extra cucumbers


What do you do with an over-abundance of cucumbers, besides eating them?

That’s the question I’ve been trying to answer lately. I’ve been eating cucumbers just about every day for the past few weeks, but there are still extra cucumbers lying around.

The plants in my garden produced cucumbers, and the place where I work grows cucumbers too every year, so during the peak of cucumber season, I usually end up having much more than I need. And as much as I love fresh cucumbers, there’s a limit to how many of them I can eat. 

I found another way to use them, though, that’s equally as enjoyable as eating them – putting them on my face!

I’ve recently talked about how I cleaned out the “shelf of doom” in the bathroom by simplifying the products I use and switching over to natural products. Well, I might not keep cucumbers on the bathroom shelf, but they are a completely natural beauty treatment that I enjoy using just as much as my manuka honeyand jojoba oil.

Super Simple Cucumber Face Mask

The other day when I was looking through The Lady’s Almanac for 1854, an eclectic combination of recipes, poetry, and advice for 19th century ladies, I found a paragraph about uses for cucumbers. The end of the paragraph said:

The expressed juice of the cucumber is used as a cosmetic, giving a pleasant suppleness to the skin.”

I decided to give it a try, so I mashed up a few cucumber slices and smeared the juice and the mashed cucumber pieces over my face. It was a little bit messy, but it felt absolutely amazing! The whole “cool as a cucumber” expression is so true because cucumbers are probably one of the most refreshing summer vegetables there are.

After I had smeared the cucumber juice all over my face, I decided to cut a few extra cucumber slices for my eyes, just for the fun of it. I laid down with the intent of only resting for a few minutes to let the cucumber juice sink in, but it felt so cool and refreshing and I was so relaxed that I actually drifted off to sleep. The next time I do this, I think I’d better set a alarm clock just in case! 🙂

A cucumber face mask is such a great, natural way to cool yourself down on a hot summer day. As an added bonus, the cucumber is so soothing to the skin. And why bother to buy one of those pricey face creams with special “cucumber extract” when you can just use the actual cucumber itself, right? With just one cucumber you can have a delicious snack and a relaxing homemade spa day for hardly any cost at all!

What ways have you found to use up extra cucumbers and other garden produce?

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This post is linked to Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday at Granny’s Vital Vittles, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade and Barn Hop at Homestead Revival.

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The information in this post is not to be taken as medical advice and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

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Saturday 15th of February 2014

My Grandmother, who emigrated to the US in 1911 (she was Slovak), always used to tell me to use the peels of the cucumber (which you normally would throw away when preparing them to eat) and rub them on your face and hands. Not only would you have nice skin (she died at age 90 and had beautifully smooth skin), but it also prevented facial hair. I never noticed facial hair on her until she after resided in the nursing home several months prior to her death.

She also never used makeup.

My Aunt Kay (her daughter) once told me a funny story of how when she was a teenager in the 1930s, the popular girls in school were showing off their beautiful shiny nails (nail polish was fairly new, I take it). She wanted to have shiny nails, too, but my grandparents weren't about to buy something like that for her, so she decided to paint her nails with my grandfather's varnish from the workshop. Being winter, she hid her new shiny nails from my grandparents by wearing her wool mittens to school. She was very surprised and a bit embarrassed to discover that the fibers of her mittens had stuck to the varnish on her nails! She spent a good deal of time trying to get rid of her "hairy fingernails" before she got home from school!


Tuesday 18th of February 2014

That's really interesting that your grandmother used cucumber peels like that, and that they prevented facial hair too. I had never heard of that benefit, but it sounds like a good one. That's really funny about your Aunt's nails! I hardly ever paint my nails because I always end up getting them stuck in something while the polish is drying, so I can easily see myself making that same mistake!


Monday 15th of October 2012

thanks for sharing...

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