4 Surprise Uses for Cucumbers

4 Surprise Uses for Cucumbers

Find great uses for cucumbers that you never knew existed.

By: Kyle Benzinger

It may surprise you to learn that cucumbers have several uses beyond fancy tea sandwiches and eye masks for facials. Cucumbers, like many fruits and vegetables, are extremely versatile and can go beyond being an afterthought on a garden salad. Take a look at these surprise uses for cucumbers, the predecessors to pickles.

  1. Pick me up: Instead of reaching for that afternoon cup o’ joe, try eating a few slices of cucumber. The vitamins and minerals in cucumbers can have an energizing effect, giving you the boost you need to stay awake and focused.
  2. Polish 'n' Shine: Who knew that cucumbers were nature’s answer to shoe shining? Some of the same chemicals used in shoe polishes are also found in cucumbers. So the next time you’re getting ready for your friend’s dinner party — only to find at the last minute that your favourite pair of shoes are scuffed and need a shine — just rub a slice of cucumber over them for a fresh look. Be sure to test a small area first to make sure there are no adverse reactions.
  3. Breath Mint: There’s nothing worse than having lunch and no breath mints to handle all of that garlic. Once again: Cucumbers to the rescue. Remember the cucumber on your salad, and set it aside for an after lunch breath freshener. At the end of the meal, place the cucumber slice on your tongue and work it around the inside of your mouth. Now you can enjoy the rest of your dining experience without having one too many coworkers offer you a breath mint.
  4. Help Ease Stress: A long week followed by a weekend of errands and housework can feel like a full schedule with little down time. To help you relax, boil some water and add cucumber slices. The boiling water helps release chemicals in the cucumber that will help you take a load off.

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The next time you’re browsing in the produce section, pick up a cucumber and give some of these tricks a try at home. If you have the yard space, consider growing your own and discover more great uses for cucumbers. Home gardens provide not only the freshest of fruits, vegetables and herbs, but they’re also fun for kids to plant and help grow throughout the summer. Who knows what other surprising uses you might find in your family’s harvest!

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