Can You Freeze Cucumbers?

Can You Freeze Cucumbers?
Can You Freeze Cucumbers?

If you are a fan of growing cucumbers, you know that vines can yield a huge crop each season. Sometimes, you will just have too many cucumbers! 

Luckily, they keep well in the freezer. You can freeze cucumbers and keep them in the freezer for up to 12 months. It is one of the easiest ways to preserve cucumbers, and it will allow you to enjoy them during the winter.

How to Freeze Cucumbers?

Before you start freezing all your cucumbers, you must note that frozen cucumbers might not retain their crisp texture and full taste when you defrost them.

Cucumbers have a high water content, which can result in damage to their cells during freezing. Spiky ice fragments might rip some cucumber cells apart, resulting in texture change after unfreezing.

The most significant texture change happens when you freeze cucumbers whole, but slicing or making a pure before freezing will minimize the impact. 

There are three methods to freeze cucumbers:

  1. Cookie Sheet Method
  2. Brine Method
  3. Ice Cube Method

Regardless of the method, you must prepare the cucumbers before freezing them. Surprisingly, it is easy! Let’s discuss each method in detail.

The easiest way to freeze cucumbers is to slice them and freeze them.

Cut cucumbers into slices or chunks of the desired thickness. Arrange them neatly on a baking sheet, cookie sheet, or parchment paper and place them into the freezer. Make sure there is enough space between the slices or chunks, so they don’t touch each other.

Once they’re firm (after approximately 2-3 hours), remove the frozen slices from the freezer and funnel them into a freezer zip lock bag or any regular freezer bag.

Write a date on the bags and place them back into the freezer. 

Pro Tip: The initial freezing of approximately 2-3 hours is a crucial part of this method. Cucumbers will freeze into one big clump if you skip the initial freezing step.

2. Brine Method

Another way to freeze cucumbers is to marinate them before freezing them.

Prepare a marinating solution:

  • Water (1 liter),
  • White or apple vinegar (150 ml),
  • Sugar (4 tbsp / 50 g),
  • Salt (1 1/2 tbsp / 20 g).

Wash your cucumbers thoroughly and cut them lengthwise or into slices. Place cut cucumbers into premade marinate and soak them overnight.

Next day place all cucumbers into freezer-safe containers. Fill containers with marinate, leaving a quarter-inch (~6 mm) of space for expansion, and put all into the freezer.

3. Ice Cube Method

You can freeze cucumbers into cubes for a refreshing snack or an addition to your favorite smoothy. Here’s how to make them.

Slice cucumbers into smaller pieces. Place them into the blender or food processor and make a puree. Pour the puree into ice cube trays and freeze them. Simple right?

Once frozen, cucumbers can be added to smoothies, soups, or even drinks. 

Should You Peel Cucumbers?

Not everybody likes cucumber skins. Many people remove it because of its toughness. So peeling it is more of a personal choice. You can either peel the skin off or leave it on.

However, cucumber skin has many good nutrients; if you peel it, you will miss out on some of them. The skins also add to the taste of the cucumber.

So, try both ways, and see what you like best.

Freezing Pickled Cucumbers

Freezing pickled cucumbers can be an excellent way to preserve them for a long time and is effortless. Just pour the content into a freezer-safe container leaving a quarter-inch (~6 mm) of space from the top for expansion. Place a lid and put it in the refrigerator.

Important Note: Do not use a glass jar to freeze pickled cucumbers. During the freezing process, the liquid expands and can shatter the glass. So, if you don’t want your refrigerator to smell like pickle juice, use freezer-safe containers.

Pro Tip: Pickled cucumbers in the initially closed jar can be preserved longer than in the freezer. So, only freeze pickles if you have already opened the jar and do not intend to finish the content any time soon.

How Long Do Frozen Cucumbers Last?

Cucumbers can be stored for a long time if they are frozen properly. They can keep for up to 12 months in the freezer.

However, remember that the structure of the cucumber will change after thawing frozen cucumbers. Preserving cucumbers is great, but they will not taste like freshly picked cucumbers.

How to Defrost Frozen Cucumbers

Cucumbers can be frozen and are a convenient way to preserve the overflowing harvest for the winter.

When you are ready to use cucumber, simply take it out of the freezer and then let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour. 

Do not leave the frozen cucumber sitting on the kitchen countertop. When it is defrosting, your kitchen countertop is going to get wet. Simply place the frozen cucumber into the bowl. This way, you will not have to worry about your kitchen countertops getting wet.

Pro Tip: Place the cucumber into the water to speed up defrosting. This will help break up the ice crystals faster. And once thawed, just drain the water.

Afterward, you can use the cucumber for your breakfast, salad, or soup.

After that, you can simply put it into the fridge (not the freezer) and keep it for a week. Do not freeze the same cucumber again. Not many foods can be refrozen.

If you have frozen cucumber as a puree and you are going to use it in soup, you do not need to unfreeze it. Just place a frozen cucumber cube into your soup.

Other Ways Of Storing Cucumber

While it is true that freshness can make or break your meal, cucumbers do not stay fresh in the fridge for long. Especially the ones picked from your garden.

A couple of days after you take the cucumbers from the vines, you will feel less crunchiness than freshly picked.

Apart from freezing, you can pickle cucumbers. Pickling is not difficult, but it requires a lot of patients.

Nutrition Values of Frozen Cucumber

Cucumbers are an excellent source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. The list below is the nutritional value of cucumbers. [1]

NutrientsNutrition per 100 g
Water94.7 g
Energy14 kcal
Nitrogen0.08 g
Protein0.48 g
Total lipid (fat)0.43 g
Ash2.44 g
Carbohydrate1.99 g
Glucose0.63 g
Fructose0.65 g
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid2.1 mg
Thiamin0.047 mg
Riboflavin0.057 mg
Niacin0.109 mg
Pantothenic acid0.2 mg
Vitamin B-60.034 mg
Vitamin E0.12 mg
Vitamin K16.8 µg
Calcium, Ca54 mg
Iron, Fe0.23 mg
Magnesium, Mg7.1 mg
Phosphorus, P16 mg
Potassium, K112 mg
Sodium, Na808 mg
Zinc, Zn0.11 mg
Copper, Cu0.026 mg
Manganese, Mn0.056 mg

Final Thoughts?

Cucumbers can be frozen, but it is always better to consume them fresh. While freezing provides a great option, frozen foods do not taste the same as fresh.

I hope this article answers your questions. Check out our Growing Guides to learn more about how to grow plants of your choice. Learn and help your plants by reading these guides.

Also, check out other similar articles in our Gardening How To section.

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