A lot of people like growing cucumbers for their ease of planting and how they make great snacks!
And as they grow, some people may think that, “the bigger, the better” as they keep their cucumbers on the vine. But you should NOT wait for it to grow even larger than it’s supposed to! This is because it can begin rotting and halt the growth of new cucumbers.
So what happens when you forget to harvest cucumbers and are left with a few bigger ones? If they are still good to consume, read on as I show you what to do with overgrown cucumbers instead of throwing it away!
What to Do With Overgrown Cucumbers
If you already do have an overgrown cucumber you just picked out, not to worry. There are still things you can do with a cucumber to prevent wasting it. Here are some interesting things you can do to salvage your overgrown cucumber:
1. Make a Cucumber Relish
Overgrown cucumbers may be a bit tough and seedy but have the potential to make into pickled relish. Follow this simple recipe so you can have a dip or sandwich accompaniment!
- Five cups of cucumbers
- Two cups of green bell peppers
- Two cups of red or yellow bell peppers
- Half a cup of onion
- Half a cup of pickling salt
- 1.5 cups of white vinegar
- 1.25 cup of sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons of celery seeds
- 1.5 tablespoons of mustard seeds
- Clean, seed, then finely chop your cucumbers, bell peppers, and the onion.
- Place all the vegetables in a non-reactive bowl with the pickling salt. Cover it and let it set in a cool area for around four hours.
- Transfer the vegetable mixture to a colander in the sink, then rinse it thoroughly in cold water for about four minutes. Drain this well and gently press out any excess water.
- In a large non-reactive saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, as well as the mustard and celery seeds. Cook on medium heat and bring it to a boil as you continue stirring.
- Add the vegetable mixture and continue to stir, returning it to a boil. Reduce the heat and still maintain a gentle boil for ten minutes.
- Prepare your water bath canner, jars, and lids during this time. Once cooked, scoop the relish to your warmed canning jars and allow half an inch of headspace. Be sure to remove any air bubbles and wipe its rims clean as you lid the jars.
- Place the jars to the water bath canner and adjust its water level, with the hard completely covered. Bring it to a boil then process the jars for ten minutes. Once time’s up, remove it from the heat and let it cool for five minutes before removing it from the canner.
- Place the hot jars on a towel-lined counter, letting it cool (untouched) for 12 hours. After, remove the rings from the jar, test its seal, then store it in a cool, dark area. Or, you can refrigerate it and enjoy it!
2. Use the Seeds to Grow Out
You can get the seeds from the overgrown cucumber for growing in the next season. Just make sure that you avoid committing the same mistake when growing and harvesting cucumbers to avoid your harvest from tasting off.
Simply cut your cucumber open and see if the seeds are mature enough to save and grow out the next year. This is a good tip if you can’t salvage the overgrown cucumber for recipes, so nothing goes completely to waste.
3. Add It To Certain Recipes
While the overgrown cucumber tastes different, you can still add it to certain recipes if it still tastes edible. Unfortunately, if the cucumber has turned yellow, you’ll need to dispose of it.
For instance, you can use overgrown cucumbers for recipes that call for chopped and/or shredded cucumber. They can be used for creating gazpacho, tzatziki sauce, or a cucumber-yogurt soup!
Just peel and quarter your cucumbers and cut out its entire seed cavity. Chop and/or shred the rest to use for various recipes.
4. Make Cucumber Salad
Besides the relish and recipe suggestions I made above, you can make your salad out of the overgrown cucumbers. Here is a very simple cucumber salad recipe that calls for minimal ingredients.
- 1 overgrown cucumber, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup of vinegar
- A tablespoon of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of celery seeds
- Salt your thinly-sliced cucumbers and let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse and drain afterward.
- Combine the cucumber with the vinegar, sugar, and celery seed in a container.
- Add the thinly-sliced onion and toss the vegetables in the marinade, allowing it to sit in the fridge for four hours. You can leave it for up to five days, stirring it daily.
5. Take Note
Unfortunately, not all overgrown cucumbers can still be salvageable.
This is because as it grows bigger, its skin becomes even tougher, which makes it less appealing to chew. Furthermore, the flesh gets softer and drier, which may ruin the texture of some fishes. Sometimes, the flavor is affected as well, tasting a bit bitter!
Give the cucumber a taste test before adding it to your recipes. If it has a word taste and texture, it’s better to dispose of it. While it may be a waste, take it as a lesson and be sure to harvest growing cucumber at the right time and size.
Do you want to know more about overgrown cucumbers and how to harvest cucumbers properly? Check out this helpful video:
Wrapping It Up
It’s much better to grow and harvest smaller cucumbers and pick them once they reach their full size. You should NOT pick them once they have overstayed their welcome in its vines and grown too large. It may end up tasting a bit off, though there are ways you can use overgrown cucumbers to avoid wastage!
I hope that these tips on what to do with overgrown cucumbers helped you out! If you’ve got any overgrown cucumbers you just picked out, try any of these suggestions and let me know if they worked out well for you.