Call it a fruit or vegetable, crunchy, refreshing cucumber is a delight to eat. You can have it as is or add it to your salad, raita and even sabzi at times. Cucumber is super healthy as well. It contains 96 percent water and makes for a perfect food to cool your gut instantly. According to the book 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing, cucumber is packed with minerals, vitamins and electrolytes that help promote weight loss, keep up the body's water balance and aid immune health. Hence, experts recommend adding cucumber to your everyday diet for a balanced meal. But don't you hate when you bite into a bitter cucumber? The pungent taste can instantly put you off and ruin your appetite. But have you ever wondered what makes cucumber turn bitter? Are we going wrong somewhere while storing it? Or is there any ingredient in cucumber that leads to the bitterness? Don't worry, we have found the answers to all your queries. Read on.
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What Makes Cucumber Turn Bitter?
One of the main reasons for the bitterness is a compound called cucurbitacin. The chemical is naturally produced in cucumber but when the level of the chemical changes, it leads to a change in taste of the produce. The higher the level of cucurbitacin, the bitter the taste will be. For the uninitiated, the level of the compound depends much on how the fruit/vegetable is grown. The watering process and temperature play major roles in the process. Less amount of water and high temperature can increase the production of cucurbitacin, leading to bitterness.
Is It Safe To Eat Bitter Cucumbers?
To put it simply, it is okay to eat a mildly bitter cucumber until there is any sign of spoilage. But if there's a high level of cucurbitacin, then it may lead to indigestion, stomach discomfort and bloating in some people. Hence, it is always suggested to eliminate the bitterness as much as possible, before consuming the cucumber. Wonder how to do that? We will help you with the process.
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How To Remove Bitterness Of Cucumber? 5 Tips To Remember:
1.Remove and rub the edges
This is one of the most popular processes of eliminating the bitterness of cucumber. Cut the edges and rub on the cucumber. You will find a good amount of white, foamy substance oozing out. Slice and eliminate that part and you have a crunchy cucumber ready to be relished.
2. Peel the skin:
The chemical is often grown on the skin of cucumber, making it bitter in taste. Hence, it is suggested to peel off the skin of cucumbers before adding them to your meal.
3. Add vinegar/lemon juice
You can sprinkle some vinegar or add some lemon juice to the sliced cucumber and let it rest for around 10 minutes. Then rinse it thoroughly and consume. The acid of the vinegar or lemon juice often helps neutralise the bitterness of cucumber.
4. Add salt
Much like vinegar/lemon juice, salt helps reduce the bitterness of cucumber too. Add some salt to the cucumber, let it sit for around 30 minutes and wash in cold water. And you have yummy, crunchy cucumber ready to be relished.
5. Run a fork on the cucumber
Here, you have to cut the ends and de-skin the cucumber. Then run the tines of the fork all around and repeat the method at least twice. This helps release the chemicals, eliminating the bitterness. Wash the cucumber before eating.
Found the solution? Now, when you plan to have cucumber the next time, follow the above methods and remove the bitterness instantly. Remember, bitter is not always better.
Meanwhile, we bring you some interesting ways to include cucumber in your diet. Click here to know more.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.