Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Using cucumbers up

I found an amazing way to preserve extra cucumbers!   We use tons of cucumbers all year round and at 72 cents a piece it can get quite pricey over time.  We drink 2 kinds of drinks to help us lose weight and makes us feel much better.  The first one:

1 small or half of a large cucumber sliced up and put in a gallon container.  Slice up one lemon and add that and then add some fresh or dried mint.  Fill with water and refrigerate.  Drink 2 to 3 glasses daily.  It is a very refreshing drink!

The second one was from Anitra at http://www.simplylivingsmart.com/      Anitra has so many amazing things to share and I highly recommend her site.  It was so worth paying to get everything she has for a year.  Anyway here is her drink recipe she shared with a few adjustments:

Frozen Blueberries
1 peeled lemon
1 to 2 T. fresh ginger root
1 peeled and chunked cucumber
some fresh or dried mint
1 or 2 T. chia seeds
1/4 tsp. red pepper (I added this and it cured my stomach ulcers and DH's reflux disease)

Run all through the blender with some water until smooth.  Drink 2 glasses each day.  I put mine into glasses covered with plastic wrap and stored in the fridge.

My big find was running my extra cucumbers through my juicer for another project which I will share in a moment.  I wondered if I could freeze cucumber juice to use during the winter.  I tried it and it worked great!  So I now run one cucumber and 1 lemon through the blender and freeze it in quart freezer bags.  The one for the water blend I just freeze the juice but the blender one I add in the pulp from the juicer and freeze it all together. 

Now the project that started my mind thinking about this was making up frozen cucumber pads.  I Hair dresser daughter showed me this trick and in May used these pads on her sister.  Her sister's eyes were swollen shut with her allergic reaction to the grass pollen.  We tried all the allergy pills we had on hand but her eyes remained swollen red and itchy.  We put some of the frozen cucumber pads on her eyes and left her laying there for about 20 minutes and returned to discover that they took the swelling and red puffy eyes away.  I was so amazed so with my cucumber surplus this last week I juiced them and got several packages of the cotton pads like you use to remove makeup and soaked each one int he cucumber juice and froze them .  I put them on wax paper on large trays and now have more than 500 bagged up to use this year.  Any way my thoughts were if I could freeze cucumber juice int he cotton pads could I just freeze the cucumber juice?  So now I know I can!  

I am also making pickles but this year everyone seems to have an abundance of cucumbers and now I can probably take some along with what I am growing.  I just figured up how much we spend this last winter on cucumbers  and it was $224.64 before taxes.  That's like a months worth of groceries for us!  We are in process of redoing our food storage and I will look forward to not buying cucumbers all winter long!  I'll have an extra $20 each month to spend on food storage instead of cucumbers.  I will be bagging up 300 bogs of the cucumber juice with lemon added in to see us through until this time next year. 

I don't like to store stuff in our freezer but am very excited to have this in the freezer to use all winter long.

If you come up with ways to preserve your bounty please share with me so we can all find ways to use it all up.


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