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Eat Smart, Move More at Farmers Markets: Cucumbers



Authors as Published

Melissa Chase, Consumer Food Safety Program Manager, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech; Austin Brooks, Project Associate, Family Nutrition Program, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech; Renee Boyer, Associate Professor, Extension Specialist, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech; Carlin Rafie, Assistant Professor, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech; Anne-Carter Carrington, Central District Coordinator, EFNEP/SCNEP

Key Points

  • A good source of vitamin K. Contain carotenoids that may be good for health.
  • Choose firm, well-shaped, dark green cucumbers that are heavy for their size.
  • Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Refrigerate cucumbers in a perforated plastic bag up to one week.

Cucumber Salsa With Homemade Tortilla Chips

Number of servings: 10


4 cucumbers, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 package (1 ounce) ranch-style dressing mix
1/4 cup vinegar (more or less depending on how sweet you want it)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 pound whole-wheat, 96% nonfat, baked tortillas


  • In a medium bowl, add cucumbers, tomatoes, and onion.
  • In a smaller bowl, whisk the dressing mix, vinegar, and sugar together.
  • Pour dressing over vegetables and stir well. Refrigerate for about an hour to allow flavors to blend.
  • To make homemade tortilla chips, cut tortillas into wedges. Place on baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.

Per serving: 94 calories; 1 g fat (trace saturated fat); 3 g protein; 19 g carbohydrate; 3 g dietary fiber; 0 mg cholesterol; 188 mg sodium.

Cucumber Salad

Number of servings: 2


1 cucumber, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon dill weed
Dash ground black pepper


  • Add cucumber to salad bowl.
  • In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, vinegar, and dill weed. Pour over cucumber slices.
  • Stir until coated. Chill.

Per serving: 30 calories; trace fat (trace saturated fat); 2 g protein; 6 g carbohydrate; 1 g dietary fiber; trace cholesterol; 15 mg sodium.

Quick Tips

  • Rack up one more veggie during the day by adding finely diced, peeled, and seeded cucumber to chicken, shrimp, or tuna salad. Leave the skin on for more nutrients!
  • Depending on their age, ask children to help clean, peel, or cut up the cucumbers.
  • Clean cucumber and other firm-skinned produce under running tap water while rubbing with your hands or scrubbing with a clean brush.
  • Mix thin slices of cucumber into coleslaw for a cool and healthy addition.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) This material was partially funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP – and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). SNAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA/NIFA).

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Publication Date

February 8, 2021