The patient, calming and adorable garden neighbor cucumber: love it, eat it, pickle it!

Cucumbers are in the season. At least in my backyard garden, I can enjoy plenty of small pickling cucumbers and also long English type of cucumbers.

Cucumber recipes

There are so many reasons to fall in love with this guy: preparation of salad or cucumber juice takes practically no time. Adding cucumber to salads and cold soups, gives them so much more freshness and flavor. I come originally from Latvia, which is a place where everybody has a garden or at least some balcony or backyard plants. Cucumber time in Latvia is associated with snacking on quick pickles, one hour pickles and tonnes of fresh garden salads. I have implemented this delicious summer snack in my Canadian summer.

Vegetables in the garden: cucumbers

My artistic side cannot stop adoring the shape of leaves, blooms and fruit, they are so attractive! I have painted and drawn them numerous times.

I am not sure whether the grocery store vegetables will do the same because of shipping and storage, but fresh ones from the garden can do a lot to improve our health. I personally simply love the flavor, the look and the taste of these easy to grow vegetables. All they need is watering fairly rich soil and some string to travel up.

Cucumbers: fresh vegetables

I can tell from my own experience: having about one cucumber with dill and green onions a day stabilized my very moody blood glucose levels. It became so stable that I was really surprised, I’m not sure what I will do in the winter, but it works excellently for now, especially because I love eating them.

I will briefly remind that cucumbers:

refresh your breath, cure gums, destroy bad bacteria in the mouth;

facilitate digestion and metabolism, kill bad bacteria in the gut, cure constipation;

carry out toxins present in the body due to very specific substances they contain;

stabilize blood glucose levels, especially when consumed with dill;

stabilize blood pressure, especially with dill, because dill is a very well known blood pressure reducing herb;

when using cucumbers for longer term, they prevent cancer due to lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol that cucumbers contain;

reduce bad cholesterol due to sterols they contain;

flavor will calm you and put in a better mood, this is scientifically tested and found to be working;

cucumbers are an ideal product for weight loss: very few calories and lots of good stuff!

refresh skin, decrease swelling under eyes;

cure sunburnt skin;

help with hangover.

We could continue and continue.

Cucumbers are inexpensive and when in season, always available from farmers market and our own garden.

So, I picked some along with plenty of dills and blossoming dill and dill stems:

Dill: the wonderful herb

For inspiration some Latvian recipes from series: I have very little time and money

cucumber recipes ingredients

5 minute cucumber salad

Cut cucumber in medium thin slices. Small cucumbers and any cucumbers must be peeled (if needed, because sometimes they have thick skin) always from the light end; this prevents from getting the whole vegetable bitter. In dry weather, small cucumbers can become bitter if they lack water.

Chop generous amount of fresh dill and green onion.

Dress with either: sour cream plus small bit of mustard or some mild vigar (very little); mix of mayonnaise and whipping cream, like I do; olive oil plus mild vinegar. Lemon or lime don’t go well with cucumber. Add salt and pepper. Salt is added on cucumbers directly before serving, otherwise they release too much juice and water.

Cucumber salad recipe

Dill goes so well with cucumber and has similar properties: regulates blood pressure and blood glucose levels

1 hour quick pickles

Choose a plastic or glass dish with tight lid.

Combine 2 teaspoons honey or sugar; 1.5 tablespoons vinegar; 0.5 teaspoons salt, freshly ground pepper, 2-3 cloves of garlic, cut in smaller pieces on 1 long cucumber or 2 small ones, mix

Cut cucumber in slices, they don’t need to be very thin, add plenty of chopped dill and finely chopped green onion. Close with lid. Shake well for about 30 seconds. Leave in room temperature for about 20 minutes, place in fridge until the meal time. 20 minutes is already enough. Serve. I know how people are afraid of vinegar, but small amounts of it go well with lots of recipes. It’s needed for pickling purposes.

1 hour pickles

Next day mild pickles

Pour water in a pot. Amount depends on how many jars you make.

On 1 litre water: 2 tablespoons kosher salt; 2 tablespoons sugar

Bring to boil. Meanwhile wash small pickling cucumbers. Cut off both ends. Stuff in a jar blossoming dill/dill stems, 2-3 cloves of garlic per 1 l jar; add some whole pepper, place cucumbers tightly. Cherry and black currant leaves work well, too. Use just 1-2 on each jar. Pour over boiling water. If desired, add some spoon of vinegar, but that is not necessary if you don’t like vinegar. It simply facilitates faster pickling process. Put on lid, leave in room temperature for quicker results, place in fridge to use after 2 days.

Next day ready pickles

When left in room temperature, these pickles are ready after 12-15 hours, sometimes even faster. The smaller vegetables, the faster they get pickled. They absorb neither much sugar, nor salt. If you add very little, there won’t be any decent taste. We have very many varieties of this type of cucumber recipes in Latvia, I just described the absolutely simplest and quickest.

Cucumber recipes

I love all of these, and I put new quick pickles in some jar every second day. After I’m done with quick pickles, I will put in some cucumbers for winter. Winter pickling recipe is obviously different. If you are worried about any ingredients, I’d say, don’t be silly and, secondly, replace vinegar with some strong sour substance.

23 thoughts on “The patient, calming and adorable garden neighbor cucumber: love it, eat it, pickle it!

    1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

      Thanks! These recipes are very old ones and very well known in Latvia. I’ve been in Canada for 12 years now, but I find the local food needs some simple refreshments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

        I am a bit East of Toronto, in a small town called Whitby. There are no exciting foods, and most restaurant food is not tasty, nothing even close to Europe. Montreal is different, we’ve been there, great place for art and food and leisure.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

      Thanks! Peeling cucumbers is a good idea because in hot weather they develop thick skin. I peel them very often, too. Basically, I’ve seen from my experience now, eating some cucumbers a day really stabilized my blood glucose levels, I am type I diabetic after lots of surgeries, and it helped also with wound healing. I was surprised because I did not expect that much improvement with my conditions. It is good for everybody. Eating cucumber simply like your husband does is excellent. I have so many cucumbers that I am giving them away every second day, just gave my husband to take to work and give other people.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: The new blog: who knows it exists? | inesepogagallery

    1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

      Thanks! After using cucumber with dill for about a month daily I noticed a huge improvement with everything: my blood glucose become abnormally stable like never before and wound improved, etc. Basically, I started to pay attention and discovered I was not mistaken, they actually can do all of this, but I suppose that mainly relates to self-grown very fresh and organic cucumbers.


  2. Jennifer

    Lovely recipes! I will try the salad and the quick pickles …… I do wish I had a garden this year but I was too lazy. Nice to find your new blog!


    1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

      Thanks Jennifer! I can eat a jar of quick pickles every day, they are really delicious and that quick pickling takes like 2 minutes or until water boils. Salad is just chop some dill and onion and cut over cucumber. What can be easier? Try it and let me know how you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Our cucumbers are half way to picking 🙂 everything this year in the greenhouse seems to be taking their time to ripen even the tomatoes are still green.
    I love cucumbers and will often use half in my morning smoothies.. I used to love the cucumber in vinegar as you have shown, but I have developed a lot of acid lately and I am avoiding acidic foods .. Good to know cucumbers help the digestive track.. I had lots on my salad this evening

    Wonderfully put together post Inese.. And Love all of your photo’s.. I spent the biggest part of this afternoon in the allotments and hope to spend most of tomorrow .. We have neglected certain sections as we have been out and about last week enjoying some leisure time with family, So the weeds have taken over as they do when you turn your back 🙂

    sending love and thoughts your way for a lovely weekend..
    Sue xxx


    1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

      Well, the next day pickles don’t require vinegar, just garlic, salt, pepper, sugar or honey and lots of dill. I sometimes add some spoon, sometimes not. The 1-hour pickles can also be made with only garlic, salt, sugar and dill, no vinegar needed. Just improvise. Everything is always adjustable to the users taste. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking your time. I’m rushing the huge job. So tired. 11 files left. Sunday night delivery, so I will be typing all these days.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tracye

    Such good ideas and great photography by the way!! I remember learning something similar to this in a canning and preserve class. I think as time goes by, more readers will come directly here instead of the art site though these by and large may be a new group of readers more interested in the lifeschool posts versus the art posts. Time will tell!!


    1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

      Thanks Tracy! Such a great thought provoking comment! Well, as opposed to canning for winter these are eatable straight next day and very much loved in many places in Europe. The country of my origin Latvia always was and still is famous for extremely natural and organic foods. People there didn’t get a chance to poison the soil and there’s no need for weed killers in a small garden, so traditionally quick vegetable dishes are on every table daily. I have so little time that I can only prepare very simple things and as time has shown there’s nothing wrong with that.
      Ideally, I would love visitors come to both blogs, but like I said, I found out it wasn’t possible to promote both blogs at the same time. I believe some people will find these posts interesting. I intend to post much more often, however, my large medical jobs are very time-consuming, plus art classes, plus I paint also and I love sewing, I don’t wear usually ready made stuff since it is such a low quality, even expensive stuff.
      I appreciate so much you took your time to comment!


    1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

      Thanks! I should probably post most often. Just follow it, and I will try to publish more information here and there. I think it will be different from others because it comes from my own observations and analysis and also from all those data which I review very often. These data are from patients with different types of problems and it is clear at the end of trial why and what exactly was the wrong part of treatment, etc. Latvian food is very distinctive from food in Canada, so I will have some recipes. I will have time saving ideas, money saving ideas, etc.
      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking your time to comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

      Thanks! This blog needs updates, too, but I have not gotten any free second recently. I’know how much better garden vegetables are. They haven’t been stored for eternity and they get onto plate with all the fantastic flavor. minerals and vitamins. I have plenty of tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, melons, celery, kale, herbs like parsley, dill, thyme, rosemary, sage, basil, green onions. I re-seed dill and similar things. Pretty much can live off it, next year will plant more. There wasn’t a garden before, so it takes a while to get it going. When I get it going, we move out. That’s what happens quite often. Well, I have started numerous gardens on both sides of the ocean. I am happy for every person who finds some delight in growing flowers, vegetables, herbs and other plants. It’s so much worth doing!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Inese Poga Art plus Life

        I love collecting seeds, too! It would be nice to make a collection of images, too, but anyway, it is a good job, and I suppose people who like gardening feel happy when they move in after me. Good luck with fall works in the garden!


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