Can You Freeze Cucumbers?
Maybe you've had a particularly abundant cucumber crop in your garden, or perhaps you're clearing out your refrigerator before a trip and realize you you've got cucumbers that you can't use. With other produce, you'd likely freeze it, but can you pop your cucumbers into the freezer for prolonged storage? Yes, you can; in fact, freezing cucumbers is a convenient way to preserve their freshness. Jay Weinstein, chef-instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education, thinks it's a great idea. "The plants sometimes produce an overabundant bounty," he says. "Capitalize on it!"
With proper prep, cucumbers should keep in the freezer for up to nine months. Weinstein recommends slicing them (peeled or unpeeled––your choice), arranging the slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and freezing them uncovered. Once they're frozen, transfer the cucumber slices into zip-top bags for long-term storage. Frozen cucumber slices can be used straight out of the freezer to make smoothies and chilled soups.
You can also make freezer pickles, which Weinstein likens to frozen cucumber salad. "Stack the cucumber slices in alternating layers with sprinklings of kosher salt and marinate for two hours," he says. "Rinse, combine with white vinegar, sugar, and a little water before freezing in bags or containers." Thawed freezer pickles taste great on sandwiches and burgers, or they can be chopped like relish for hot dogs and tartar sauce.
Yet another way of freezing cucumbers is making cucumber sorbet, which is a nice palate cleanser. To make it, Weinstein recommends pureeing the cucumbers, sweetening them with maple syrup and a bit of lime juice, then running them through an ice cream machine. He notes that the sorbet keeps in the freezer for up to three months.