What is Lemon Cucumber?
Lemon cucumber is a small, oval-shaped fruit, approximately 2-3 inches in length, that closely resembles a lemon. Although the skin of the fruit is a light green during its development and closely resembles a lime, it will turn a golden yellow when the fruit becomes ripe. Scientifically known as Cucumis sativus, the inner flesh of this fruit has a similar consistency and appearance to traditional cucumber. However, the flavor is slightly sweeter than the bitter, earthy flavor of traditional cucumbers. Cucumbers are actually fruits that are commonly referred to as vegetables, but the yellow cucumber takes this one step further and disguises itself as a fruit – namely a lemon! There is also a small bulbous growth on one end of this fruit, giving it the appearance of a navel orange.
Lemon Cucumber Nutrition
This unique form of cucumber offers quite a few beneficial nutrients, including vitamin A & C, iron, and calcium, as well as various antioxidants and active ingredients. However, compared to other vegetables and fruits, lemon cucumber has a relatively low concentration of nutrients. There are only approximately 20 calories in one cup of raw lemon cucumber.
Lemon Cucumber Uses
In terms of using lemon cucumber, you can use them in many of the same ways as traditional cucumbers. You can peel them or choose to eat the outer skin, but be sure to wash them first. You can chop them up for crudité platters, toss them into salads, or use them as a side dish with tofu or tuna salad. These cucumbers can also be pickled or paired with tomatoes, carrots, cheese or olives. Adding slices of these fruits to cocktails, or even blending them into smoothies, can provide a unique and healthy burst of flavor.
Due to their slightly sweet nature, lemon cucumbers are more versatile than their traditional green cousins, albeit harder to find.
Lemon Cucumber Storage
If you want to store a few lemon cucumbers for later use, proper storage is essential. The best way to protect their nutritional content and sweet flavor, wrap them in a dry paper towel and store inside a closed plastic bag in the refrigerator. These fruits should remain firm and plump for 1-3 days, but will gradually begin to wilt or lose their freshness. For best results and the best flavor, these fruits should be used immediately after purchase or harvest.