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Summer Vegetable Guide

How to choose the best vegetables for the summer season.

Cucumbers

Just thinking about cukes cools you down. Indeed, perhaps its most important nutritional contribution is refreshment: at 95 percent water content, a cup of cucumber slices is nearly as thirst-quenching as a glass of water. Crisp kirbys and nearly seedless greenhouse cukes offer variety to the usual thick-skinned types that dominate supermarket bins.

What You Get: While the cucumber isn’t known as a nutrition powerhouse, it does provide a small amount of fiber, minerals and vitamins—particularly vitamin C (about 6 percent of the daily value per cup).

Shopping Tips: The most common cucumbers are the English or European greenhouse cucumber, often sheathed in plastic wrap to protect its very thin skin, and the American slicing cucumber, which has a slightly thicker skin and more seeds.

Don’t overlook other varieties like the pickling cucumber (a.k.a. kirby) and Middle Eastern slicer. There’s even a "burpless" variety of cuke.

Whichever variety you choose, be sure to select firm cucumbers that feel heavy for their size.

Avoid those that have any yellow on them or have soft or wrinkled spots at the ends, a sign of improper storage.

Storage Tip: Store cucumbers in a ventilated plastic bag in the crisper of your refrigerator.

Next: Tomatoes



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