Sometimes cucumbers plucked from the garden sometimes taste very bitter. This is the reaction of the fetus to unfavorable conditions: drought, watering with cold water in the heat, very low or too high air temperature. If the whole cucumber crop is bitter, do not rush to get rid of it. There are many uses for such fruits.
The largest amount of cucurbitacin (a special chemical compound that causes bitterness) is found in the peel and grains. Therefore, try cutting off 3 cm of pulp from both ends of the cucumber and gently peeling the vegetable, removing all the skin. If it is large, cut it in half additionally and remove the seeds with a spoon.
After that, the bitterness will remain very light, which will give the salad a peculiar piquancy.
Cucurbitacin is destroyed at high temperatures. Therefore, pickled cucumbers that have passed the pasteurization process or scalded with boiling water three times will not be bitter.
It has a destructive effect on bitterness and a shock dose of salt.
Even a couple of hours spent with bitter cucumbers in salted water can significantly improve their taste. To use in salad, soak them in brine for 2 hours. If the bitterness is strong, leave them for a long time and change the water every hour.
If you add a couple of sprigs of dill, black peppercorns, a few cloves of garlic and dry mustard to the salted water, you can taste crispy and aromatic salted cucumbers the very next day.
Cut off the tops of the vegetable by 1 cm, rub with the cut off hat in a circular motion along the cut for a minute. A white foam will begin to appear at the cut site, which contains all the bitterness. Rinse it off with water and the vegetable will taste much better.
You can cut the cucumber lengthwise into two halves, add a little salt and also rub until white foam around the edges. It will taste better after rinsing.
It moisturizes and mattifies the skin, tightens pores, removes oily sheen, whitens freckles and dark age spots. You can use both vegetable mugs and gruel grated on a fine grater in the form of a mask for 20 minutes on clean skin.
To take care of your face skin daily, you can also prepare a cucumber lotion: pour half a glass of grated vegetable to the top with vodka, insist in a dark place for 15 days, strain through cheesecloth and dilute with water in a 1: 1 ratio. And most importantly, it doesn't matter whether the cucumber is bitter or sweet, the effect of the procedure will be the same.
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The question of why cucumbers are bitter has long been of concern to gardeners. If earlier it was believed that the main reason for the bitterness of cucumbers is solely in their insufficient watering, now the exact reasons have been identified, namely:
- sharp temperature changes
- depleted clay soil
What to do so that cucumbers do not taste bitter
Everyone knows that cucumbers love moist fertile soil, which is why they must be watered in a timely manner, and with exceptionally warm water. On hot and dry days, you should arrange sprinkling with the help of special. installations.
To grow sweet cucumbers, you must also monitor the temperature regime, try to maintain it at the same level of 22-25 degrees. In the daytime, it is necessary to open the greenhouse (if the cucumbers are grown there), and close it at night.
It is worth remembering that cucumbers prefer to grow in the shade, which is why you should not plant them under the scorching rays of the sun. A great option is in the shade of trees.
Now at the expense of seeds. Cucumbers grown from old seeds can taste bitter. As for seeds that are harvested on their own, they can also produce bitter offspring if the seeds are taken closer to the tail of the vegetable.
What causes bitterness?
All cucumbers contain the substance cucurbitacin, but only an excess of it gives the cucumbers a bitter taste. Excess cucurbitacin appears in fruits under unfavorable growing conditions. This can be a lack of moisture, nutrients, sudden temperature changes, as well as too low or high temperatures and dry sunny weather.
The appearance of bitter cucumbers can be triggered by improper watering, when after hot weather the plants are watered with cold water. This delays the ripening of the fruit and makes them bitter. This can happen when the weather changes, when cold and rainy weather sets in after a long heat.
In hot sunny weather, the cucumber saves itself from heat and burns by delaying the development of fruits, and instead of 10-12 days from the moment of pollination, ripening is delayed for a much longer period. For this reason, cucumbers have a bitter taste.
Many gardeners like to feed the plants with fresh manure. It is better to use rotted fertilizer for this purpose, because in the process of decomposition of fresh manure, gases poisonous for the root system and a pathogenic putrefactive microflora are formed. All this does not in the best way affect the taste of cucumbers.
What to consider and how can the situation be corrected?
First of all, when choosing seeds, pay attention to the variety. Most often, bitter cucumbers are found among those varieties that have smooth fruits and a dark green color.
Neutralizing bitterness is difficult, but possible. To do this, the fruits are soaked for several hours in water, after cutting off the tips. The water, if necessary, is changed several times.
The bitterness from cucumbers completely disappears when preserved, therefore, in any case, the harvest will not be lost.
There is also such a way to remove the bitterness from the fruit: cut off the "butt" and rub the cut with the resulting cap in a circular motion. In this case, foam is formed, with which the unpleasant taste leaves.
It is interesting how the composition affects the human body. It would seem that a vegetable consists practically of one water - where does it come from useful properties.
But no, cucumbers contain:
Almost the periodic table turned out! And all this is in those vegetables that are often sent to the trash bin because of the bitter taste. Experienced and experienced gardeners know that everything can be used.
What are healthy bitter vegetables:
So, the spectrum of beneficial effects is wide enough. For summer colds, it is also helpful to eat slightly bitter vegetables. They have anti-inflammatory properties, prevent bacteria from multiplying.
As far as harm is concerned, no negative impacts were noticed. Overeating can lead to diarrhea, frequent urination, bloating, and aching stomach pain. Don't eat more than three vegetables at a time.
Note! Avoid overgrown cucumbers. Useful properties are seen only in those vegetables whose length does not exceed 10 cm. Further, with each millimeter, the degree of usefulness decreases.
If the gardener knows the reasons why cucumber fruits can taste bitter, then it is much easier to prevent the problem. Timely measures taken can prevent such an unpleasant phenomenon as the accumulation of cucurbitacin.
What to do to make cucumbers in the open field or in the greenhouse grow tasty and not bitter? If you perform the following activities, then the problem will bypass your greens:
Note! This article explains in detail how to properly water cucumbers.
By the way! Here it is described the rules and schemes for feeding cucumbers.
Note! As you can see from the listed reasons and solutions, a universal solution to the problem of bitter fruits is the proper care of cucumbers in the open field and in the greenhouse.
As noted above, bitter cucumbers can grow from old bee-pollinated varieties. However, parthenocarpic (self-pollinated) hybrids can also taste bitter under poor growing conditions and lack of proper care.
Therefore, it is optimal to plant new bee-pollinated varieties, or even better - parthenocarpic cucumber hybrids. In addition, now on sale you can find parthenocarpic hybrids that are not subject to bitterness (this information must be indicated on the seed package!). For example, hybrids: Ginga, Libelle, Herman, Claudia, Ekol, Ajax and others.
If the first cucumber plucked in the garden is bitter, then the next ones will probably taste bitter. Finding out the cause and correcting it allows you to restore balance and return sweetness to the fruit.
Experienced gardeners know that the look and taste of the fruit depends on the quality of the soil. Dense or sandy soil is a common cause of the appearance of bitter cucumbers in the beds. Before planting cucumbers, the soil must be prepared by adding the necessary components to it.
To preserve moisture, the soil after irrigation is mulched with cut grass, hay, straw, sunflower husks. At the same time, the soil evaporates less moisture, which reduces watering, protecting the plants from bitterness and possible diseases.
For top dressing, fresh manure cannot be used, since the fruits from it are bitter. When fresh manure is used, it is embedded in the soil in advance during the autumn digging. By spring, it becomes less concentrated and serves as a good top dressing for cucumbers.
Because cucurbitacin is in the skin, the bitter cucumber can be peeled or cut off from the butt. The bitterness will come out and only the sweet pulp will remain. If it is bitter, lightly sprinkle the slices with lightly salt. An effective way to get rid of bitterness is to soak the fruits in warm water or heat them. Bitter fruits are suitable for preservation, pickling and pickling. When processed, they lose their bitterness.
Observing the rules of caring for cucumbers and preventing all possible negative environmental influences, the harvested crop is tasty and not bitter.