Cucumber Peel Relish

Our Facebook fan Fay Burton was kind enough to share her recipe for cucumber peel relish with us!

img_4646001_thumbShe makes a large batch, but you can scale it down if you don’t have 10 quarts of peels left over from other projects, I’m sure!

Fay uses:

*10 quarts firmly packed cucumber peels

*1/2 cup pickling salt (NOT table salt)

*7 1/2 cups granulated sugar

*7 1/2 cups white vinegar

*3 tablespoons mustard seeds

*1 1/2 tablespoons celery seeds

*1 tablespoon turmeric

Grind cucumber peels in food processor or food grinder. Add salt and mix well. Place in large strainer or colander and allow to drain 30 minutes. Run cold water over colander until peel mixture is rinsed well; strain thoroughly while pressing gently to remove excess liquid. Set aside. Mix sugar, vinegar, mustard seeds, celery seeds and turmeric in large pot over high heat; stirring frequently, bring to a full rolling boil. Turn off heat and immediately add peel mixture; allow to set in vinegar solution until heated throughout (5-10 minutes). Place strainer over a large boiler and strain peel mixture from vinegar solution, retaining the vinegar solution in the boiler; place solution over high heat. While solution is heating, place hot peel mixture in hot sterilized canning jars, filling each jar 3/4 full. Return vinegar solution to full rolling boil and pour over peel mixture in jars to within one inch of jar rims. Quickly wipe jar tops with clean wet cloth and affix hot sterilized lids and rings. Jars should seal by the time they reach room temperature. Refrigerate any jars that do not seal. To maintain their crispness, I do not process these pickles. If you wish to run them through the boiling water bath process, follow canner manufacturer’s or USDA’s instructions.

7 Weird Things You Can Do With Cucumber Peels

Don't throw away vegetable peels!

Don’t throw away those peels!

DON’T THROW THOSE PEELS AWAY!  Most people consider themselves virtuous if they compost their cucumber peels rather than tossing them out with the trash…HOWEVER, we’ve assembled a list of ways you can get the most out of every last bit of cucumber before the peels finally make it into the compost bin.

1. Cucumber Water  Infused water is all the rage these days, and cucumber water is a great way to dive in.  It’s cooling and refreshing, and the best thing is that you don’t need to use the whole cucumber to get the flavor.  You can peel the cucumber, using the flesh for salad or gazpacho, and then place the peels in your infuser to flavor the water.  Make sure to wash the cucumbers before peeling if you’re planning on using the peels for infused water.

2. Keep Ants Out of Your House  The alkaloids in cucumbers serve as a natural ant repellant.  Locate the spots where ants normally enter the house, and rub the flesh-side of the peel over the wall or floor around the ant tracks.  Repeat every few days.

3. Give Yourself a Facial Use the naturally astringent properties of cucumber to deep clean and soothe your skin. Puree the peels of 2-3 cucumbers with a handful of mint, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and an egg white in your food processor.  Apply the mixture to a clean face, leave on for 15 minutes, and rinse with warm water.  Follow with a splash of cool water and your favorite moisturizer.

4. Clean Up After the Kids Crayon marks on the walls? Use the peels skin-side out to erase the artwork.  It works almost as well as a Magic Eraser at much less cost.

5. Soothe Tired Eyes  Refrigerate the peels, and pull them out when your eyes are aching.  Place a strip or two over each eye.  The cold will help soothe your eyes, and the cucumber itself will help reduce redness and puffiness better than over the counter eye drops.

6. Defog Your Mirror You’ll never need to wait for the steam to disappear from your mirror again if you wipe it down with the pulp side of a cucumber peel before hopping in the shower.  This will also give you the added benefit of a spa-like cucumber fragrance in your bathroom!

7. Eliminate Squeaky Hinges  Skip the WD-40 and run a cucumber peel (skin side out) over squeaky hinges to silence them.


And if THOSE aren’t enough, check out this reader submitted recipe for relish made from cucumber peels!