Let’s be honest, who wants to eat bitter food like bitter melon — the name says it all, doesn’t it?
Some of the common bitter foods include leafy greens, citrus fruits, herbs, and spices, and several other veggies.
Yes, they’re all bitter in taste and flavor — and we’ve all seen at least one of them.
However, professionals and researchers believe that these bitter foods have a wide range of health benefits.
Dr. Axe summarizes these advantages as follows — promote healthy digestion, maximize nutrient absorption, may help prevent leaky gut, enhance appetite, and boost microbiome.
How about the Cucumber?
On TikTok, a woman suggests “milking” cucumbers to improve its taste. She uses hashtags like #KitchenHack to categorize her post.
“Who here’s ever milks the cucumber?” she asked.
Have you heard about it before?
The lady from New Orleans, Louisiana shared that her sister-in-law told her about the trick when she said she was going to “milk” a cucumber while preparing a vegetable tray.
The food hack actually works to remove the bitter taste from cucumbers.
How to milk a cucumber?
The procedure is simply cutting off the end of the cucumber and rubbing the two parts together in circular motions.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever had a cucumber that’s a little bit bitter, like it just doesn’t taste fresh. That’s because you have to milk your cucumbers,” she said.
“You can already see that white stuff coming out.”
She says as a white, milky substance builds up.
What makes cucumber bitter?
The slightly bitter taste of cucumber rind results from cucurbitacin, which is any of a group of biochemical compounds produced by some plants, particularly those belonging to the pumpkin and gourd families.
However, not all cucumbers are bitter.
Jim Myers, a vegetable breeder said,
“Wild cucumbers contain relatively large concentrations of cucurbitacin and are highly bitter. While their domestic cousins we grow in the garden and buy in the store, tend to have less but varying amounts of the bitter compound.”
“Bitterness seems to vary with the type of cucumber grown.”
The simple hack has mostly been greeted with a surprise on social media from people who had no idea it was possible to drag out the bitterness.
One person commented on the TikTok post,
“I can’t tell if this is for real or not … guess I gotta go rub a cucumber.”
Others, on the other hand, said they do use the technique before eating a cucumber.
“I’m from Georgia and my parents are farmers! I’ll never eat a cucumber without doing this, but we call it ‘drawing the bitter out,'” one user wrote.
What to do with bitter cucumbers?
James M. Stephens, vegetable crops professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, unfolded a way of peeling a cucumber to improve the flavor of the cuke.
“Start peeling at the blossom end of the fruit. Slice away one strip of the green peel toward the stem end and stop about one inch from the stem. Then wash off the knife blade and repeat peeling from blossom to stem end until the fruit is peeled. Rinse the knife again and cut up the cucumber as needed.”
In any case, there’s no harm in giving it a try if you want to discover it.
Alternatively, you could just keep it. Remember that bitter foods are significant to our well-being.
Watch the woman demonstrates how to milk a cucumber in the video below.
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