Cucumbers are amazing for us on so many levels. They’re hydrating, full of natural elastin, and they taste amazing too. If you’re looking for other fruits like cucumber to add to your repertoire, read on! There are 9 other tasty options you can try out.
These tiny beauties look like mini watermelons, and taste like a cross between that fruit and cucumbers. They’re bite-sized, and their skins are so thin that you can crunch right through them.
They’re ideal plants for a balcony garden or other small space. If you love cucumbers but don’t have a huge yard for them to sprawl out in, consider growing cucamelons instead. They’re prolific, and can climb on privacy trellises all around your space.
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This is the African horned melon that you may never have tried unless you live in Botswana, Nigeria, Namibia, or Zimbabwe. It also grows in some areas of New Zealand, where it’s considered an invasive weed. Hopefully more people there will realize what a tasty treat it is!
When kiwano is ripe, its skin is flaming orange in color, and it’s covered in tiny spikes (horns). If you can battle your way through that, you can get to the neon lime-yellow green flesh within. This flesh is full of soft, edible seeds (like cucumber), and tastes like a cross between cuke and honeydew. It’s an immensely healthy, hydrating fruit that’s also full of beneficial antioxidants.
These are the fruits from Balinese and Indonesian Salacca palm trees. They look like Game of Thrones props, with their deep red dragon scale skins. Fortunately, they taste much less terrifying than they appear!
Much like cucumbers, salak fruits have crunchy, hydrating flesh that’s immensely refreshing. It tastes like a mixture of cuke and apple, and can be eaten both raw and cooked. Some people like to make wine out of it, but most seem to prefer it raw in various types of salad.
Imagine you’re a creator deity, and you really love the flavor of both cucumber and jicama. So, you want to make something that tastes like the two of those combined, only you want it to look like a giant sweet pepper that’s the color of a green apple.
That’s the essence of a chayote.
This thin-skinned squash was originally grown in Mexico, but has been naturalized throughout Latin America and the southern USA. Look for it in Mexican grocery stores, or at farmer’s markets if you live in Texas, New Mexico, California, or Arizona.
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5. Magnolia Fruit
Interestingly, Magnolia acuminata trees are often referred to as the “cucumbertree” because of how their fruits are shaped. Their fruits actually look very similar to cucumbers, with their warty skin and oblong shape. Although the fruits are green when immature, they ripen to a rich orange-red hue.
These are edible, but apparently fairly tasteless. If you’re an enthusiastic forager, however, you may enjoy tasting it just for the sake of trying it out.
Chances are that if you love cucumbers, you adore watermelon too. These crunchy cousins are very similar in texture, and offer a ton of liquid love in every bite. In fact, both of them are over 90% water!
If you’re feeling both hungry and thirsty, these fruits are some of the best options available to you. Both are also full of elastin and other anti-aging properties. Toss some into your next smoothie or fresh juice, and watch how your skin reacts.
You might not think of cantaloupe as being a fruit like cucumber, but that’s where you’re wrong. So, so wrong. You see, cantaloupes are also part of the Cucurbitaceae family, just likes cukes, watermelons, and pumpkins.
They’re similarly hydrating and refreshing, though cantaloupes tend to be sweeter than cucumbers. They also have softer flesh, so if you love cucumber crunchiness, you won’t find it here. You will, however, be fabulously rehydrated after eating one.
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Would you be interested in eating something called “The Serpent of Sicily”? While that sounds like a reprehensible nickname for an Italian gigolo, it’s actually a type of edible gourd. Cucuzzi fruits are basically a cross between cucumbers and zucchini, with a flavor that’s somewhere in between.
It can be eaten raw, but most people choose to cook it into stews instead.
9. Zucchini (Courgette)
Last but not least, we have the wonderful zucchini. These are occasionally mistaken for cucumbers in a hurry, much to the shopper’s dismay later. These are the fruits of summer squash plants, and most people find it far more palatable cooked than raw. That’s a matter of personal taste, however: just as many people like it spiralized into raw “zoodles”.
As you can see, there are many other fruits like cucumber to try out. If you can explore Asian, African, and Latin American grocery stores, you may come across several varieties that are new to you. Ask the grocers what they’re called (if they aren’t labeled), and experiment with some different recipes.
For example, chayote can be used alongside tomatillos in really vibrant salsa verde. Also, try some of these in both sweet and savory preparations, like watermelon with vegan feta and arugula.
However you choose to enjoy them, be sure to revel in every crunchy bite.