Spicy Brine Cucumber Chips
A Plethora of Cucumbers
The garden was blessed with a lot of rain this year. We also had lower summer temperatures than last year and the result has been an abundance of produce. We’ve had so much produce that it has been difficult to keep up.
What does one do with a plethora of cucumbers? Most people will say make pickles. I understand that, I enjoy pickles. However, last year for Christmas my mother-in-law gave me a food dehydrator.
I’m new to the dehydrating scene. The original idea was to dry herbs from the garden in faster and more sterile way than hanging stuff from the kitchen ceiling. I was constantly having problems with certain herbs not drying completely and then developing mold in storage. Basil was especially troublesome.
The dehydrator worked wonders for drying herbs. I began to wonder what else I could dry with it and started experimenting with all sorts of veg and fruit. I had a stack of cucumbers on the counter one day and the dehydrator was empty so I sliced them and threw them in.
The oldest boy has a a sixth sense regarding the availability of food. As I was removing the dried cucumbers from the tray he came downstairs. He was looking for a snack so I handed him the baggie of cucumbers I had taken off the tray and he vanished. When he came back with the empty bag he said the chips were okay but were kind of boring.
With the abundance of cucumbers, I began to experiment with different kinds of cucumber chips. Some turned out too salty, and some too spicy, and so on. I have at last settled on this recipe because it is a favorite in my house. If you find it too salty for your taste, feel free to adjust. I hope you enjoy these chips as much as my oldest son and I do.
Cucumber Chips Preparation and Ingredient PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
- 3 Medium Cucumbers, sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick
- 3 Cups Water, cool
- 1 Cup Water, boiling
- 1/2 Cup White Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Kosher Salt, adjust to taste
- 2 Tbsp Dill Weed
- 1 Tsp Satan's Spice Rub, optional
- 1/8 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Mustard
- 7 Grinds Black Pepper
- 1Tsp Smoked Paprika
- Wash and slice cucumbers. Peeling is optional.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl combine salt and boiling water. Add vinegar, half the dill weed, mustard, cayenne, pepper, cayenne, and Satan's spice rub. Mix welland stir in remaining water.
- Soak cucumbers in brine for 30 minutes.
- Drain and rinse cucumbers with cold water.
- Place cucumber slices on dehydrator trays in a single layer.
- Sprinkle chips with remaining dill weed.
- Dehydrate at 135°for five to ten hours. Store in air tight container or baggie. Freezing will increase storage time.
Cucumber Chip Nutritional Information
|Serving size: 3 Cups|
|Calories from Fat||9|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 1 g||2%|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 2 g||1%|
|Sugar 10 g|
|Fiber 3 g||12%|
|Protein 4 g||8%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 6000 mg||250%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Recipe for Satan's Spice Rub
- Satan's Spice Rub
Like a little heat on your meat? This blend of dried vegetables makes an excellent dry rub on any protein, or for a dash of heat in your favorite recipe. Use alone or blend with your favorite herbs.
Health Benefits of Cucumbers
- 10 health benefits of cucumbers
This is a list of ten health benefits provided by cucumbers that I thought was very interesting. Just keep in mind that dehydrating destroys vitamins A and C.
- 9 Healthy Facts About Cucumbers
The cool cuke is low in calories and high in refreshing taste. Try it in our Cold Creamy Cucumber Soup With Avocado recipe!
The Tale of the Bear Who Loved Cucumbers
Once upon a time, in the enchanted Spider Forest, there lived a bear named Eddie.
Eddie Bear lived in a snug and cozy cave near the middle of Spider Forest where the brush was thick and the hunters never dared to travel. Bees buzzed in a hive in the old mulberry tree a short distance from his cave where he could get honey. A stream burbled through the brush and was filled with tasty fish. Wild raspberry bushes grew behind the cave, and wild purple clover grew in patches where the sun filtered through the trees. But Eddie Bear was sad.
Eddie Bear loved vegetables of all kinds, but sadly these vegetables did not grow well in the cool shade and pine needle covered soil of Spider Forest. To get vegetables, Eddie Bear would have to travel many miles to the edges of The Spider Forest where the humans lived. It was dangerous to go near human homes, and so much traveling was not good for a bear who needed to gain weight for hibernation time. Sometimes the craving would grow so strong in Eddie Bear’s tummy that he would make the long hike to the land of people and make raids in their gardens.
Now, the Spider Forest was so named because a giant, ancient spider named Loxosceles lived there along with his many smaller descendants. He was cunning and manipulative. One day when Eddie Bear making his way to the land of people to get cucumbers, the spider spied him.
“Eddie Bear, where do you roam?” clicked the massive arachnid.
“I am going to look for cucumbers in the land of people.” Eddie Bear replied.
“How many will you bring back?” Loxosceles inquired.
“Just a few because they do not last very long.” Eddie Bear answered sadly, wishing he had a refrigerator like the people.
“Collect as many as you can and bring them to me before you return home,” Loxosceles commanded.
So, Eddie Bear obeyed. He borrowed a large wheelbarrow from the raccoons and set off to the land of people. There he visited many gardens and collected vast amounts of cucumbers (eating numerous cukes along the way). These he took to the spider who demanded that the cucumber stash be left in his possession for the rest of the week.
Eddie Bear was saddened by this unexpected news and after returning the wheel barrow went home still without cucumbers. It seemed like the next week would never arrive, but at last the time came to return to the lair of Loxosceles.
To Eddie Bear’s amazement the cucumbers were sliced and dried and stacked like a miser’s gold all about the spider’s lair. Loxosceles was nowhere to be seen, so Eddie Bear decided to sample one of the most amazing cucumber chips. It crunched under his teeth and had a delicious salty flavor.
Suddenly, Loxosceles appeared in the trees above and tossed a net of web down to the forest floor. “Gather your cucumbers in this sack and take them home, Eddie Bear. You will be able to snack on them for quite some time before you need more. If you need more, you can always bring me more cucumbers. However, if you take the cucumber chips you will be indebted to me. Someday I will ask you to do a favor for me, and you will not be able to refuse my request”
Eddie Bear considered the spider’s words for some time. Winter was coming on soon and the cucumber chips would be a wonderful snack to have in his cave in case he should awake. The salty, slightly spicy flavor lingered on his tongue and he already wanted to eat another chip. Yet he knew that making bargains with Loxosceles always had consequences. His growling tummy decided him.
“I accept this bargain.” Eddie Bear declared. He felt a chill after uttering these words. He wondered briefly at the wisdom of his decision, but his concern was soon forgotten as he began to gather the wondrous cucumber chips. He hauled the bounty home and enjoyed many a chip before winter closed in. On several occasions while the winter winds howled outside and he woke briefly from his sleep and snacked on his chips.
Spring rolled around again and he awoke from his winter nap. He was very hungry but had eaten all of the chips and so stretched and yawned and set out on a walk to search for food. He first paid a visit to the bees in the mulberry tree and received a few minor stings for a good bite of fresh honey. Then he took a long drink from the stream. It was too early in the year yet for cucumber so he strolled about the forest grazing on whatever he could find.
As he wandered about he came near the lair of Loxosceles and heard his name being called from within. He frowned, remembering his bargain, and answered the call.
“The time has come to fulfill your end of the bargain, Eddie Bear.” Loxosceles intoned.
“What do you want me to do?” Eddie Bear asked nervously.
“You must lure your friends, the honey bees, to my lair. I am hungry after the long winter, as are you. Once this complete, our bargain will be settled and you may have yet more cucumber chips.”
Eddie Bear was appalled. The honey bees were his friends, and they were already in danger. All over the world, not just in Spider Forest, the bees were dying. Also, if Loxosceles ate all the bees it meant no more honey! It meant no more cucumbers because the bees pollinated the cucumber plants! He knew though, that he could not disobey Loxosceles and live. Even if he refused the evil spider was likely to go and eat all the bees just the same. He trudged home with his head down pondering and pondering what to do.
He was nearly home when he passed the mulberry tree where the hive was located. He sat down nearby and watched the bees industriously flowing in and out of their hive. A few were standing guard at the hive gates eyeing him suspiciously. He was a known marauder of honey. Watching the bees was making him think about honey--the sweet, sticky, golden ambrosia. His tummy rumbled.
One of the guard bees flew over to investigate.
“Eddie Bear, why are you trespassing here?” The tiny guard demanded. Eddie Bear found himself relating the entire story to the bee. How his greedy tummy had landed him in a terrible predicament and the danger the hive was now in.
“It is good you have told me. I will relay this information to the queen at once. Stand by!” The guard bee buzzed off toward the hive. Eddie Bear felt foolish to be taking orders from such a small creature but stayed put, watching the hive. The hive began to buzz rhythmically and from the entrance, the queen herself appeared accompanied by the royal guard. Eddie Bear was not sure about the correct protocol for meeting a bee queen and so bowed hoping it was appropriate.
The bee guard sounded a tiny trumpet and proclaimed, “Presenting, her royal majesty Queen Apis!”
Queen Apis flew gracefully toward Eddie Bear and then landed on his nose. This was very itchy and a little bit frightening.
“Greetings, honey snatcher. You have landed yourself and my hive in grave peril through your hunger and laziness. Loxosceles has long desired to feast upon my hive, and you unwittingly grant him an opportunity. The only thing saving you is the honesty you have shown in coming here. Now, you must help us defeat him or we will all perish!”
You must go at once to the kingdom of Vespula and bid them come to our aid. Now is the time for battle! We shall rid the forest of this oppressor once and for all! My guard shall accompany you.”
The trumpets were blown and the queen returned to the hive. The bee guard remained, hovering over Eddie Bear’s nose. Now Eddie Bear was astounded that he would have to travel to the kingdom of Vespula, not because it was far away, but because of the dangerous inhabitants. Yet he must do what he could to save the bees, and reluctantly began the short journey.
Through the forest the bear and the bee traveled, until they came to an area with a lot of logs lying on the forest floor. The air was heavy with a compostesque aroma and a droning buzz. Here was the land of the Vespula. Eddie Bear nervously approached a fallen log that was emitting the most buzzing.
“King Acadica, it is I Eddie Bear on a mission of dire urgency. I come bearing tidings from her Royal Highness Queen Apis. She bids you come to our aid as we go to battle Loxosceles.”
The buzzing intensified until the log seemed to thrum and Acadica Vespula issued forth from the log. The mighty king of the yellow jackets held his golden sword in one leg and a trumpet in another. Eddie Bear could not help backing away from the wasp, whose sting was incredibly painful. King Acadica sounded his trumpet and the buzzing rose to a fevered pitch as hundreds of yellow jackets exited the log.
“Lead on, Bear!” The king commanded. And so, Eddie Bear and his buzzing entourage left the land of the Vespula to return to the hive of Queen Apis.
The hive was a tumult of activity. Bees flew in and out of the hive with buckets. The buckets leaving the hive were full of honey, and the buckets returning to the hive were empty. Eddie Bear wondered where the bees could be taking so much honey.
The guard ant flew into the hive and the yellow jackets continued to swarm around Eddie Bear. Queen Apis appeared at last, dressed in full military garb with her bow and arrows. King Acadica approached her and the conversed in length, making plans. Eddie Bear strained to listen over the buzzing but was unable to hear.
At long last Queen Apis approached the Bear. “Eddie Bear, you must go to Loxosceles. Tell him that you have gathered our entire hive at Two Rocks, in accordance with your bargain. We shall await him there.”
Eddie Bear bowed to the queen and turned to go to Loxosceles’ lair. As he did, the buzzing grew louder and angrier as the two hives joined together and flew in the direction of Two Rocks. He wondered what they could possibly do to battle Loxosceles. He hoped that they would be successful. Most of all, he hoped that in his nervousness he would not give the spider cause for alarm.
The sun was beginning to set as Eddie Bear arrived in the lair of Loxosceles. The giant spider was resting near the entrance to his nest web, but rose eagerly when he saw the bear.
“Eddie Bear, have you returned so soon?”
“Yes, Loxosceles. I have sequestered the bees at Two Rocks to fulfill our bargain. They cannot get out.”
“Very good. I must say, I am surprised to find you so pliable in the completion of your end of the bargain. Most creatures will try to defy me in some way.”
“A deal’s a deal.” Eddie Bear mumbled.
“Well, off we go then,” said the spider. “Lead the way.”
Eddie Bear was startled by this turn of events. He had not thought that he might be leading the spider. He wished even more that he had been able to hear Apis and Acadica forming their plans. It was too late to hesitate though because it would raise Loxosceles’ suspicions. So, the poor bear, wishing he hated cucumbers, led the giant spider toward Two Rocks.
Two Rocks was located at a bend in the stream. The two large rocks had a path between them that was always cool and shady. At this time of day the path would be almost dark. Eddie Bear headed for the path and the closer he came the better he could hear the buzzing. Loxosceles seemed pleased and hurried forward past the bear. The spider could be incredibly fast when the occasion arose and in his excitement he rushed blindly into path between the stones.
Eddie Bear stood stunned near the entrance and wondered what was going to happen. When he heard the spider let out an angry roar he could no longer fight his curiosity and carefully approached the rocks. As he walked along he noticed that the ground was becoming stickier and sticker. He lifted a paw and sniffed at the goo on his foot and then smiled. Honey! Edging along the path of honey he peered into the path between Two Rocks.
There the massive spider was glued to the stone floor by a layer upon layer of cooled honey. The wasps were using their stingers to good effect on the immobilized spider, while the bees shot arrows at him from the walls. The reign of Loxosceles was at an end!
All the forest rejoiced at the passing of Loxosceles, Eddie Bear learned to grow his own cucumbers, and they all lived happily ever after.