If placed side by side, you may confuse a cucumber with a zucchini and vice versa. Given that both have a dark green skin, are long and cylindrical, you wouldn’t be the only one to be confused. However, try using one in place of the other and you’ll realize your mistake in a second.
A favorite among those who want to lose weight quickly, both zucchini and cucumber have a very low count on the glycemic index. Due to their high water levels, both of them are very low in sugars, carbs, and calories, but high in essential nutrients.
Well, it is hard to tell the difference between the two because when these two vegetables are placed right next to each other they both have the exact green skin, long cylindrical shape, and pale and seedy flesh. However, the moment you touch them you will instantly realize that what might appear as twins are actually not. Cucumbers have a cold and bumpy exterior while Zucchinis have a dry and rough exterior.
Let’s take a look at some of the differences between these two vegetables.
- Fruit or Vegetable: Though they may look similar, cucumbers and zucchini do not belong to the same family. Cucumbers belong to the gourd family while zucchini belongs to the Cucurbita family. Technically speaking, cucumbers are considered to be a fruit by many people. However, you wouldn’t really put a cucumber in a fruit salad.
- Know just by touching it: When you touch a cucumber, it is relatively softer as compared to a zucchini. A cucumber will also feel cool and waxy while a zucchini is more likely to feel rough and dry. Cucumbers may feel a little bumpy to touch while zucchinis are typically smoother.
- How does it taste: Cucumbers are generally eaten raw while zucchinis are cooked. However, cucumbers can also be cooked and zucchini may be eaten raw or pickled. Tastewise, cucumbers have a fresh taste and are juicy due to high water content. On the other hand, zucchinis have a heartier flavor and may even tend to be slightly bitter. When cooked, zucchini holds its shape better than cucumbers that wilt easily. However, zucchini softens when cooked while cucumbers will maintain a slight crunch. It is also important to note that zucchini flowers are edible while cucumber flowers are not.
- Calories: Cucumbers have a slightly lower calorific value as compared to zucchini. Zucchini is richer in vitamin B and vitamin C as compared to cucumbers. Both vegetables have relatively equal amounts of calcium but zucchini is richer than cucumbers in potassium and iron. Zucchini also has a higher amount of protein and fiber.
- The best way to eat it: Cucumbers are ideally eaten raw or pickled. A cold cucumber can be quite refreshing on a hot summer day. Cucumbers typically find themselves in salads or sandwiches. They can also be used to flavor water. On the other hand, zucchinis taste better when baked or stir-fried. Apart from being chopped and used as vegetables, zucchini is often made into the shape of noodles that are popularly known as zoodles. Zucchini can also be shredded and baked in loaves of bread and muffins.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!