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Ideal Summer Food: 7 Cooling and Hydrating Cucumber Recipes

Ideal Summer Food: 7 Cooling and Hydrating Cucumber Recipes

Summer is the best time to take advantage of cucumbers, as they’re at their peak freshness, making them crisper, cleaner-tasting and actually better for you! Plus, ucumbers have some serious health and weight-loss benefits.

– They hydrate you, which keeps you functioning at your best and curbs your appetite.

– They help your body cleanse itself, which removes toxins, de-puffs skin and helps you shed water weight.

– They contain high amounts of cucurbitacin, a compound which has been increasingly linked to cancer prevention.

– They’re low in calories and high in Vitamins K, C and B, which means they give you energy, boost the immune system and help promote strong bones.

Check out these top recipes for quick ideas on how to enjoy these summer snack legends without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Summer is a time to be outside!

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1. Cucumber Coconut Salad

Cucumber Coconut Salad

    Martha Stewart’s rendition of a classic Indian salad, its cooling properties and sweet coconut flakes make this recipe a perfect companion on a hot day.

    If you you have a mandolin slicer handy, you can shave these paper thin slices of cucumber for a really delicate texture. But you can always slice by hand or even peel and then grate the cucumber with the largest grate and get a similar affect.

    2. Creamy Coconut Soup

    Cucumber Creamy Soup

      Both light and filling is not always an easy accomplishment, but this soup hits both of those points expertly.

      This is a creamy cucumber and avocado soup that’s great for either a hot or cool summer evening, or cold from the fridge for a soul-lifting lunch.

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      3. Tomato, Basil And Cucumber Salad With Feta

      Tomato, Basil, Cucumber Feta Salad

        This salad has bright colors, bright flavors and just enough of a feta dusting to soften the crisp, fresh produce. There’s no rival for raw herbs over a juicy summer salad.

        Basil in particular has a great little thrill to its flavor profile and wakes up your taste buds.

        4. Detox Water With Lemon, Lime, Cucumber And Mint

        Screen shot 2015-07-23 at 5.09.22 PM

          The ultimate in refreshing drinks, this beverage is so simple and will help your body replenish itself more efficiently than plain water. The vitamins and minerals in the lemon, lime, cucumber and mint leach into the water as it sits on the fridge over night.

          The next morning, you’ll find a subtly sweet and zingy pitcher full of cool, infused water waiting for you. A heavenly way to start the day!

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          Another way to enjoy this on a whim is to simply juice a lemon and a lime, muddle the cucumber and mint and pour seltzer water over the top. This will make for a drink with an extra pop in flavor with bubbles! Use pure seltzer water instead of club soda or tonic water, as the salt will work against the hydrating properties of this summer beverage.

          5. Curried Quinoa Salad With Cucumber Mint Raita

          Curried Quinoa Cucumber Mint Raita

            High protein quinoa, spiced with Madras curry powder and cooled with cucumber and fat-free yogurt, over crisp baby spinach leaves. This dish will satisfy you and kick your metabolism into the next gear.

            Use a milder curry if you’re sensitive to heat or if it’s a particularly hot night outside.

            6. Smoked Salmon in Cucumber Boats

            Screen shot 2015-07-23 at 6.08.15 PM

              The ultimate summer party hors d’oeuvres, this smoky, sweet finger food will be a favorite.

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              Not just pretty and tasty, this snack is also an ultimate brain food, as salmon contains high amounts Omega 3 fatty acids. And all this in a cute ‘cuke’ boat!

              Peeling the cucumbers before hollowing them out into boats is optional. It does make for a nice squishy, soft bite, but keep in mind that the skin contains a lot of the fiber and vitamins. Seems wasteful to just toss them!

              Try making these with a thinner-skinned cucumber like Persian or Hothouse, if you don’t like the waxy skin.

              7. Cucumber Seaweed Salad

              Cucumber Seaweed Salad

                Sweet and fresh with just a touch of protein from the seaweed, this unique salad is a new twist on a couple of Japanese favorites.  And it’s ready in just five to 10 minutes!

                You can find the seaweed at your local Asian market or in the Oriental aisle of most grocers like Whole Foods, or even on Amazon.

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                Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                Boundaries are limits

                —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                • When do you feel disrespected?
                • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                • When do you want to be alone?
                • How much space do you need?

                You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                Sample language:

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                • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                Final Thoughts

                Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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