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!
1. 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
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.
3. Tomato, Basil And Cucumber Salad With Feta
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
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!
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
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
The ultimate summer party hors d’oeuvres, this smoky, sweet finger food will be a favorite.
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
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.