As summer heat continues into August, staying hydrated is of upmost importance. Why not try staying cool as a cucumber? Cucumbers are the perfect summer vegetable. Full of water, and eaten raw, they are convenient and nutritious.
Cucumbers come in many varieties, but are broken into categories of slicing, pickling and seedless. Slicing cucumbers are the larger varieties you see in the produce section of the grocery store, such as English cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers are generally smaller, think of gherkins/cornichons. And while not completely seedless, the Persian cucumber has less seeds, that are small and soft, so they along with other varieties fit in the seedless category.
Cucumbers are mostly water, making them a perfect veggie for summer. Since we get almost a quarter of our water from food, when it is hot out, increasing our intake of watery fruits and veggies can help our bodies adjust to the warm temp. Cucumbers also have fiber, which mostly comes from the skin, so keep the skin on when you slice or chop. Foods with both abundant water and fiber are great for constipation. Consider snacking on fresh cucumber daily if staying regular is a challenge.
The most abundant vitamin in cucumbers is vitamin K, necessary for bone health and the clotting of blood. Enhance the absorption of fat -soluble vitamins like vitamin K by consuming with fat; consider dipping cucumber in hummus, drizzling with olive oil, or having with avocado.
Try out this salad for a refreshing and easy way to enjoy cucumbers as a meal.
Kitchen Sink Cucumber Salad
Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a side.
I am always looking for ways to use up as many veggies in my fridge as possible. You can make this salad with whatever you have on hand, with the aim of having a bean for protein, some leafy green for volume, along with the crunch you’ll get from the cucumbers. Enjoy!
½ a large head of lettuce, or 2 cups leafy greens
1 large cucumber, or 3 small cucumbers
½ a red onion
1 large tomato
½ an avocado
1 15 oz. can low sodium black beans
1 15 oz. can no salt added corn
Juice from a lime
1.5 tbsp olive oil
Wash and dry all produce. Chop lettuce and add to large salad bowl. Dice or cube remaining vegetables into similar sizes, except avocado. Add veggies to salad bowl. Drain and rinse black beans and corn. Add both to salad. Toss salad to combine. In a small bowl or jar, combine lime juice and olive oil. Drizzle over salad. Dice avocado and arrange over salad before serving.