As we near the end of June and the summer heat kicks in, if you are looking for ways to stay cool, fresh and healthy, cue the cucumber! Did you know that cucumbers are actually fruits? Made up of 96% water and various electrolytes, one of their key benefits is helping us stay hydrated. They are also a good source of minerals such as potassium and magnesium, which are essential for a healthy heart, muscles and nerves. Cucumbers contain vitamins A, C and K, and are full of antioxidants, too. And if you’ve had little too much sun, slices of cucumber placed gently on puffy eyes or sunburned skin will help cool and soothe the irritation.
cucumber recipes and drinks
- Mix with blueberries and feta for a delicious salad. Peel and de-seed a cucumber by halving it lengthwise and running a teaspoon down the middle channel. Slice thinly, toss with blueberries and crumbled feta, dress with a light vinaigrette, and garnish with a few chopped mint leaves.
- Chill out with a gazpacho. We like Nigel Slater’s recipe for this refreshing summer blend of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and shallots.
- Infuse water with cucumber, lemon and mint, and keep on tap for those long, hot days.
- Make dainty cucumber sandwiches for afternoon tea. Add some dill cream cheese and thinly sliced smoked salmon for a little extra decadence.
- Mix yourself a Pimms Cup. Pour one part Pimms and three parts English lemonade, or lemon-lime soda, over ice. You might like to add strawberries, oranges, or other fruits, and a sprig of mint – but the one essential is a slice or two of cucumber!
Happy summer, and do let us know in the comments below if you have other ideas or cucumber recipes to share.
Until the next time,
Sam and Claire
p.s. We have more hot-weather food ideas here