I was “blessed” at a young age with braces, glasses and LOTS of acne. I recall being obsessed with the Juice Man Juicer for a short time in middle school. One of his recipes for a clear complexion included cucumbers. Desperate to try anything, I drank a green bell pepper & cucumber cocktail religiously for a month. Wish I could say that I had clear skin after that month, especially since I hate green bell peppers, but unfortunately the Juice Man’s recipe didn’t come through for me.

I still love cucumbers though and they are the perfect summer food to keep you cool and refreshed!

Are cucumbers negative calorie foods?

I’m often asked if certain fruits/vegetables are devoid of nutrients, like celery and cucumbers. I’ve heard people say “what’s the point of eating cucumbers because they don’t have anything but water.” Lies! Lies! Lies I tell you! Not only are cucumbers packed with nutrients, but they are awesomely refreshing snacks! With a satisfying crunch followed by an immediate cooling sensation, they’re fantastic in so many different preparations.

Salads
Smashed Cucumber Salad   Dixya Bhattarai, Food, Pleasure, Health
Avocado, Jicama and Cucumber Salad  Kaleigh McMordie, Lively Table
Strawberry Cucumber Salad  Judy Barbe, LiveBest
Tomato, Cucumber Salad with Fresh Herbs  Roxana Begum,  The Delicious Crescent
Cucumber, Tomato  & Chickpea Salad  Julie Harrington, RDelicious Kitchen
Indian Cucumber Yogurt Salad  Elizabeth Shaw, Shaw Simple Swaps
Spiralized Cucumber and Carrot Noodle Salad  Liz Weiss, Liz’s Healthy Table

Snacks and Apps
Sprinkle cucumber spears with chile and lime
Slice into rounds and use in place of crackers for hors d’ouevres
Southwestern Greek Yogurt Dip with Crudites Amy Gorin Nutrition
Tzatziki  Diane Norwood, The Wandering RD
Cucumber Dill Ricotta Cups Brittany Poulson, Your Choice Nutrition
Smoked Salmon Cucumber Bites  Christy Brissette, 80Twenty Nutrition
Easy Refrigerator Pickles  Sarah Pflugradt, Salubrious RD
Added to a savory yogurt parfait  (see my Savory Cucumber Dill Yogurt Parfait recipe below)

On bread
Cucumber Tartine  Karman Meyer, The Nutrition Adventure
Add to avocado toast

Soup
Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho  Meme Inge, LivingWell Kitchen

Main dishes
Quick and Easy Pork Tacos with Cucumber Salad  Sarah Koszyk, Family.Food.Fiesta
Fresh Salmon Ceviche with Cucumbers and Radishes  Jessica Fishman Levinson, Nutritioulicious
Spicy Chicken Thighs with Rhubarb Cucumber Salsa  Bon Appetit
Tuna Salad Cucumber Boats  Emily Kyle, Emily Kyle Nutrition


Beverages

Cocktails (Don’t even get me started on how great they are in cocktails! Honeydew, gin and cucumber cocktail? Yes please!)
Cucumber Mint Chia Fresca  Dixya Bhattarai, Food, Pleasure, Health
Green Juice  Kelli Shallal, Hungry Hobby
Pineapple Cucumber Mint Juice  Karman Meyer, The Nutrition Adventure

Dessert
Cucumber Lime Granita w/ Spicy Mango  Abbey Sharp, Abbey’s Kitchen

The Nutrition Stats

Cucumbers contain vitamins A, C and K, potassium, molybdenum, manganese, folate, phosphorous, pantothenic aicd, dietary fiber, magnesium and phytochemicals. That’s quite a bit of stuff for a food with the reputation as having no nutritional value!  So while my acne wasn’t instantly cured by my bell pepper-cucumber concotion, cucumbers are still good for overall skin health.

Don’t just buy the standard waxed cucumbers!

I generally don’t bother with typical supermarket cucumbers because of the annoying waxy peel that needs to be removed. My favorites varieties are Persian, Japanese and Armenian, which are plentiful all summer long. These varieties are great for lazy people such as myself because they don’t need to be peeled or seeded! The Persian cucumbers are easily found at grocery stores like Ralphs,  in packs at Trader Joe’s and at ethnic markets.  When I want something a tad unusual, I buy the little round lemon cucumbers, which can be found at many farmers’ market.

Persian Cucumbers

 

Lemon Cucumbers

Cucumber Dill Yogurt Parfait

Yield: 2 servings

Who says yogurt parfaits have to be sweet? Savory parfaits are all the rage! You can experiment and add any type of herb and veggie combination that you fancy.

The yogurt itself can be eaten immediately, but tastes best if it sits in the fridge for at least 1 hour for the sharpness of the shallot to mellow.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 2% plain greek yogurt or skyr
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, diced (leave skin on), divided into 2 portions
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided into 2 portions
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, salt, shallot, lemon and dill.
  2. If you have the time, cover dilled yogurt and let sit for at least 1 hour to allow for the sharpness of the shallot to mellow.
  3. Evenly portion the yogurt between 2 serving bowls and top each serving with cucumber, olive oil and black pepper.
http://tastybalancenutrition.com/crazy-for-cucumbers/
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