Summer is the perfect time for building sand castles on the beach, playing catch with the dog and having a picnic with the entire family in your local park. It is also the time of year when the heat is tough and we need to keep our bodies properly hydrated at all times. This is where cucumbers come in. They are 96 percent water and are sure to keep your body hydrated, even in summer heat. As well as their high water content, cucumbers do not contain any fat and are extremely low in calories. Livescience explains that cucumbers also provide numerous health benefits, including cancer-fighting properties, anti-inflammatory agents and vitamin K, which is very good for bone health. Adding cucumber to your high fiber diet can be an excellent way to keep your body healthy, hydrated and ready for summer.
1. Yogurt And Cucumber Raita Salad
This salad is delicious, nutritious and has many benefits to help keep your body hydrated and your skin healthy during the summer. It contains a large amount of cucumber plus a drop of yogurt as a dressing, which makes the perfect addition to your diet plan. This salad is quick and easy to make, plus you can play with the ingredients and their ratios until you find the perfect combination that works for your taste buds.
For assembling the salad, you will need two large English cucumbers, half of a red onion (medium-sized, chopped into small pieces) and a cup of either diced grape tomatoes or cherries. For the dressing, you will need one cup of full-fat yogurt (plain), a quarter teaspoon of granulated sugar, one peeled garlic clove, a small piece of fresh peeled ginger, about two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, two tablespoons of mint leaves (chopped and divided), two tablespoons of cilantro leaves (chopped and divided), a pinch of kosher salt, one tablespoon of fresh jalapeno (minced) and about one tablespoon of mustard or nigella seeds.
Start with the dressing. Put the yogurt in a bowl and grate the ginger and garlic into it. Add the lemon juice, nigella seeds, salt and sugar. Mix the combination and add one half of the cilantro and mint leaves. Now set this mixture aside and move on to the assembly.
For the assembly, cut the cucumber into long wedges, then into one-inch pieces. Add them to a bowl. Place the onion and tomato on top of the cucumber, then top it all with half of the dressing. When you serve the salad, add some dressing to the side and sprinkle the salad with the remaining leaves.
2. Cucumber And Mint Lemonade
This refreshing drink is perfect to serve while spending time at the beach, the park or even while having a relaxing day with the family at home. This drink is very hydrating and the entire family (and friends) will simply love its delicious taste.
To make this refreshing cucumber and mint lemonade, you will need five cups of water, one large cucumber, four lemons (cut them in halves and then juice them) and two scoops of chopped mint leaves.
This lemonade is quick and easy to make. Simply put all of the ingredients into a pitcher and stir well. Put the lemonade into the refrigerator and allow the mixture to cool down for at least an hour.
3. Gazpacho Cucumber Snacks
These snacks are delicious and even can be part of a high fiber diet. They are perfect to serve at your next summer party or to keep on hand for your next barbeque. These snacks infuse a range of different flavors to bring out the perfect taste that will satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
To make these bites, you will need two large English cucumbers, one large diced red pepper, two minced garlic cloves, one half of a Spanish onion (chop finely), a couple of finely diced grape tomatoes, one teaspoon of kosher salt, one tablespoon of sherry vinegar, two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and about a quarter cup of finely chopped parsley.
The recipe is actually very easy. Start by dividing the cucumber into two equal parts. The first half should be diced into small pieces, while the other half should be cut into half-an-inch slices. Mix the diced pieces of cucumber with the red pepper, tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, onion, olive oil, parsley and salt. Then store this mixture in the refigerator for about two hours, along with the remaining cucumber slices. Once chilled, serve the cucumber slices with the mixture as a topping.
4. Cucumber Crisp Salsa
A creamy, crispy salsa with hydrating cucumber, this recipe is perfect for any occasion and can be used in a variety of dishes. The entire recipe only contains around one gram of fat, a very low amount of cholesterol and even some protein. While it requires quite a large amount of ingredients, you’ll find the directions rather simple.
To make this cucumber crisp salsa, you will need two large cucumbers (peeled and chopped), a quarter cup of tomato (finely chopped), a quarter cup of red onion (finely chopped), two tablespoons of parsley (minced), a jalapeno pepper (chopped and seeded), one minced garlic clove, about four teaspoons of fresh cilantro (minced), one and a half teaspoons of lemon juice, one and a half teaspoons of lime juice, a quarter cup of sour cream (reduced fat), a quarter teaspoon of cumin and a quarter teaspoon of seasoned salt. You also will need scoops of baked tortilla chips.
Grab a small bowl and mix together the first seven ingredients. The use another bowl to combine all of the remaining ingredients, except for the chips. Pour the second mixture over the first and gently toss so the two mixtures coat each other. Then serve immediately with the tortilla chips.
While summer may bring along heat waves that can be hard on our skin and bodies, there are many ways to help us endure the summer heat and still be able to enjoy our time outside. These cucumber recipes are an excellent way to kick-start your summer hydration and they also form the best diet plan if you intend to keep your body in shape this summer.