A summer snack that heals and refreshes
This thirst quenching, vibrant vegetable is the "go to" snack on a hot day. Cukes are mostly water—naturally distilled water—making it superior to ordinary water and one of the best diuretics around.And, the cucumber’s high water content helps regulate body temperature. Most impressive, perhaps, is the cucumber’s role in cell hydration, waste removal and the dissolution of kidney stones.
Buy organic, Kirby cukes (the kind used for pickles), or grow your own. Cucumbers love our hot Houston summers. Don't buy cukes with waxy skins. Do not peel cukes, because you’ll lose out on the high quantities of silica found there. This wondrous mineral strengthens the connective tissue that helps keep us from falling apart! Tendons, muscles, cartilage, bones, ligaments; they all love silica.
My training at Von Lee International School for Aesthetics taught me that cucumber adds elasticity to our skin and is great for the complexion. This is why it is an ingredient in many beauty creams. If you are treating eczema, psoriasis, hair loss, splitting nails or acne, add cucumbers to your diet.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, cucumber is a food with exceptional healing power:
1. Clears the body of toxins, cleanses and purifies the blood
2. Benefits and strengthens the heart and helps regulate blood pressure
3. Strengthens the spleen-pancreas organ combo
4. Moistens and cleanses the large intestine and kills tapeworms
5. Benefits the skin—a pack of grated cucumber placed on the skin brings healing to the cells and tissues of the face and can accelerate the healing of burns and wounds
7. Aids digestion, especially when in pickle form
8. Clears heat from the body to alleviate fevers and summer heat and prevent heat stroke
9. Benefits the kidneys and bladder and can heal kidney and bladder infections
10. The alkalinity of the minerals in cucumber juice effectively neutralizes acidity
11. Calms the mind...lifts depression
12. Counters uric acid that causes of inflammation in joints
Puffy eyes? Lie down and put a slice of cucumber on the eyelid of each eye for at least ten minutes.
WOW! Shut the front door, these cukes are amazing dude!
Cucumber is clearly a valuable vegetable and is easily juiced using either a centrifugal or gear type juicer. I love adding cucumber to any combination of carrots, celery and cabbage. What a powerful healing potion these make.
Choose cucumbers that are dark green in color and firm to the touch. Don't buy or select those that are yellowish or are wrinkled at either end or soft anywhere as they are beginning to rot.
Cucumbers may be stored in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator to retain freshness for up to a week. Cut cucumbers should be kept wrapped up or in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator and will keep for a day or two.
Refreshing Summer Recipes
Big Mama’s Polish Cucumber Salad
(A family recipe)
5 pickling cucumbers, thinly slice
4 big cloves of garlic finely chopped
¼ cup of fresh dill leaves finely chopped
1 heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Mix together in a bowl and set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then mix again then serve. Amazing Polish delight.
Indian Cucumber Raita
1 cup of fresh yogurt
½ cup of cucumber, finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh scallions, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon dry ginger powder or 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. This goes well with curries or any spicy foods.
Bombay Palace Katchumber Cucumber salad
3 pickling cucumbers, cut into small dice
1 onion chopped fine
2 tomatoes diced small
2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 green chili, seeded and chopped fine
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of wishful thinking
Mix all ingredients and place on top of lettuce leaves. Good eats!