Health benefits of cucumbers: Three new refreshing recipes for the summer
As it turns out, cucumbers are much more than refreshing vegetables during hot summer afternoons. Their healthy properties will not only provide relaxation at spa time, soothing those puffy eyes, or crunch up your salad, says Martha Stewart Living. Cucumbers help balance blood sugar, they strengthen your bones, and due to their 95 percent water volume, they hydrate your body as well.
Try these recipes to help maintain your healthy lifestyle and, bonus, stay hydrated during the summer!
For a Superpowered Lunch
Scandinavian Shrimp-and-Cucumber Sandwich
With their vitamin K, cukes will help keep your bones strong, while protein in the eggs and shrimp energize you until dinner.
Add 1 pound peeled, deveined medium shrimp to a pot of salted boiling water. Return just to a boil, then transfer shrimp to an ice-water bath. Drain well; slice in half lengthwise. Soak ½ cup thinly sliced red onion in cold water 10 minutes; drain. Whisk together 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, 2 tablespoons rinsed capers, and ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss with shrimp, onion, 1 cup thinly sliced English cucumber, and 2 packed tablespoons chopped fresh dill to combine. Spread Neufchatel onto slices of lightly toasted pumpernickel; top with sliced hard-cooked egg and shrimp mixture.
Active/Total Time: 35 min. | Serves: 4
For an Unexpected Side
Cucumbers contain an antioxidant that supports brain health, and inflammation-fighting ginger helps with digestion.
Quarter 1 pound baby cucumbers lengthwise (if no longer than 3 inches, halve crosswise first). Toss with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon sugar. Let stand 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Drain, then toss with 2 teaspoons each rice vinegar and reduced-sodium soy sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon safflower oil in a small skillet over medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon julienned fresh ginger and 3 smashed garlic cloves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Pour over cucumbers; toss to combine. Season again, if desired. Transfer to a serving dish, discarding liquid. Top with toasted sesame seeds and a few drops of hot chili oil.
Active Time: 15 min. | Total Time: 40 min. | Serves: 4
For a Thirst-Quenching Drink
Cucumber Ice Cubes
Freeze the fruit in pieces to keep your water, seltzer, or lemonade cold. Snack on them afterward to sneak in potassium, an electrolyte that can stabilize blood sugar.
Halve 1 English cucumber lengthwise; seed. Cut into 2-inch pieces; freeze on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet until solid, at least 4 hours. Transfer to freezer bags to store.
Active Time: 5 min. | Total Time: 4 hr. 5 min. | Serves: 4
Keep cuke cubes refrigerated in a pitcher of water in the refrigerator for infused sips all day.
Recipes by Martha Stewart Living.