Cucumbers are definitely an underappreciated veggie. They don’t get the same kind of attention as kale or cauliflower and they usually don’t end up on a hot food trends list. But on June 13th, cucumbers get their day in the sun because it’s National Cucumber Day!
Cucumbers, which are related to watermelon, pumpkin, and squash, are one of your best bets to keep you cool and hydrated all summer long. Even though cucumbers are mostly made of water, there is plenty of room in them for phytonutrients such as cucurbitacins, ligans, and flavonoids. They give us antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Cucumbers are also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, B vitamins, copper, potassium, and manganese. They help reduce stress, fight heart disease, support digestive health, help maintain weight, and even give you fresh breath.
Cucumbers aren’t just for salads. These veggies can be added to smoothies, pickled, spiralized into veggie noodles, and even used in desserts! Cucumbers have a mild flavor that lets them be used in all types of cuisines. Sharpen your slicing knives because we have 15 cucumber recipes that will keep you cool and hydrated all summer long.
1. Veggie Ceviche With Dill
Traditionally speaking, ceviche is a cold dish featuring seafood with lime and cilantro to accent it. But, since when is traditional better? This Veggie Ceviche With Dill features steamed cauliflower, refreshing cucumbers, fresh, bright grapefruit, and lime for a citrus kick and delicate, summery dill instead of the cilantro. The result is flavorful, light, and completely satisfying for a light hors d’oeuvres at your gathering or a starter to a multi-course meal.
2. Cucumber Chili Paletas
Do you ever wish that your frozen treats could be spicy and chilly? Look no further! These Cucumber Chili Paletas, Mexican ice pops made from water, fruit, and sugar, are a mix of contrasting flavors — sweet, sour, refreshing, and spicy. To prepare these cucumber chili ice pops, you only need five ingredients and they can be prepared in less than half an hour.
3. Cucumber Quinoa Salad With Blackberries
While quinoa is a great replacement for rice in savory dishes, it’s also a wonderful grain to incorporate into sweet dishes like this Cucumber Quinoa Salad With Blackberries. This sweet salad features spiralized cucumber noodles, almond milk, blackberries, slivered almonds, and mint. The gingery, creamy, almond butter vinaigrette makes this dish truly special.
4. Avocado Pesto Cucumber Bruschetta Bites
These Avocado Pesto Cucumber Bruschetta Bites are a fun and easy take on the classic cucumber sandwiches served at afternoon tea. Just one cucumber, one avocado, and a few sprinkles of paprika and rosemary are all you need to create a snack that’s quick, raw, and clean. Not to mention, they look lovely on the table!
5. Cucumber Semolina Dosa
These Cucumber Semolina Dosas can be used in a variety of different recipes, both savory and sweet. They’re super easy to make since the batter only takes five minutes, and lightly frying them only takes another ten. Serve them with coconut chutney or agave for a sweet snack, or increase the amount of green chilis if you want a savory and spicy snack.
6. Lentil Coconut Curry With Pesto Cucumber Noodles
This Lentil Coconut Curry With Pesto Cucumber Noodles is an easy enough dish to make on a busy weeknight, without being boring. The meaty lentil coconut curry sits on a bed of refreshing cucumber noodles. The lentil curry is spicy and tangy, the cucumber noodles are crisp and cool, and they’re coated in a creamy cilantro pesto. Yum!
7. Chilled Cucumber Soup With Pico de Gallo
Nothing is quite as refreshing on a summer day as chilled soup. Well, ice cream, but you can’t have ice cream for lunch … every day. This Chilled Cucumber Soup is light, seasoned artfully with cilantro, and given a bit of spice with pico de gallo. The silken tofu also gives this purée a smooth and velvety texture.
8. Sichuan Sesame Shirataki Noodles and Cucumber Salad
This Sichuan Sesame Shirataki Noodles and Cucumber Salad is a lovely light lunch or dinner option. They feature shirataki noodles, the chewy, clear noodles made from konjac yams. Sliced cucumber is added along with a dressing that doesn’t skimp on the savory umami flavor. This salad is refreshingly tasty and super easy to make — perfect for summer.
9. Sweet and Sour Cucumber Carrot Noodles
This vibrant bowl of Sweet and Sour Cucumber Carrot Noodles looks gorgeous and tastes even better. The noodle base is filling and crunchy, while the chickpeas add a meaty texture. A drizzle of homemade sweet and sour dressing adds another layer of flavor. This refreshing dish is perfect for those warm days when you just don’t want to cook.
10. Super-Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Did you know that dill pickles are actually a cinch to make at home if you use the technique called refrigerator pickling? These Super-Easy Refrigerator Dill Pickles have cucumbers pickled with garlic, red chili flakes, mustard, dill, and coriander. Just put everything in a jar, throw it in the fridge, and enjoy your homemade pickles the next day!
11. Cucumber Hummus Canape
Did you know hummus just happens to be heaven on some cucumber? Everyone will love these Cucumber Hummus Canapes. Bring these to your potluck, picnics, and parties and your friends will show you just how much they love them.
12. Korean-Style Spicy Tofu and Sesame Cucumbers
Tofu triangles sizzling in a flavorful spicy hot pepper sauce … who wouldn’t want this Korean-Style Spicy Tofu and Sesame Cucumbers for dinner? Cool it down with a side of fresh and crunchy sesame cucumbers and some steamed rice and you’ve got yourself a Korean-inspired feast that couldn’t be easier to make!
13. Spicy Tomato Tahini Spiralized Salad
This Spicy Tomato Tahini Spiralized Salad is the perfect dish when you want something tasty, pretty and easy to make. In this vegetable noodle salad, zucchini, carrots, and cucumbers are julienned and topped with a dollop of lentils and a zesty tomato tahini dressing. Top this dish with pumpkin seeds for an added crunch!
14. Cool Cucumber Salad
This Cool Cucumber Salad is just what you need on a hot day. Cucumber slices are tossed in a dressing made with cashew butter, coconut milk, vinegar, garlic, and dill. So simple and so delicious, you’ll love this refreshing salad.
15. Panzanella With Millet
Panzanella is a traditional Tuscan salad made from bread and tomatoes. This Panzanella With Millet is a super-quick spring salad that puts a slight spin on the classic dish by adding strawberries and millet to the mix. Fresh, easy-to-make, and hearty enough for a lunch or light supper, this salad is a perfect summer go-to.
There’s no better way to stay cool all summer and enjoy light and delicious food than with cucumbers. Once you try these cool and refreshing recipes, you’ll agree that cucumbers deserve all the attention and fanfare that other veggies get.
Lead image source: Sweet and Sour Cucumber Carrot Noodles