The summer heat is fast approaching and as the long, sunny days begin to stretch out in front of us, we’re probably going to start scouring the internet for the best ways to keep cool. While some of you may jump into a river, a pool, or dip your toes in the ocean, we’ve always preferred to fix our problems with food. And there’s one vegetable that’s cooler than all of the rest – cucumbers!
Whether it’s blended into a juice, wrapped in sushi with creamy avocado, or spiralized in a noodle bowl, cucumbers are always light, refreshing, and our favorite way to beat the summer heat. And seeing as June 13th happens to be National Cucumber Day, we put together 15 of our favorite ways to get more cucumber in your life. Enjoy!
These Kimchi Cucumber and Avocado Sushi Rolls are great because they take almost no time to make, they’re absolutely delicious, and the spicy “mayonnaise” that is drizzled on the top is too good for words. The sushi’s flavor is a delicate balance – the cucumbers offer the freshness, avocados offer the creaminess and finally, the kimchi adds just the right sourness and punch of flavor.
We can’t talk about cucumbers without talking about pickles, and this recipe for Polish Pickles is one of the best. The age-old art of pickling is a good one to familiarize yourself with because pickles are healthy, they are a great way to cut back on food waste, and you can easily customize them to your palate. This recipe gives you a basic take on your classic dill pickle and from this foundation – the sky is the limit.
Transform cucumbers into adorable bite-sized appetizers with these Cucumber Pinwheels With Sun-Dried Tomato Avocado Pesto. The cucumber is sliced, stuffed with savory sun-dried tomato spread, rolled carefully, and then topped with almonds for a bit of crunch. Refreshing and simple.
Cucumber is the star of this very summery gazpacho. This Cucumber Gazpacho is slightly spicy, but creamy thanks to the dairy-free sour cream. If you don’t have access to vegan sour cream, skip it and blend the avocado into the soup for that same rich, creamy taste and texture! Serve this gazpacho with a piece of crusty bread on the side or with a warm salad.
For a clean and vibrant appetizer that will energize your guests while they wait for the main meal, consider trying these Spicy Cucumber Radish Bites. The two vegetables are sliced and then joined together with a little help from cayenne-spiced beet cream. The result is a zesty and refreshing dish that tickles the palate and pleases the eye.
Cucumber Kimchi is a super simple condiment that adds all of the spice and tang of kimchi but only takes about 20 minutes to make – no fermenting necessary! It’s all a matter of taking the water out of the cucumber slices and replacing it with flavor. Once you’ve accomplished this, can treat it just like any other kimchi and take a nibble whenever you need to refresh your palate or you could use these like pickles, adding them to veggie burgers or “pulled pork” sandwiches. Yum!
This vibrant veggie noodle bowl looks gorgeous and tastes even better. The noodle base is filling, with great crunch and texture and the chickpeas add a meaty texture. A drizzle of homemade sweet and sour dressing adds another layer of flavor. These Sweet and Sour Cucumber Carrot Noodles are perfect for the transition from cool weather to warmer days.
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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 10. 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.
Nothing is quite as refreshing on a spring 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.
This recipe makes a fresh cucumber salad a little bit more filling by tossing it into a saucepan and sautéeing it along with cubes of tofu, bell pepper, and roasted nuts. Tossed in a gingery and garlicky dressing, these vegetables transform into a warm and tangy Spicy Cucumber Salad With Pan-Fried Tofu. Savory, wholesome, and delicious!
Here’s a cool, refreshing way to spruce up your hydration: spiraled water pops! These Lime, Mint, and Cucumber Noodle Ice Popsicles have a full spectrum of flavors and textures – plus, they’re super easy to make
Tofu triangles sizzling in a flavorful spicy hot pepper sauce … who wouldn’t want that for dinner? Cool it down with a side of fresh and crunchy sesame cucumbers and some steamed rice and you’ve got yourself some Korean-Style Spicy Tofu and Sesame Cucumbers – a veritable feast that couldn’t be easier to make!
This Green Juice Detox is packed full of green leafy vegetables and cucumbers, all of which are rich in. Chlorophyll is very similar in molecular structure to the hemoglobin in our blood, the only difference is that chlorophyll contains magnesium, whereas hemoglobin contains iron. Remember that green juices are not obtained by mixing the vegetables in a blender like a green smoothie. By juicing you remove the fiber, which makes it much easier to digest and absorb.
14. Sesame-Ginger Cucumber Noodles With Mint and Edamame
Cucumbers are so light, crisp and refreshing in the summertime – why chop them up and hide them in salads? Let them shine in this bowl of Sesame-Ginger Cucumber Noodles With Mint and Edamame!
Beautiful, colorful, and absolutely magical-looking, these Magical Summer Rolls are the perfect light lunch for warm weather days. These summer rolls are lined with polka beets and golden beets, so not only do they taste delicious, they’re also a feast for the eyes. Creamy, homemade almond butter sauce pairs perfectly with their crisp texture and fresh flavor.
We finally understand why they say, “cool as a cucumber” – this vegetable can do anything!
Image source: Magical Summer Rolls