Poor cucumbers! They don’t get the same attention as other veggies. No one’s making t-shirts with clever sayings about cucumbers like they do with kale. No one is calling them the new “it” food like cauliflower. Yet cucumbers have a lot going for them. Cucumbers are relatives of squash, pumpkin and watermelon. They are made up mostly of water which means they can keep you hydrated all summer long.
Cucumbers contain lots of phytonutrients such as cucurbitacins, ligans and flavonoids that provide us with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. They are also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, B vitamins, copper, potassium and manganese. Cucumbers help reduce stress, fight heart disease, support digestive health, help maintain weight and even give you fresh breath. To learn more about the health benefits of cucumbers, read Green Food Power: Health Benefits of the “Cool” Cucumber.
Besides being good for you, cukes are extremely versatile. They 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. So let’s give the underappreciated cucumber some much-deserved attention this summer. Here are 10 cucumber recipes that will help cool you off while realizing just how hot cucumbers really are.
1. Cucumber Noodles With Avocado Pepper Sauce
Get out your spiralizer or vegetable peeler and turn your cucumbers into Cucumber Noodles. Mixed with multicolored bell peppers and tossed in an avocado pepper sauce that also has cucumber in it, this is the perfect light and refreshing summer meal.
2. Basil Cucumber Salad
It’s important to stay hydrated during the hot summer months. This Basil Cucumber Salad can help with that. It’s crunchy, light and refreshing with cucumber, cauliflower, fresh basil and a creamy lemon dressing.
3. Bahn Mi Salad With Pickled Vegetables and Vietnamese Croutons
This Bahn Mi Salad is a sandwich turned into a lighter, delicious summer salad. It has baked tempeh, pickled veggies, and Vietnamese croutons served over a bed of greens, fresh herbs and cucumbers. A lemony dressing tops it off for a healthy and refreshing meal.
4. Baked Falafel and Cucumber Noodle Salad With Mint-Tahini Dressing
While the baked falafel steals the show here, the Cucumber Noodles work their own separate magic – like a crunchy, refreshing salad. The mint-tahini dressing coats the cucumber noodles and makes every bite flavorful and tangy.
5. Teriyaki Tofu Roll With Avocado, Cucumber, Potato, and Black Rice
Vegan sushi is perfect for a light summer meal. These Teriyaki Tofu Rolls have avocado, cucumbers, and potato wrapped in nori sheets. The black rice adds a healthy and exotic touch for a beautiful presentation.
6. Lime, Mint and Cucumber Noodle Ice Popsicles
Spiralized noodles are wonderful in salads, pasta dishes and popsicles. What? That’s right, popsicles. These Lime, Mint and Cucumber Noodle Ice Popsicles are a unique way to have a cool and refreshing summer treat.
7. 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 Sesame-Ginger Cucumber Noodles dish with fresh mint and edamame.
8. Ayurvedic Sauerkraut (Homemade Pickled Cucumber)
Most of us think of sauerkraut as a cabbage dish but in the East, it’s often made from other pickled vegetables such as cucumber. This Ayurvedic Sauerkraut is made with naturally fermented cucumbers and warm, fragrant Indian spices.
9. Sunflower Chive ‘Cheese’ Cucumber Bites
Perfect for a summer party, these Sunflower Chive “Cheese” Cucumber Bites are seriously tasty and very festive looking! They’re a cinch to whip up, and come together in no time.
10. Spicy Asian Cucumber Avocado Onion Salad
This Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad is light, hydrating, cooling and filling. It has avocado and onions plus hemp seeds and cayenne for texture and spice. Serve with baby greens or as is for a refreshing dish.
You probably feel cooler just looking at these incredible recipes. For more cucumber goodness, check out how to Beat the Heat With These 10 Cool Cucumber Recipes.
Lead Image Photo: Basil Cucumber Salad