Summer Bounty means enjoying a plentiful harvest of the best things summer gardens have to offer. We often think of tons of tomatoes, ripe for salads, soups and canning.
Zucchini seems to grow before your eyes. If you have more than one zucchini plant, you might want to mark your calendar for August 8th. That’s National Sneak Some Zucchini On Your Neighbor’s Porch Day.
There is another prolific producer we often overlook; the mighty cucumber.
Cucumbers are much more than tossed salad toppers. Cucumbers are the main ingredient in tzatziki sauce, a Greek sauce served as a side for gyros and more. You can find these refreshing green wonders in smoothies, agua drink recipes and cocktail garnishes. Cool cucumber soup makes a nice change for summer lunches. Don’t forget about pickles!
At about 15 calories each, cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day. An average size cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
Here are a few fun facts about this amazing fruit. It is okay to call cukes veggies, too. 🙂
- The phrase, “Cool as a cucumber.” Comes from the fact the inside temperature of a cuke is about 20 degrees cooler than the surrounding air.
- You can apply cucumber slices topically to reduce swelling to eyes, cool burns and relive itch of dermatitis.
- The silica in cucumbers can help your complexion and adds a natural glow factor! The natural hydrating and properties and phytochemical reaction can smooth wrinkles and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
- Rub a cucumber over metal faucets and fixtures to bring back its shine.
- The skin of a cucumber can help erase stubborn pen and crayon marks on walls.
- The smell of cucumbers can trigger relaxing properties to your brain. Toss a few in some boiling water and instant spa. Don’t forget to save a few slices for your tired eyes.
Tame August heat with this cool as a cucumber salad!
- 1 large cucumber (about 3 cups) thinly sliced (about ⅛-inch thickness)
- 2 medium onion thinly sliced, (white, red or both)
- ½ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dill
- ¼ cup light sour cream or yogurt
- Blot cucumber slices with a paper towel to remove extra moisture.
- Place cucumber and onion slices in a large non-reactive bowl. Whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, dill and salt. Pour over vegetables and marinate for at least one hour.
- Divide in half and add sour cream to one half if desired.
- Many people lay cucumber slices out on paper towels and sprinkle with salt to reduce the water content. I don’t feel the added salt is necessary.