This summer, take a moment to celebrate the plethora of food that nature offers up to us. And we’re talking the foods that we take for granted, day in and day out. Many of the foods that we pop into our trolley every week actually have more health and beauty benefits than we realise- and it’s time we stopped taking them for granted. This week, we’re shouting about the humble cucumber- a summer staple, all year round. And so, here are five little cooling cucumber recipes to take you through the warming months. Enjoy!
This couldn’t be easier to make. Honestly! All you need is:
- A jug, filled with water
- A cucumber
Simply slice your cucumber and add to your water. Allow to infuse overnight in the fridge, and enjoy. And why is cucumber water so great?
- Your joints and muscles will thank you… cucumber contains sillica, which strengthens the connective tissues in the muscles. So next time you take water to keep you hydrated during your workout, pop some cucumber slices in too.
- It will hydrate you… cucumber is fantastic for helping up your water intake throughout the day. This will help your energy levels, and aid the skin in it’s bid to stay supple and smooth too.
- It acts as a diuretic… helping to flush out waste from the body. Cucumber also has detoxification abilities too as it contains antioxidants that work to battle free radicals in the body.
For a variation on cucumber water, try adding lemon and mint for a Vitamin C boost, or substitute the mint for strawberries instead. Delicious!
Dark circles corrector
Not all of us are able to get our full 8 hours of sleep a night on a regular basis. And if you find yourself burning the candle at both ends now and then, chances are that your eyes will tell the story in no time. Dark circles are notoriously hard to hide when you’re tired, but cucumbers are your best friend when it comes to treating them. This dark circles corrector is so easy to make. All you need is:
- two cucumber slices OR two cotton wool pads soaked in cucumber juice.
Simply lie back with the slices/ pads over your eyes. Relax for ten minutes and allow the cooling cucumber powers to take affect.
Why does this work? The antioxidants and sillica found in cucumber means that these little slices are able to rejuvenate the skin quickly and easily, and the ascorbic acid also helps to reduce puffiness too. The cucumber is also able to fade the dark circles effectively, whilst at the same time as tightening the pores and the skin around the eyes, giving you a natural and instant eye lift. Perfect!
Beauty booster juice
We love juicing! And cucumber is an essential ingredient for any beauty boosting juice this summer. This is one of our favourite juice recipes! All you need is:
- Half a small red cabbage
- One medium beetroot
- One carrot
- One medium cucumber
- One large orange
- Half a lime
- Two inches fresh ginger
Place all ingredients aside from the citrus into your juicer. Squeeze the latter by hand, and add to the rest of the juiced ingredients. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
Why is this juice a beauty booster? The hugely hydrating properties of the cucumber (they’re 95% water) helps to create healthy, soft and supple skin. Cucumbers also contain cucurbitacins, lignans, and flavonoids, which provide the body with valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. When added to the other ingredients, cucumber helps to provide an all round wonder juice for your skin!
Sweetly spicy cucumber noodles
Have you got a spiraliser yet? If not, why not?! We love ours and use it all the time. They’re great for making noodles from vegetables, and cucumbers are top of the spiraliser list this summer. This recipe for sweetly spicy cucumber noodles is a firm favourite and fantastic for hot summer picnics. All you need is:
- Four cucumbers
- Handful cherry tomatoes, halved
- Two tablespoons Champagne or red wine vinegar
- Four tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- One teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- One tablespoon honey or agave
- One orange, juiced
- Half a teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Simply spiralise the cucumber and add to a bowl with the tomatoes. In a separate bowl, mix all the other ingredients to make a dressing. Whisk this mixture to make sure it’s all combined, then pour over the cucumber noodles. Serve immediately.
Why are cucumber noodles so amazing? Alongide the health benefits already mentioned, cucumbers also contain high levels of multiple B vitamins, including vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7 (biotin). B vitamins are known to help ease feelings of anxiety and buffer some of the damaging effects of stress. So this dish is perfect for helping you to unwind and calm your mind this summer. Enjoy!
Perfect for snacking this summer- with none of the nasty side effects potato crisps have. We LOVE this simple recipe and cucumber crisps taste amazing! All you need is:
- One large cucumber, thinly sliced
- One teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Pinch of salt
To make the crisps,whisk together the vinegar and salt in a medium sized bowl. Add the cucumber slices and coat them evenly in the mixture. Bake in the oven at a very low temperature until the slices are crisp. Enjoy!
Why are these crisps so great? They’re healthy, tasty and fantastic for staving off cravings for greasy, salty crisps. Perfect for picnics!
What are your favourite cucumber recipes?