Scientists are discrediting the idea that cucumbers are for salads alone. This is because cucumbers have a ton of health benefits. It contains antioxidants, promotes hydration and could help with weight loss. They also help strengthen bones and keep your blood pressure in check. Cucumbers are 95% water. For this reason, cucumber snacks are a good addition to your diet.
In addition, they’re also a powerhouse of nutrients like:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
There are several types of cucumbers meant for various uses. One can classify them into 5 categories. Slicing, Pickling, Burpless, Specialty and Container types.
Slicing Cucumbers: Slicing cucumbers are the most common type. They have thin skin and are not bitter to taste. They are long, straight cucumbers bred for fresh eating. You can see them in supermarkets and local markets.
Pickling Cucumbers: Pickling cucumbers are bred to have thinner skins. These are shorter and used for pickling. They have dry flesh that help soak the brine better. Some types are Homemade Pickles, National Pickling and Wautoma.
Burpless Cucumbers: Burpless Cucumbers are bred to produce little or no cucurbitacin. Cucurbitacin causes bitterness and releases gas in the stomach. Since burpless cucumbers are low on cucurbitacin, they do not cause burping.
Specialty Cucumbers: Specialty Cucumbers are not as common. They include heirloom cucumber varieties. “Lemon Cucumbers”, “Armenian Cucumbers” and “Boothby Blondes Cucumbers”.
Container Cucumbers: Container Cucumbers known to grow in small compact spaces. They are better for deck plantings and small space gardens.
With numerous benefits, cucumbers will make an excellent addition to your diet.
Here’s 7 healthy cucumber snacks that are both healthy and tasty!
1. Cucumber Yogurt Salad:
- 4 large cucumbers
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups yogurt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2-4 cloves of garlic
- Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint or parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
Step 1: Chop the cucumbers as per your preference. Place it in a bowl and sprinkle salt. Toss and set aside for 20 minutes.
Step 2: Combine all the remaining ingredients and stir in the oil.
Step 3: Drain the cucumbers for any excess water and put it back in the bowl. Pour the mixture in the bowl and toss.
2. Cucumber Cayenne Pepper Salad:
- 2 large cucumbers
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- Cayenne Pepper to taste
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Step 1: Mix together vinegar, sugar, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Step 2: Add cucumbers and toss well.
Step 3: Serve chilled.
3. Cold Cucumber Soup:
- 2 large cucumbers
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 green onions
- 1 sweet apple
- ½ lime juice
- ½ teaspoon pink salt
- Water to thin.
Step 1: Place all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and puree until smooth. Add water or almond milk to thin (optional).
Step 2: Pour the mixture into an airtight container and keep it to chill for 1-2 hours in the fridge.
Step 3: Serve chilled garnished with diced cucumber, red peppers, and silvered almonds.
4. Cucumber Carrot Roll Ups:
- 2 cucumbers
- 100 gms cheese
- 1 large carrot
- ¼ teaspoon curry powder
Step 1: Use a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the cucumbers and carrot lengthways into slices. Keep the slices on a tissue while the filling is being prepared.
Step 2: Mix the cream cheese and curry powder in a bowl.
Step 3: Keep the carrot slices on the cucumber slices.
Step 4: Take one teaspoon full of cream cheese and curry powder.
Step 5: Place it on the wide end of the slices
Step 5: Roll the strips and use a toothpick to secure the roll together.
5. Cucumber Avocado Sushi:
- 2 cups Cucumber
- 1 avocado
- 2 cups brown rice
- 3 cups water
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ½ tablespoon. vegetable oil
- 1/8 cup sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1/8 cup toasted sesame seeds
- 1 sheet of dried seaweed
Step 1: Cook the brown rice in 3 cups of water.
Step 2: Heat up rice vinegar, vegetable oil, sugar, and salt in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool.
Step 3: When rice comes to a boil, cover and cook until water is absorbed. After that, let it cool until warm.
Step 4: Mix rice with vinegar mixture until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is sticky.
Step 5: Peel and dice the cucumber and avocado then set it aside.
Step 6: Layer Cucumber at the bottom of a one-cup measuring cup. Then pack rice on top of the cucumber to fill the cup.
Step 7: Place a plate face down on the cup, hold together, and turn both over so the plate rests on the table.
Step 8: Top with Avocado and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
6. Cucumber Bites with Sun Dried Tomato Spread:
- 1 cucumber cut into 1-inch-thick slices
- ½ sun dried tomato spread
- Sprinkle of hemp hearts (optional, for garnish)
- Tiny basil leaves (optional, for garnish)
Step 1: Cut the cucumber into slices. Take out the seeds of each slice. Don’t scoop all the way through, you will need the bottom of the slice for your filling to sit.
Step 2: Fill each cucumber with the sun-dried tomato spread.
Step 3: Garnish with hemp hearts, tiny basil leaves or both (optional)
7. Tuna and Veggie Cucumber Boats:
- 5 ounces of tuna
- ¼ cup chopped carrots
- ¼ cup chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons diced red onion
- ¼ chopped broccoli
- 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon mayo
- 1-2 cucumbers halved vertically
Step 1: Combine tuna, carrots, celery, onion, broccoli, Greek yogurt and mayo in a medium bowl. Mix well.
Step 2: Spoon out the seeds from the cucumber. Set Aside.
Step 4: Add the mixture into the cucumbers.
Step 5: Serve!
SIDE EFFECTS TO EATING TOO MANY CUCUMBERS:
Even though cucumbers do have a list of benefits, they do have some risks attached.
Cucurbitacin: Excess of cucurbitacin can leave you highly dehydrated.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant but if consumed in large quantities, it can become a pro-oxidant.
Cucumbers are best eaten during the day. It contains cucurbitacin, having it late at night can cause indigestion. Eating 1-2 cucumbers every day can be beneficial to your body. It will facilitate weight loss and is a great snack.
The best cucumbers are those with yellow spots and blemishes. Blemishes are signs that the cucumber has started to rot. Yellow spots indicate overripe cucumbers. These can then give out foul odor and bad taste.
For minerals and vitamins cucumbers are better with the skin. Peeling the skin off will cause these to diminish. Cucumbers contain 95% water, but they’re high in minerals and vitamins as well.
They’re a great addition to your diet. With the above recipes, you won’t have to choose between health and taste!