Baby it’s HOT outside! When the heat index goes up, we tend to move towards eating lighter and one of the best local vegetables to incorporate into your summer dining is the cucumber. Now readily available island-wide at farmers markets and in your favourite grocery store, local cucumbers taste amazingly fresh, crisp and delicious.
Just in case you are not convinced about cukes, here some important reasons to start eating this wonderful vegetable:
Cucumbers are 95 per cent water, which makes eating them a great way to stay hydrated. A cup of cucumber slices is said to be as thirst quenching as a small glass
Cucumbers are low in calories and high in nutrition and can be easily added into your diet.
Cucumbers have a cooling and soothing effect that decreases swelling, irritation and inflammation when used topically. Cucumber slices can be placed on the eyes to decrease morning puffiness or can alleviate and treat sunburn when placed on the affected areas.
Cucumbers contain several antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese, as well as flavonoids, triterpenes and lignans that have anti-inflammatory properties.
One of my go-to recipes is tzatziki. It’s super easy to make, healthful and can be used in a variety of ways, from a dip to delicious topping on your favourite protein.
1 cup low-fat Greek yoghurt
1 local cucumber, finely grated and drained
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh local dill
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh local mint
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, mint and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Chill.
Maureen Cubbon is the wellness director for Bestlife Wellness Solutions and chef with Bon Vivant in Camana Bay.