As the temperature soars here is a superfood that can cool you down and keep you hydrated on a hot summer day. Read on to know more.
A part of the same plant family as squash, pumpkin and watermelon, cucumbers are made up of 95% water, which makes this veggie one of your skin’s best thirst quencher. The wonder gourd is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins B, C and K, copper, potassium, manganese and polyphenols that help in maintaining the health of your skin and body. Here are 5 ways in which you can include it in your daily life.
– Dark Circle Remedy: Some tried and tested beauty rituals stay forever and are passed on from generation to generation. Applying chilled cucumber slices on the eyes to combat puffiness and dark circles is one such home remedy that has lived on through the years. The powerful antioxidants and flavinoids in cucumber help in reducing swelling, irritation and pigmentation. After a super hectic day, sit back and relax with two slices of chilled cucumber over your eyes. Keep them for about 5-10 minutes and wake up to refreshed peepers!
– Toner: Your skincare regime is incomplete without the essential step of toning. You can always go for over the counter products but why not try a homemade toner for a change? Take a whole cucumber, grate it and squeeze out the juice. With a cotton ball apply the juice on your entire face. Leave it for 5-10 minutes or till dry and wash off with water. Skin feels fresh and revitalised. Add a drop or two of cypress essential oil and the effect is even better.
– Summer Cooler: Cucumber juice is perhaps the best “cool” drink that you can treat yourself to. It is not only refreshing but also keeps you hydrated and healthy. And it is a perfect fit for your weightloss plan. Here’s a nutrition laden recipe by Jhelum Biswas Bose: Blend together 1 whole cucumber, 2 slices of capsicum, ½ tsp mint leaves, 1 tsp coriander leaves, 1 stick celery, salt to taste, and half a green chilli. Strain it into a tall glass filled with ice and add in a squeeze of lime.
– Healthy Sandwich: A cucumber sandwich is a very oh-so-proper English tea accompaniment. There are several modern avatars that include lettuce and feta or goat cheese as well. However, we love it with our desi twist, which is incidentally healthier. Instead of the feta we use hung curd and we replace the ground pepper with coriander and mint chutney to add a zing to it.
– Chilled Prawn & Cucumber Soup: An excellent appetizer for your evenings in summer. It is another way of adding the superfood in your diet. Here is the recipe:
Ingredients: ½ cucumber (peeled), 250 grams cooked peeled prawns, 4 spring onions (chopped), 125 grams ripe tomatoes (skinned, deseeded and chopped), 2 tbsp dry sherry, 2 tbsp chopped dill, 100 ml half fat crème fraiche, 15 grams ground almonds (toasted), 1 tbsp lime juice, 1 tsp chilli sauce, 450 ml cold vegetable stock, salt and pepper to taste, ice cubes, diced cucumber and dill springs for garnishing.
1) Half the cucumber lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Dice the flesh, keep a few dices for garnishing.
2) Blend cucumber together with all other ingredients except vegetable stock in a blender until smooth. Gradually whisk in the stock, then cover and chill for 1 hour.
3) Serve the soup in chilled bowls topped with ice cubes and garnished with the reserved diced cucumber and some dill sprigs.
Hope you relish this cooling food. And do share with us how you include this humble vegetable in your life.