Hydrating and versatile, cucumbers are a kitchen staple that can make just about anything refreshing. So go ahead, get your nutritious crunch on.
There’s a common misconception that certain fruits and vegetables are devoid of nutrients, such as cucumbers. You’ve likely heard the statement: “What’s the point of eating cucumbers because they don’t have anything but water.”
They are lies!
Not only are cucumbers packed with nutrients, but they are awesomely refreshing snacks with a satisfying crunch that’s followed by an immediate cooling sensation. From flavored water to garnishes, there are so many different ways that you can incorporate them into your diet.
So what’s so great about them nutritionally?
Cucumbers contain vitamins A, C and K, potassium, molybdenum, manganese, folate, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, dietary fiber, magnesium and phytochemicals. And don’t forget they are full of two elements that are critical for good digestive health: water and fiber! That’s quite a bit of stuff for a food with the reputation as having no nutritional value!
If you’re looking to eat cucumbers, don’t just settle for the standard waxed varieties in most supermarkets (which has a waxy peel that needs to be removed). Other varieties include Persian, Japanese, and Armenian, which are plentiful especially in the summer. These varieties are great for those looking for convenience because they don’t need to be peeled or seeded! The Persian cucumbers are easily found at most grocery stores as well as at ethnic markets. If you’re looking for something a bit more unusual, try the round lemon cucumbers, which can be found at many farmers’ market.
If you’re looking for a new way to use cucumbers, try this recipe for Cucumber Dill Yogurt Parfait.
It’s a savory version of yogurt parfait, and you can experiment and add any type of herb and veggie combination that you love. The yogurt itself can be eaten immediately, but tastes best if it sits in the fridge for at least 1 hour for the sharpness of the shallot to mellow.
And besides, who says yogurt parfaits have to be sweet?
- 1 cup 2% plain greek yogurt or skyr
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons minced shallot
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 Persian cucumbers, diced (leave skin on), divided into 2 portions
- 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided into 2 portions
- freshly cracked black pepper
For the full recipe and instructions, head over to the original article.
Lindsey Pine, MS, RDN, CSSD, CLT is a Los Angeles-based dietitian, specializing in food sensitivities and culinary creations. Whether she’s working with students at University of Southern California or in her private practice, Lindsey helps others find the healthy foods that they love so help sustain their long-term success. To find your tastiest balance in life, connect with Lindsey at Tasty Balance Nutrition.