Cool as a cucumber

It’s cucumber season here at the grocery store. Our produce department is fully stocked with locally-grown cucumbers. If you have a vegetable garden at home, I am sure you can relate.

Interestingly, this plant is botanically a fruit. And, if you are weekly reader, you will remember that it is related to the watermelon.

Since the cucumber is about 96 percent water — even more than watermelon — the calories don’t add up quickly. One-third of a medium-sized cucumber is only about 10 calories, yet still provides 10 percent of the daily value of vitamin C.

I recommend choosing firm, dark green cucumbers and storing them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.

So, what to do with all these cucumbers? Here are my top 10 ways to enjoy cucumber:


• Scoop up hummus or veggie dip with thick cucumber slices for a healthy snack.

• Add slices to a sandwich for extra crunch.

• Chop into a cold pasta salad.

• Assemble a simple summer salad with cucumber slices, tomato wedges, thinly sliced red onion and light Italian dressing.

• Shred into a homemade cucumber dip with fat-free plain Greek yogurt and dill.

• Use a vegetable peeler to cut cucumber ribbons and add to a sandwich or salad for a different shape and texture.

• Finely chop into a salsa with other vegetables, herbs or fruits.

• Transform your boring dinner salad with a Greek theme by including cucumber, tomato, feta cheese and Greek vinaigrette.


• Cook up a tabbouleh side dish with bulgur, mint, parsley, cucumber and other vegetables.

• Serve cucumber boats as a party appetizer, filled with cheese, vegetables and herbs.

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