Cool…As A Cucumber

I don’t know about you, but through most of the summer, I really don’t feel like eating much. But whether or not I feel like it, I still have to fuel the machine. So this leads me to search for comfortable, tasty options that don’t fill me up or make me too sluggish. The season for comfort foods, it is not.

So imagine my delight when I discovered this little treat. A quick dish that makes me feel like I’ve eaten something, but doesn’t make me feel like I have to lay down for a safety nap afterwards. Mixes up in seconds, and requires almost nothing. And I usually have all the ingredients on hand. I really enjoy salads of all kinds, but I like this option for its quiet Asian flair and cool, sweet flavor.

The other bonus, of course, is what you get from it. Cucumbers have a riot of health benefits going on, from cancer-fighting lignins to simple cosmetic care. They contain a hormone that aids in the production of insulin, which is beneficial to diabetes patients; they also help lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. Cucumbers are ideal for folks trying to lose weight, due to their high water content and dietary fiber. Daily consumption of cucumbers can also help relieve chronic constipation.

Personally, I leave the peels on, but if you have an aversion to this, you can use them as you would aloe, to treat skin irritations and sunburn. You can also place slices on your eyes to help reduce puffiness. Cucumbers also help rehydrate and stimulate your water-loving body.

In addition to all this great stuff, supposedly you can rub cucumber slices on a mirror before you shower to keep it from fogging up. I have not yet tried this, but if you do and it works, let me know! (I also heard rumors you can rub a cucumber slice on a door hinge to keep it from squeaking, in place of WD-40…but i think that might be pushing it.)

Without further digression, here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Japanese Cucumber Salad

2 large English cucumbers
1/2 T Sea salt
1/2 c Rice vinegar
2 T Soy sauce, low sodium
2 t Toasted sesame oil
1 T Sugar, granulated
1/2 t Black sesame seeds
1/2 t White sesame seeds

–Slice cucumbers into paper-thin slices
–Combine salt, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar in medium bowl. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
–Add cucumbers and toss; sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve at room temperature.

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