Including cucumbers as a part of your regular diet can help improve your health by providing a number of nutrients often deficient in a North American diet. Cucumbers contain vitamins K, C & B vitamins as well as manganese, copper, potassium and several polyphenol that may help to reduce your risk of developing serious disease. Given that cucumbers are made up of 95% water they are a great snack to help keep yourself from dehydration as well.
Cucumbers are of the same Cucurbitaceae family along with watermelon, pumpkin and other vine growing squash. This time of the year they are grown in greenhouses often alongside tomatoes and bell peppers. Fortunately this allows us access to this tasty veggie year-round.
Cucumbers are a cooling food which can be contradictory to the chilly weather we experience this time of the year. When the temperature dips, we tend to gravitate toward warm, hearty & richer foods. Too much of anything can be a detriment however. Ayurvedic principles suggest that eating a cooling food such a cucumber will help to dissipate excess heat in the stomach which can be a cause of bad breath!
Try English cucumber slices with a bit of salt & pepper or white vinegar or even mini cukes eaten straight up bite for bite! Check out this awesome snack from The Tasty Kitchen using cucumbers as well. Great for kids after school or as an appetizer for friends just the same!
3 whole Long Cucumbers
¼ cups Sour Cream
¼ cups Cream Cheese
¾ cups Canned Crab Meat, Excess Water Removed (*Tip: try Costco for a good deal on this ingredient!)
1 teaspoon Hot Pepper Sauce
½ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Brown Mustard
1 Tablespoon Green Onion, Minced
Remove the peel from the cucumbers using a vegetable peeler. Cut the cucumber into 2 inch rounds/slices. Using a small melon baller, scoop out most of the inside seed part of the rounds. Note: You want to leave the walls and a thick portion of the bottom intact.
In a bowl, combine the sour cream and the cream cheese (softened) with a fork until well combined. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
Fill each of the cucumber cups with the crab dip. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve within 2 hours of making.