40 of The Tastiest and Healthiest Cucumber Recipes in Time For Summer
If there’s one ingredient that is well suited to summer, it’s surely the humble cucumber. Light, juicy and refreshing, this veggie (although technically a fruit) goes superbly well with a great range of ingredients and can become the shining star of a healthy meal or take a step back to create a complimentary side. Whatever place they hold within the dish, you can rest assured that with the addition of cucumber comes the addition of a whole host of health benefits and nutritional advantages. Summer is here, which means the weather is warm, the days are longer and everyone is buzzing around with a bright and positive energy. What better time to step into action by improving your health, increasing your energy levels and enjoying an always-welcome boost in self-esteem. The key to a more energised and action packed summer? A healthy diet! And this brilliantly nutritious yet mouth-watering selection of cucumber recipes is the ideal place to start.
Starters/ Appetizers/ Light Bites
Every item in this selection of light dishes is extremely versatile and can be eaten alone as a small lunch, or as a side or appetizer along with other more substantial dishes. This large selection shows the many different ways in which cucumber can be utilised in dishes from healthy alternative noodles to chilled soups and even as a low-calorie replacement for bread and crackers. However you choose to prepare your cucumbers, you can be sure that the results will be delectably good, as these recipes stand to prove.
Salsa is the perfect accompaniment to healthy veggie chips or barbecue foods and this creative recipe uses cucumber as its prime ingredient for a healthy and crunchy alternative to the norm. The taste combination is fresh and creamy with a jalapeño pepper thrown into the mix for a touch of spice.
These four recipes all demonstrate the superiority and excellence of using the cucumber as a vessel for your other favourite summer ingredients. Cucumber boats and sandwiches offer excellent alternatives to breads and crackers, making them a wonderfully creative and useful idea for anyone on a low-carb diet. The cucumber cups are particularly elegant and made appetizing and of course nutritious amuse-bouche style appetizers filled with a tasty pea and mustard sour cream. The health benefits of smoked salmon are well documented and the cucumber boats make the ideal companion not to mention low-calorie vessel that allows you to shovel all of that salmon goodness from point A to point B.
Two chilled cucumber soups, two very different flavours. Both are creamy and satisfying and make a great starter or light lunch. Greek yoghurt is the natural thickener used in the first recipe and dill complimented with parsley, tarragon, and cloves make it irresistible. In the second recipe, the creaminess comes from the avocado and the soup has been topped ingeniously with a tangy and refreshing mango salsa, which provides a lovely depth while acting as a palate cleanser.
As is fast emerging, dill and cucumber make a wonderful taste combination and these recipes certainly further prove the notion. The best part of using cucumber in this way is the ease and speed with the most novice of cooks can put together these tasty sides. Both are a simple case of mixing or combining a few ingredients and the best part is this can be prepared in advance of a dinner party.
If there is one thing that cucumber is good for, then its salad. The culinary vegetables incredible versatility and fairly neutral flavour means that cucumber can be combined very successfully with a great range of ingredients. This is certainly reflected in this incredible and rather extensive range of salads, all of which are slightly different from one another yet are utterly tasty in their own rights. We all know that salads are a good healthy option for a light lunch or a complimentary side but the integration of plenty of cucumbers takes it to another level on the nutritious scale thanks to their masses of vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium.
From red onion to grapes, these recipes prove how excellent cucumber is for some experimentation and creativity in the kitchen. When it comes to healthy eating, variety is key but with a cucumber base, it’s easy to jazz up your salads in different ways. The red onion option is very easy to make, gives you an additional boost of anti-oxidants and makes use of yoghurt and chive as a dressing. The cucumber and grape alternative is topped with toasted almonds and coated in a tasty garlic, balsamic and olive oil dressing,
Couscous helps to make a salad more substantial and filling, and this recipe is ideal for those looking for a complete and satisfying meal within a salad alone. Couscous is a healthy whole grain, packed full of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. This salad gives you everything you need regarding dietary requirements and is therefore an excellent choice for vegetarians or those looking to reduce their meat intake. During the summer time couscous is also a great alternative to pasta, as it’s lighter and more nutritious yet equally delicious.
Cucumber may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when considering where to start in the preparation of a big family meal or a hearty dinner. However, these dishes are undeniably improved by the addition of the tasty vegetable regardless of whether the cucumbers contribution to the dish was little or large.
This light yet hearty stir-fry combines succulent strips of tender beef with the crunchy, juicy pieces of cucumber. The whole dish is tied together with a combination of tasty Asian aromas including soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, chilli and sesame seeds. The dish is healthy, great as a pre or post workout meal and the ideal summer dinner.
Healthy, juicy and incredibly tasty, this grilled chicken breast with paprika seasoning goes perfectly with the peach and cucumber salad. While grilled chicken is a healthy and low-fat source of protein, the peach provides plenty of cancer prevention properties as well as vitamin C, which will give your skin a clear and healthy complexion all through the summer.
Awesome, mouth-watering burgers are made healthy and tasty in these recipes that also of course integrate the all-important cucumber. The chicken burger with cucumber coleslaw is the perfect substitute whenever you feel those inevitable cravings for fast food. The slaw provides a crunchy, nutritious and slightly sweet bite that beautifully compliments the juicy chicken breast of the burger. The black bean burger on the other hand is a stunning vegetarian option and the cucumber relish is sweet and luxurious. Topped with cheese and both of these burgers will be a welcome addition to any summer gathering or barbecue.
You will be hard pressed to find a healthier, lighter tasting meal than this sensational salmon dish. The cucumber is a major component in this meal, as the primary ingredient of the sauce. However, it is complimented beautifully by the addition of lemon juice, lemon zest, onion, parsley, garlic and sour cream to create a refreshingly creamy sauce for the flaky delicate salmon. Add some new potatoes and rocket leaves and you’ve got yourself the perfect summer meal.
Veggie noodles are the ultimate summer alternative to heavy, carb-rich and high calorie pasta dishes. These two noodle dishes feature spiralized cucumber as the star ingredient but each are cooked and dressed in different ways. The lemon tahini choice adds tomato, mint, onion and olives into the mix as well as sumptuous paprika seasoned shrimp not to mention the tahini dressing. The sweet and sour noodles is really all about its star ingredient and making the most of the cucumber via the sticky sweet and sour sauce.
Unbeknown to many, cucumbers can be used to create a large and tasty selection of drinks. This selection of recipes that includes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options provides you with yet more ways to get as much of that healthy goodness into your diet as possible. The light and refreshing taste of cucumbers makes them ideal for summer time drinks, not to mention the fact that they work wonders for your health by keeping you hydrated, your skin clear and your bones strong.
35. Cucumber Water
As recipes go, it doesn’t get simpler than this, but the positive effects and benefits gained massively out-weight the effort applied, making it win-win all round. There are many varieties of cucumber water and it’s extremely easy to experiment and add your own twist to this recipe with the use of additional fruits and herbs.
Matcha tea is currently believed to be one of the healthiest drinks out there and is essentially a more intense version of green tea. The health benefits are plentiful and wide ranging but add some cucumber into the mix and you’ve got yourself a health benefit extravaganza. Fans of matcha tea will love this simple twist and for many the cucumber adds a sweet freshness to the drink that makes it even tastier.
Healthy drinks are such a brilliant way to load our bodies with extra vitamins and nutrients and this recipe is a keeper. Every single ingredient in this drink is a major provider of health benefits and includes such items as spinach, lime, chia seeds and cococut water. Apple and cucumber make up the prominent flavours of the shake while the mint provides decongestant health properties as well as a divine sweetness and aroma.
Alcoholic drinks are a staple of the summer time, but there is no need to turn to calorific beers or spirits tainted with sugar-loaded soda mixers. These two light and summary cocktails will make the ideal addition to any summer garden party and are surprisingly easy to make. The sangria in particular is wonderful for a small gathering of people and is served in a pitcher. The combination of cucumber, watermelon juice, white wine and soda water is as delicious as it sounds and makes up the ultimate refreshing summer drink.
This final recipe hovers somewhere between being a drink, a hot-afternoon snack and a desert but one thing that it is undeniably, is proof that cucumbers are indeed ‘cool’.