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10 Sep 2008

Cucumbers

Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) are not only wonderful to pickle or to use fresh in salads, they are also a marvellous health and beauty aid.

An excellent source of vitamins C and K, the essential mineral molybdenum and potassium, a good source of vitamins A and B5 , magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, folate, dietary fiber (especially in the skin), silica, caffeic acid and they have 9 out of the 23 amino acids.

When eaten their silica content helps maintain healthy connective tissue, which includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone. It helps maintain the elasticity of the skin and reduces the accumulation of aluminum in the body. Cucumbers being 95% water, low in calories/kilojoules, cholesterol and sodium, a great digestive aid and also having a cleansing effect on the bowel, makes them very popular with dieters. Gargling with fresh cucumber juice several times daily is a cooling, soothing, and healing remedy for sore throats.

The caffeic acid, silica, vitamins and other nutrients in cucumbers makes them an essential beauty, anti-aging and health aid for the skin. The fruit, the peels and the juice can be used to hydrate the skin, cool and soothe sunburn, soothe itchiness, tighten pores, reduce eye puffiness, soothe burns and clear mild dermatitis. Dark circles under the eyes are reduced or disappear after a few days and sagging under-eye skin is tightened when cucumber juice, a mix of cucumber and potato juice, or cucumber and carrot juice, are applied below the eyes every day for around 4 to 7 days. Drinking a mixture of cucumber and carrot juice regularly stimulates hair growth.

A little known fact is that ants hate cucumbers, especially cucumber peels. Just spread the cucumber peels on the ant trail and watch them leave.

When purchasing, choose organic cucumbers with mid to dark green skin that have been stored in a cool area of the shop. Regular cucumbers are often covered with a wax, generally of an unknown source, so need to be peeled or scrubbed. Organic Mediterranean and English cucumbers are perfect to eat unpeeled. To store they can be put in a container or wrapped in cling-wrap and placed in the fridge for a few days. After which they will become soggy, soft and unedible.

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To see cucumbers in a dream denotes that you will speedily fall in love.
Or, if you are in love, then you will marry the object of your affection.
Richard Folkard in 'Plant Lore' (1884)

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Dr.Oz's Green Drink
Shown on Oprah when Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz were launching their new book "YOU: Staying Young".

2 cups spinach
2 cups cucumber
1 head of celery
1/2" / 1cm or tsp ginger root
1 bunch parsley
2 apples
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1/2 lemon

After everything is combined in a blender, this recipe makes approx 30ozs/4 cups/900mls, giving three to four servings.


Quick Cucumber Parsley Facial
From SpaIndex

The next time you make a salad, set aside just 3 tablespoons of basic ingredients, and you've got yourself a quick facial, to be enjoyed while soaking in the tub before bed. You cannot get any easier, or quicker, than this.

1 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tbsp cucumber
1 tbsp parsley

Puree/blend the cucumber and parsley finely and mix with the yogurt until smooth. Cover your face with this creamy mask. This will rejuvenate your skin as it moistens. Leave the mask on for approximately 15-20 minutes for best results. Rinse with water. Do not store this mixture.


Cucumber-Lemon Tonic
From RecipeGoldmine
Soothing astringent for oily skin, tightens pores, soothes sunburn, and can be used as a natural deodorant.

1 cup witch hazel
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsps coarsely chopped cucumber

Mix in a clean glass bottle, then let set for 2 days. Remove cucumber. Keep lotion in a cool place or the refrigerator to use as a splash.

Quick Pickled Cucumbers
From Epicurious
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

1 English (hothouse) cucumber
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 bay leaf
2 allspice berries

Slice the cucumber as thin as possible (use a mandoline or other vegetable slicer if you have one). Put the slices in a colander, toss them with the salt, and let stand for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, bay leaf, and allspice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool. Rinse the salt off the cucumbers, and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Put the cucumbers in a medium bowl and add the pickling solution; they should be completely covered by the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 6 hours before serving. The pickled cucumbers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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17 comments:

CyberCelt said...

I love pickled cucumbers. Last weekend my husband asked me why people put cucumbers over their eyes and all I could come up with is that it hydrates and antioxidates. Did I come close? LOL

Joyoz said...

I love to eat cucumbers. I also put it when I got eyebags coz it gives a refreshing feeling and after that I'll eat it hehehehe.

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

I love, love, love cucumbers! Nice to know they are so good for you! I put them in absolutely everything.

KleoPatra said...

Hi sweet Pisces friend Jackie... My mom (also a Pisces, and my best friend in the world) is dying from cancer... she was diagnosed jan. 1 with lung cancer and had a serious recurrence the day after i posted on my blog - the cancer is in her brain, spine and liver, so i'm having to drop out of sight again... My dad and sisters and i have hospice helping, i don't know if you know what that is, but she has 3-6 months to live and things are really stressful and sad for me right now... i just wanted to let you know that i appreciate you comin' by and i'm sorry i am disappearing again...

xo Karen

P.S. i love cukes!! Especially the little pickling ones...

HUGS

Jackie said...

Kleo, contacting you at Care2.

Cybercelt, yes you did, most people do it to remove puffiness, dark lines, relieve tired eyes and to hydrate.

Joyoz, I do the same lol.

Jackie said...

Whoops, nearly missed you Health nut. I also use them in just about everything. My favorite are cucumber sandwiches, very thin slices of bread cut in little triangles. South African friends think me weird lol.

Babette said...

Cucumber peels to deter ants - ingenious! Thanks for this tip. :)

Kristen's Raw said...

I love cucumbers, one of my favorites! I enjoy them on a daily basis as a base in my green juice and I love them chopped on my salad (heck I love a whole salad of diced cucumbers! Yum!).

Have a lovely week!
Kristen

Jimenez said...

Nice blog.Ya cucumber is a very useful fruit.It will be a good habit if we take it daily with our lunch.Thanks for the other tips.

food-kids-recipe said...

beautifull blog i've seen here.i wonder if you would xchange links with me?btw i have add your link in my blogroll with name Herbs N Oils Blog

Kathy said...

This is great information. I love cucumbers...so any new ways to use them is greatly appreciated.

Would you be interested in a link exchange with my newest blog? It sure could use a little link-love to get up and running and your blog seems to be a somewhat similar niche.

memorialgarden said...

cucumbers are a staple in my house but i didn't know about ants aversion to the peels. nice to know..

giz said...

I love the information here - fantastic
There's an award on our blog for you

Lilly Web said...

I love cucumber, and try to eat them a lot and have them in salads, as well as on my sandwiches, so some interesting information that you gave thanks.

Shinade said...

Oh yay I am on today and with one of my favorite foods.

I absolutely adore cucumbers. I eat them instead of chips whenever I have sandwich.

I eat them anyway I can...LOL..gotta' love thiose cucumbers!!

Princess Haiku said...

Violets were my mother's favorite flower. I remember finding her some once, growing in a wooded area and running home with them with excitement. I held them so tightly that I crushed most of them and she didn't mind. Thank you for this violet moment; gentle with age and purple color.

Princess Haiku said...

Violets were my mother's favorite flower. I remember finding her some once, growing in a wooded area and running home with them with excitement. I held them so tightly that I crushed most of them and she didn't mind. Thank you for this violet moment; gentle with age and purple color.