gaspacho

Yummy Cool Cucumbers

     Cucumbers are coming in to season now and I love them!

Because of imports, it is possible to purchase fresh cucumbers at the grocery store year round. However, when they are out of season the price is much higher due to extra shipping costs. In addition, they have much less flavor and have many fewer nutrients due to the travel time involved. Local varieties are also chosen for flavor and taste much better than imported cucumbers.

Cucumbers lose both their taste and their nutrients if left at room temperature, so make sure and keep them in the refrigerator and do not wash them before storing. The vitamin C content of cucumbers declines swiftly after they are cut, so make sure and use cut cumbers within a day or two.

Cucumbers are a low calorie food and only contain 14 calories in a full cup! They are also full of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, folate, molybdenum, manganese and folate. They also have lots of beta-carotene and are listed as one of the World’s Healthiest Foods. Dr. Mercola lists 9 reasons to eat more cucumbers. They contain nutrients that help protect your brain and fight cancer. They also contain many antioxidants and help your digestive health. See this article for even more reasons to eat cucumbers.

TheEWG lists cucumbers as number 12 of its Dirtiest Dozen produce, so it is important to purchase organically, such as these from Aiken Organics. Non-organic cucumbers are also usually coated with a shellac or wax which keeps in pesticides and can’t be removed with washing. You need to peel non-organic cucumbers and then you are removing lots of the fiber which is in the skin. Why not purchase some local organic cucumbers this week?

Let me know if you try my recipe below for Avocado Cucumber Gazpacho. It is fantastic for lunch on a hot summer day.

Cucumber Basil Avocado Gazpacho

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado

1 cucumber with skin, seeds removed

2 small handfuls fresh basil

1 clove garlic

2 scallions, both greens and white

1 tsp. sea salt

juice of one lime

2 cups water

Chop the cucumber, scallions and garlic roughly. Peel and deseed the avocado. Put all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Put the soup in the refrigerator and chill until it is ready to be served. Garnish with sliced cucumber and basil, if desired.

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