I love this easy cucumber salad recipe since my early childhood for its cooling, refreshing and delicious taste. At the same time it is healthy because besides of the juicy vegetable it needs just a few ingredients. Again you will be thrilled by the fact that you can make this gluten free, clean eating salad within a few minutes.
Drain cucumbers – this little treatment works wonders
As much as I enjoy snacking watery, crispy cucumbers, I don’t like how their extra moisture can water down a whole salad. As these veggies consist for 90% of water, I recommend the following little treatment for best taste experience.
So here is the trick:
When you are making your salad, salt and drain the sliced vegetables first to prevent turning your salad into a suggy mess.
Place the salted cucumbers in a colander and let it drain for 5-10 minutes, then squeeze between your hands. The longer the treatment the more water will be drawn out. After 30 minutes there might not be much vegetable left…In my case 5 minutes make already a big difference.
At the end of this blog post I’ll also share with you why I don’t throw away the squeezed cucumber juice and what I do with it instead.
Most nutrients are in the skin
If you can get organic grown veggies you could also use the nutrient-rich skin, which I highly recommend. The cucumbers I used in my simple salad recipe below were sadly not organic, that’s why I peeled the skin off.
Skinny dressing for weight conscious
There are many ways you could prepare a cucumber salad. When you are watching your weight then I highly recommend a salad dressing based on vinegar and oil instead of a creamy dressing. My following directions describe a typical German cucumber salad. For best results it’s important to thinly slice the vegetable with a box grater.Print
Easy Cucumber Salad Recipe
A skinny and refreshing clean eating salad
- Prep Time: 5
- Total Time: 10
- 2 cucumbers, (peeled), sliced thinly with a box grater or mandolin, drained.
- 2 Tbsp wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh dill, hacked or 1 tsp dried dill
- 1/2 Tsp salt (for treatment)
- additional salt to taste (optional)
- 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
- Combine vinegar, olive oil, (salt) and pepper in a large bowl.
- Add drained cucumbers and dill.
- Gently toss vegetables, dill and dressing together.
- Serve it as side dish with fish and potato salad.
- Serving Size: 4
If y´weight loss is not an issue for you then you might want to try a creamy cucumber salad. In this case I would add thinly sliced red onions. Instead of the oil in the dressing just use 2 tablespoons of sour cream or greek yogurt.
9 reasons to eat more cucumbers
1. Good for the digestive system
Cucumbers mainly contain fiber and water, two essential substances that are important for a good digestion. The skin of the vegetable contains plenty of insoluble fiber, which accelerates the rapid transport of food through the digestive tract.(1)
2. Keep you slim
These figures-friendly vegetables are particularly low in calories and rich in nutrients. This is the reason why they make you feel full and are perfect for weight management. When they are digested, they also develop a gel-like consistency thanks to their soluble fiber content called pectin. This ensures a pronounced feeling of satiety.
3. Have anti-inflammatory effects
They can control Inflammatory processes in the body. Animal experiments have shown that cucumber extract in particular inhibits the activity of enzymes that promote inflammation and thus suppresses harmful processes.(2)
4. Have an antioxidant effect
These vegetables contain a lot of vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain plenty of antioxidant flavonoids, which prevent the release of histamine and reduce the risk of heart disease.
But there is more…
5. Reduce the risk of cancer
The contained polyphenol might have the ability to minimize the risk of certain types of cancer (ovarian cancer, breast cancer, uterine cancer, etc.). Cucumbers also contain the phytonutrient compound “cucurbitacin B” that can likewise minimize the risk of cancer. (3)
6. Provide fresh breath
If you have problems with your breath, you will find a new best friend. A slice of cucumber on the palate is supposed to help free the mouth from odour-forming bacteria. According to Ayurveda, their consumption also helps to eliminate excess heat in the stomach. This could also be the cause of bad breath.
7. Fight stress
Vitamins B1, B5 and B7 are particularly abundant in these watery vegetables. These vitamins have a positive influence on coping with anxiety and the effects of stress.
8. Good for the heart
Potassium is another healthy component of these powerful vegetables. This compound helps to lower blood pressure and therefore actively supports the heart.. Potassium as an important intracellular electrolyte, also helps to transmit nerve impulses, which is essential for heart function too.
9. Keep the brain fit
Cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory flavonoid called fisetine, which is crucial for brain health. According to research fisetine can improve memory and protect nerve cells from aging.(4)
What to do with the strained juice?
I love to keep the cucumber juice cool it in my fridge and drink it the same day as refreshing sports drink with electrolytes after a running or workout session. This healthy juice rivals even commercial brands for sports drinks.
As I use just half a teaspoon of salt for 2 cucumbers the juice doesn’t taste too salty. Heads Up: Drinking this kind of mineral rich juice is only safe if you don’t have to watch your sodium intake strictly.