I happen to LOVE cucumbers and use them in many recipes. I especially like to get a fresh cucumber and eat it whole. The best is when they come right out of the summertime gardens.
By definition, a cucumber is a fruit because it develops from the flower of the cucumber plant and contains seeds. A lot of other “vegetables” are also fruits: beans, peppers, pumpkins, peas, and of course, tomatoes.
In this week’s recipe blog, I give you several reasons and ways to enjoy this terrific and fun vegetable/fruit.
Some of the health benefits of this delicious crunchy vegetable are:
- Low in calories but high in many important vitamins and minerals
- Contains antioxidants
- Promotes bone health
- Promotes hydration
- Aids in weight loss
- Boosts cardiovascular health
- Can help lower blood sugar
- Promotes regularity
- Easy to add to your diet
- Soothes the skin
- Makes a soothing eye compress
- Helps combat bad breath
- Cost-effective and easily accessible year-round
Summertime Cucumber Salad
Quick-and-easy * serves 4
This is the barebones basic cucumber recipe. I often add other ingredients such as arugula, tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, red bell peppers, or other in-season vegetables.
Remember to eat with your eyes and your appetite.
The beauty of food makes everything taste that much better
- 1 pound cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Fresh dill or basil diced to taste
- Cracked black pepper to taste
How to Make It
In a medium bowl, toss the cucumber slices with the salt and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate for 10 minutes, then serve.
Fermented Whole Dill Pickles
In my last recipe blog, I offered tips and benefits for fermented foods. Here is one of my favorite recipes using one of my favorite foods. Super easy and super-duper healthy.
INGREDIENTS for a ½ gallon of pickles:
- Pickling cucumbers to fill a ½-gallon jar
- 4 Tbsp. quality sea salt
- 1 and a ½ quarts filtered water
- At least 6-9 cloves peeled garlic
- 4-6 bay or kefir lime leaves
- 2 large heads of dill or 2 Tbsp. dill seed
- Cabbage leaf or another green leafy vegetable.
- Optional -Spices to taste: There are some good organic pickling spices that you can buy in bulk at most health food stores or online. You can also make your own mix with a combination of spices that suit your pallet. Most pickling spices are a combination of black peppercorns, juniper berries, red pepper flakes, and mustard seeds. I like to add fresh turmeric or horseradish root to mine for the extra health benefits.
- Make a brine by dissolving the salt in the water in a half-gallon jar.
- In another half-gallon jar, add half of the spices and garlic and pack the cucumbers tightly into the jar. (Put the longest cucumbers at the bottom of the jar.)
- Top off the jar with the heads of dill, and the other 1/2 of the spices.
- Pour the brine over the pickles, leaving 1-2 inches of headroom.
- Cover the brining pickles with the cabbage leaf.
- Make sure all ingredients are immersed in the brine at all times. If pickles are not packed tight enough, they may rise above the brine. You can put a clean rock on top of the cabbage leaf to keep pickles submerged.
- Cover the jar with a loose lid or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.
- Ferment at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred) until desired flavor and texture are achieved. The brine will turn cloudy and bubbly, and the pickles will taste sour when done.
- Eat right away, or store in a refrigerator or root cellar and enjoy them year-round.
You can use this same recipe and divide it into smaller jars. You can also slice the cucumbers or add other crunchy vegetables, like radishes, carrots, or yucon to make the fermented pickle recipe just as well.
Fermentation is a transformative action of taste, creativity and full of health benefits. Enjoy the process and benefits of fermented foods.
To Your Health
Big Love and Aloha
We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat,” but what does that really mean? There are plenty of reasons not to eat DEAD, processed, and fast food, which “conveniently” serve our taste buds, but not our well-being. When we eat artificially, we lose our connection not only with ourselves, but also with the Earth. When our bodies and minds are affected, it affects the choices we make. Nutritionally dense foods elevate our frequency. Processed, greasy, or sugary foods, lower our vibrations and causes us to overindulge. Overeating makes us feel horrible. In a sense, when we eat dead food we deny our internal truth and become artificial ourselves. In addition to making us feel like crap, chemical agriculture and genetically modified crops have added to the environmental and humanitarian crises.
Most of the people in the world have awakened to these facts. The way most humans live is negatively impacting Nature, the climate, and the quality of our air and water. Humans are organic beings. Our bodies are built from the elements of the Earth. So we are literally what we eat. As humans get sicker, our Earth – our home – grows sicker.
Pay for it now or pay the doctor later.
I hear a lot of people say, “eating healthy is too expensive, organic is overpriced.”
Yet the costs of heart disease and diabetes are so much higher. When our bodies are not feeling good, it’s hard to pursue our dreams, and it’s hard to help others, let alone the Earth. We get weighed down by the responsibilities of life because we lack the energy to do the things we want and need to do. The Earth and others are counting on us to be well.
The truth is that the number one investment you can make is in yourself.
The Origins of Our Food
I spent the majority of my adult life studying the process of how food travels from the soil to our tables. In that time, I’ve learned the importance of having a connection with the soil. When we eat living foods, from soil full of life, we feel alive! It can take thousands of years to make fertile topsoil; the soil is a nonrenewable resource. We must take care of the soil NOW and stop calling it, DIRT! Dirt is dead soil. We are dependent on vital fertile soil for survival. The undervalued soil is the origin; it is the medium for the food we eat, the timber used to build our homes, and the fabric for our clothes.
Our health, the health of the soil, and the health of the plant are one and the same. Soil with all its billions of microbes works to break down the biomass. Improved agricultural practices can help mitigate climate change by reducing emissions from agriculture and other sources and by storing carbon in plant biomass and soils. When we choose to eat healthy organic food, we are part of the solution to the climate crisis.
Leave a small footprint and have a greater impact.
Primarily eating a plant-based diet or going vegan makes a difference.” Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas with 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, and which stays in the atmosphere for 150 years.” At this point in my life, at 62 years old, I am 80% vegan and eat only organic and as much local food as possible. I feel better than I did when I was 35.
Something we can all do immediately to build a better world meant to last is to value the food we consume. All 7.3 billion of us (and counting) eat. What we ingest has a significant impact on our economy, environment, and health. Eating is a simple daily task that we can all wrap our mouths around to help heal and regenerate the world.
Eat to save the planet
Health Is Our Greatest Wealth
Take Care Of Yourself
One of my guiding life principles is that health is my greatest wealth. Every day, I choose to invest in myself and to heal from the inside out, one bite at a time. I support my local farmer’s market and grow some produce on my farmstead. Doing so, I build a deeper relationship with the Earth, the human beings who raise my food, and the food I consume.
There are plenty of reasons to eat healthily! Not only do you have an abundance of energy; you fortify your immune system against disease and sickness. You give your body and mind the fuel it needs to be active. Vibrant energy can be used to pursue your dreams and to help others. Your investment in yourself pays for itself. And it gains interest. The Earth is grateful for your choice! So, invest in yourself every day and plant the seeds of your success. You’re WORTH IT!
“The more we bring our individual lives into alignment with the whole of existence, the more we feel nourished and at peace.”
~Joshua Rosenthal Founder IIN
(Click here for a free sample class of the largest online health school in the world)
Thank you all for reading 🙂
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