Cucumber salads are healthy as they are, even if you decide to use only cucumber slices tossed in a vinaigrette. These green veggies offer a range of health benefits:
- They are rich in antioxidants that fight harmful free radicals and protect you against diseases like cancer;
- They are full of vitamins (K and C) and essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Vitamin K helps strengthen the bones, vitamin C boosts the immune system, whereas the minerals control cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
- They are low in calories and fats.
- They are a natural diuretic that cleanses your body from toxins and boosts the digestive system.
However, cucumber salads are far from boring! Different methods of slicing, numerous dressings and combination with other ingredients, make these fresh, tangy dishes so much fun!
Besides making them look amazing, you can also boost the nutritive values of a cucumber salad by combining cukes with other vegetables, fruits, or nuts. We offer our favorite healthy cucumber salad recipes for you to make this spring and summer.
Cucumber Salads with Vegetables
Combining cucumbers with other veggies simply comes naturally. Even though, botanically, cucumbers are actually fruits belonging to the melon family, we have always regarded them as vegetables and combined them with other vegetables like carrot or lettuce. However, it is safe to say that the most common choice are – tomatoes.
Tomatoes, like cucumbers, are also an excellent source vitamin C and vitamin K. In addition, they contain vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), niacin, folate, dietary fiber, and biotin, as well as minerals such as copper, manganese, potassium, molybdenum, and phosphorus.
To make a super easy tomato & cucumber salad, slice four tomatoes and two cukes. Add one chopped red onion and season with fresh basil, olive oil, and salt. Voila!
Cucumber Salads with Fruits
Combining cucumbers with fruits is less frequent but once you try it, you won’t be able to stop. Choose an exotic Asian version that includes coconut, pineapple, or mango, or a combination of cukes and strawberries that yield an incredible color combination! However, if you are going for a super-healthy summery meal, opt for avocado.
Avocados are called superfruits for a reason. They are a good source of dietary fiber, pantothenic acid, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, copper, and potassium.
Prepare a guacamole sauce by mashing an avocado and mixing it with finely chopped red onion and small tomato slices. Use a vegetable peeler to shave off the cucumber in long, thin slices, cutting lengthwise, then place some guacamole in the center of each slice, roll, and fix with a toothpick. Arrange the rolls in a bowl, drizzle with some olive oil, salt, and fresh herbs like dill, basil, and cilantro.
Cucumber Salads with Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds add much more than healthiness. They contribute additional texture and crunchiness, making the salad extra delicious and fulfilling.
Chickpeas, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cashews, peanuts… it is very difficult to make the right choice.
Here is just one suggestion to help you decide – combine cukes with cashews in an exotic cucumber salad full of spices.
Even though cashews are low in dietary fiber, they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins (E, K, and B6), and minerals like phosphorus, copper, magnesium, zinc, iron, and selenium.
Combine two sliced cucumbers with ¼ cup cashews and complement with lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, crushed garlic cloves, chili sauce, black pepper, and fresh cilantro leaves.
This recipe is so easy to make and yet, it abounds in flavors!