“…cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce”
–“So What’cha Want” by The Beastie Boys
The old idiom “cool as a cucumber” has been overused for certain, but not without good reason. Sure the flesh of a cucumber is seemingly always cool to the touch (unless you cook it, but who would want to do that?), but cucumbers have inherent cooling and hydrating properties. Besides being loaded with water, potassium, and electrolytes, they are also very rich in vitamin C and caffeic acid, both being compounds that help prevent water retention on hot and punishing days. And unlike some other greens that hold less appeal, cucumbers are as versatile as they are delicious.
As easy as it sounds: Just thinly slice up half a cucumber and drop the slices into a pitcher of ice water and stir. You could add some fresh mint leaves or a bit of fresh citrus, or simply enjoy as is. It is a tremendous way to cool down and hydrate.
Related: 5 Summer Drinks to Keep You Cool
Cool Cucumber and Mint Soup
Peel, seed and chop three cucumbers and put them in a blender along with about 2 cups of whole milk yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard, and 1/3 cup of chopped mint leaves (adding a few basil leaves is nice as well). Add salt and pepper to taste and blend to puree. Chill soup overnight and then serve with some mint leaves on top.
Here’s another recipe for: Cold Cucumber Soup
Japanese Cucumber Salad
Peel and seed two medium cucumbers and diagonally cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. In a colander toss the cucumbers with salt and drain 30 minutes. Rinse cucumbers to get the remaining salt off and pat dry. Mix cucumber slices and 1 tablespoon natural sugar, then toss cucumbers with about a 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, about a tablespoon of soy sauce. Then with scissors cut seaweed nori lengthwise into thin strips and top when ready to serve.