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"Our lives are a book that has already been written. The brilliance of the plan is that we are only given a chapter at a time..." ~A. Drayton Boylston

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cool as a Cucumber

Cucumbers are amazing vegetables.  They can not only be eaten, but they are great for hair and skin in homemade body care products!  They can soothe and soften skin, as well as eliminate dark circles around the eyes.  They can also be massaged onto teeth and gums to keep both healthy.  Regardless of how they are used, they make you feel fresh and cool. 

Cucumbers are 95% water, so they help keep the body hydrated and regulate body temperature.  Many people peel the skin, but keep it on!  It contains 10% of the daily allowance of vitamin C.  Cucumbers are also a good source of dietary fiber and rich in potassium and magnesium....which means they can help lower blood pressure.  They are also great for prevention of kidney or bladder stones since they help regulate uric acid.

Cukes can also aid in digestion, reduce cholesterol, fight diabetes and cancer, stimulate hair growth, maintain healthy nails, aid in weight loss, be used as a natural diuretic, relieve arthritis pain, and treat tapeworm.  Whew.... what can't they do???? 

Here are some recipes to try using this powerful vegetable.

Cold Cucumber Yogurt Soup

  • 1 1/2 pounds cucumbers (about 4)
  • 2 cups plain, low-fat yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • Salt and white pepper
Peel cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape the
seeds and pulp out of the middle and discard the seeds. Cut the cucumber
into 1-inch chunks, reserving about one-quarter of a cucumber, and place in
the blender. Puree until smooth.
Add yogurt, garlic, dill and lemon juice to the blender and blend
until smooth. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. If the mixture
isn't cold enough, chill in the refrigerator before serving.
Dice the reserved piece of cucumber into small cubes (about 1/4 inch
square), and use the diced cucumber to garnish each serving of soup.

Cucumber Lotion

This recipe makes a 1.5 cup batch.

Ingredients and Equipment Needed:

2 average-size garden-fresh cucumbers
½ cup of lukewarm chamomile tea
4 tablespoons of glycerin.
A vegetable peeler,
A food processor or blender
A mixing bowl
A spoon
A knife
A clean jar or container with a tight-fitting lid
You can purchase glycerin in craft stores and pharmacies, or you can purchase it online
If you don't have cheesecloth, you can use a strainer instead.


Peel the cucumbers, slice them down the center, and remove the seeds, then cut them into cubes. Place the cucumber chunks in a blender or food processor, and liquefy them. Strain the liquid cucumber through a section of cheesecloth to remove any clumps or seeds that were missed, and pour the liquefied cucumber into a bowl. Next, make the chamomile tea, and stir it into the glycerin. Stir the mixture until it's smooth, and poor it into a container that seals. Since this body lotion doesn't contain preservatives, it will require refrigeration.  A great way to cool the body on a summer day!

Banana Cucumber Facial Mask

The banana is an extra moisutrizer in this recipe, and the honey ensures that the moisture stays on your face.  The lemon juice exfoliates. This mask makes your skin feel extra re hydrated, nourished and revitalized .

  • 1/2 Banana
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 4 tablespoons Lemon juice
Warm up the honey until it becomes liquid (not too hot) by putting it in a small glass or metal bowl which is immersed in hot water. Put the banana and cucumber in a food processor and mash them. Add the liquid honey and lemon juice and mix until you have a smooth workable substance
Spread the paste gently and equally with your fingertips on your clean face and neck: keep the eye area clear
Now lie down, relax and leave the mask on for 30 minutes
Then wash it off with lukewarm water; pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Finally apply a moisturizer, this way you "seal" your skin to keep the water inside

Cucumber Toner 

If you ever wake up feeling like your face is a little puffy, this toner is your best bet for calming and tightening your skin.

  • 1/2 cucumber with peel, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons witch hazel
  • 2 tablespoons distilled water
Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove all of the solids, then pour the toner into a clean bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Store this toner in the refrigerator for a longer shelf life—it should last for several weeks. To use, apply the toner to your face using a clean cotton ball.

Cucumber Conditioner (for Chlorine-damaged hair)

This conditioner is said to work wonders on hair damaged by routine swimming in chlorinated water.
1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 quarter of a peeled cucumber

Blend the egg, olive oil and  peeled cucumber. Spread evenly through your hair, leave on for 10 minutes, then thoroughly rinse. For the best results year-round, continue this treatment 

And last but not least..... of course you can also make pickles!!!!!  You can find a recipe here :)

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