• Chef Kelly Unger

Cucumbers are Life-Changing

What’s the nature of your relationship with cucumbers? Are cucumbers a second thought vegetable you toss in salads? Are they a dipping vessel used to avoid carbs? Or are cucumbers just a garnish to you? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, let me provide you with some reasons to take your relationship with cucumbers to the next level.


First let me say, if you’re eating cucumbers regularly, that’s great. If you’re eating them because you know you “should”, let me applaud your commitment to health. But hopefully I’m about to help you get to know and love cucumbers, or at least understand WHY you should eat them, and eat more of them. One of my favorite books about the nutrition of food is Anthony William’s Life-Changing Foods. Cucumbers are life-changing. Directly quoted from the book, here are some top benefits cucumbers offer us:

  1. Cucumbers have a fountain-of-youth effect, hydrating us at the deepest cellular level.

  2. Cucumbers’ cooling effect makes them excellent at rejuvenation and especially effective at cooling a hot, stagnant liver.

  3. When eaten on a daily basis, cucumbers can reverse liver damage, dialing back 10 to 15 years of toxin exposure (including from heavy metals and pesticides such as DDT) and poor diet.

  4. Fresh cucumber juice is the best rejuvenation tonic in the world. It contains electrolyte compounds specifically geared toward nourishing and cooling down overused adrenal glands and kidneys that are struggling with their task of filtering out toxic debris and getting overheated from toxic uric acid.

  5. Cucumbers provide critical nutrition such as chlorophyll in their skins that’s bonded to B vitamins and vitamins A and C.


Have I convinced you to give cucumbers a second thought? They’re more than you gave them credit for, aren’t they?


If you’re not getting cucumbers from the farmers market, wash the cucumbers in warm water with dish soap and use a scrub sponge to scrub off the waxy coating used by large scale, commercial growers, or just peel them. That waxy coating is toxic. Cucumbers aren’t naturally shiny.


If you want to make a chopped cucumber salad, lightly smash the whole cucumber first before chopping with a rolling pin to bruise it a little to release juices. Make sure all of those juices go into your salad! Salting them will release more juices, but go easy on the salt. Enjoying cucumbers in pickle form is good and delicious, but be careful of eating too much vinegar and only eating cucumbers that are pickled. Vinegar is a natural preservative. And if you have a condition or disease (known or unknown), or the beginnings of a disease, vinegar can also preserve disease in your body.


Cucumbers love carrots, peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, yogurt, lime, mint, parsley, chervil, tarragon, thyme, and lemon, to name a few. Mix and match these ingredients to create some delicious flavor filled quick salads.

Some easy ways to enjoy cucumbers daily are: smashed in your daily water, pureed in a blender with some coconut water for a delicious and refreshing health filled tonic, an Israeli salad (diced cucumber and tomato, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and optional lemon juice, parsley and onion), smashed cucumber salad with hot peppers or red pepper flakes, cucumber sandwiches (with herbed cream cheese), and a cucumber noodle salad with shredded carrots and feta. That is, if you have a vegetable spiralizer, make cucumber “noodles”.


I also really enjoy cucumbers and apples together. I like to slice each and then cut the slices across into little match sticks. I toss them together in a bowl and add some raisins and chopped walnuts or pistachios. I’ve made this to stuff into fresh, homemade pita bread with chicken. It’s also nice to eat on it’s own for a snack or for lunch with bread. I love bread so I’m always looking for salads to balance my bread addiction.


With its mega health punch and refreshing flavor, cucumbers deserve a place in your daily diet especially while they’re in season. Enjoy abundantly!




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