Food Focus: The Cucumber
We love using food as medicine in Eastern Medicine. Food cures are one of the coolest and simplest ways to rebalance the body. When we use seasonal summer foods, in the summer, we can help beat the heat in a powerful but delicious way!
Naturally cooling and slightly sweet in flavour cucumbers are a natural diuretic which make them a great summer food.
Cucumbers help to cleanse the blood, uplift mood and can counteract toxins in the body. And because of it's cooling and diuretic properties, cucumber is great to help treat the effects of summer heat and sunstroke. The juice can even be used to help heal sunburns!
Cucumbers are also helpful for kidney and bladder infections and drinking the juice can help cool other inflammatory or heat conditions such as sore throat, stomach inflammation, inflamed skin conditions (red hot skin or acne that is very red and angry looking). Apply slices to your eyes if you're suffering from red, hot, painful or dry eyes and as they contain a digestive enzyme that can help to beak down protein and cleanses the intestines.
Not bad for simple garden food!
Snack on cucumbers through the hot summer days or add slices to water or salads. You can also try making the aqua fresca below for a happy, fresh and cooling summer drink.
Stay cool and enjoy your summer!
Cucumber Lime Mint Aqua Fresca
2 good sized organic cucumbers, ends trimmed, but peel still on, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup lime juice from fresh organic limes (about 5 to 10 limes, depending on how juicy they are)
1 1/4 cup packed (spearmint) mint leaves (about a large handful), remove woody stems
Approximately 1 1/4 cup of water
Put ingredients in blender, and add enough water to fill 3/4 of blender and purée until smooth. Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and pour the purée through it, pressing against the sieve with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid out as possible.
Store in fridge and serve with a sprig or mint or slice of cucumber or lime (or even a shot of your favourite alcohol--vodka, gin or cachaca) and serve over ice for a fresh summer cocktail.
Optional - add honey or agave syrup to taste