If you’re regretting a food blow-out (aka holiday meals), or just want to feel refreshed and hydrated on warm-weather days, this cucumber ginger lemonade is for you.
It’s all about the hydration. The high water content (they’re 90% water, in fact) of cucumbers might make them less nutrient-dense than, say, kale, but they have still have plenty of food value. Cucumbers are a good source of silica, for example, a trace mineral that’s beneficial for the skin and hair.
Cucumbers really are cooling. It’s not for nothing that we have the expression “cool as a cucumber” — which implies a sense of calm and comfort, perhaps part of the reason we gravitate to this veggie when temperatures are on the rise.
Do you have a spiral slicer or a mandoline? If so, you can create a pretty visual effect in this beverage. If not, the half a cucumber meant for this effect can just be very thinly sliced. Once the beverage is gone (and it will be, quickly), the sweet and tart lemon-infused cucumber can be eaten just as is or used in salad.
- 1 medium cucumber, organic and unwaxed, or 1/2 long hothouse cucumber
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups pineapple juice or white grape juice
- Juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup)
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh or squeeze-bottle ginger, or more, to taste
- Mint leaves, as desired, optional
- Ice cubes, as desired
- Cut the cucumber in half. Peel one half and cut into large chunks; leave the second one intact, don’t peel.
- For the second half of the cucumber, if you have a spiral slicer use the widest blade (not the one that makes noodle shapes) to create long, super-thin spirals. Or use a mandoline to do something similar. If you have neither, simply slice this piece of cucumber into very thin rounds.
- Combine the cucumber chunks in a blender with the water, juice, lemon juice, and ginger. Process until smoothly blended.
- Transfer the mixture to a liter or larger jar and add the spiralized or sliced cucumber. Or, if using right away, divide the spiralized or sliced cucumber between 4 large tumblers. Either way, serve over ice, garnished with mint leaves, if you’d like.
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