Holy cucumbers. I decided to grow five cucumber plants this year with the idea that, because they grow like a vine, I would wrap each of them around the plant beds since they act as a bunny barrier. In my rabbit repelling state of mind, I guess I wasn’t thinking of what the hell I would do with all of these cucumbers once they started producing. But hey, I guess I’d rather have the problem of my cucumber plant reproducing instead of the rabbits, right?
I have been making recipes like crazy as a result of all of the cukes, so here are some recipes starting with a ridiculously simple but effective face mask. Also, don’t miss the cucumber-tomato-feta recipe at the end of the post (pictured above) – it’s easy, refreshing and delicious for summer!
Cucumbers, when applied to the skin, can cleanse the skin, treat puffy eyes, reduce freckles, improve complexion, ease sunburn, and tighten up open pores.
Seriously Simple Cucumber Face Mask
- 1 medium cucumber, skin on, seeds removed
- 2 tbsp purified water
Directions: Chop cucumber up into small chunks, and blend in food processer or blender along with the water. Once blended, place the pulp in a strainer with a bowl underneath to catch the liquid and allow it to strain for about 5 minutes. Apply the liquid to your face, using your hands or cotton balls. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse with tepid water.
Facial Recipe #2: Kick it Up A Notch
This recipe is a little more fired up, but I tried it, and it’s worth it!
- Oats – ½ Cup
- Honey – 2 tablespoons
- Sliced cucumber – 1
- Milk/Yogurt – 5 tablespoons
Directions: Place the cucumber slices in a blender and blend until you have a thick paste. Next, add the honey and yogurt and mix well. Now add the oats to the mixture and blend. Place the mixture into a large bowl it and freeze it for a few minutes. Cleanse your face thoroughly and then apply this face mask by gently spreading it on your face. *Note: If your skin is super dry, use milk instead of yogurt.
Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad, with Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1 medium cucumber, seeds removed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 package of feta cheese, cubed
- 1 tbsp chopped, fresh herbs (I used oregano, basil, and thyme)
Directions: Place all ingredients in a medium sized bowl, stir together.
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup juice from fresh squeezed lemons (about 4)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 shallot, chopped
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
Directions: Place ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
Before serving, drizzle the dressing on the salad. Enjoy!
Here is another list that I came across in an email not too long ago. I don’t know if all of these are true, (and Snopes.com states that research is still pending,) but WOW if even half of them are! And if you aren’t convinced by now to grow some cucumbers of your own, one of the many benefits of simply picking them from your backyard is to not have to go to the grocery store and get on line with one cucumber in hand, catching the eye of the creepy pervert in aisle 3…
- Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
- Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
- Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
- Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and
your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
- Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the photochemical in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!
- Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost,
keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!
- Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
- Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
- Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
- Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
- Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the photochemical will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
- Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
- Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!