The cucumber has been cultivated for over 3,000 years, making it one of the oldest known fruits to be raised for consumption by man. It has its origins in Nepal and was likely introduced to the rest of Europe by the Greeks or the Romans. Columbus introduced this member of the squash family to the New World where it thrived. Indeed, it—along with other squash and root vegetables—was described by William Wood as often being bigger and better than those grown in his native England.
According to Pliny, the Emperor Tiberius had mobile gardens, which were used as a type of greenhouse to keep him supplied with cucumbers throughout the year. Romans reportedly used cucumbers to treat scorpion bites, bad eyesight and to scare away mice. Wives wishing to have children wore cucumbers around their waists (Wikipedia).
The cucumber fell out of favor along with other uncooked fruits and vegetables in the late 17th century. It was thought that uncooked plants brought on summer diseases and were “fit only for consumption by cows,” a statement that may have led to the appellation of “cowcumber.”
Forget caffeinated beverages, cukes are a good source of B vitamins, providing a boost in energy levels. Often referred to as a superfood, they are known to be one of the best foods for your body’s overall health. Cucumbers are 95 percent water, aiding to keep the body hydrated as well as helping to rid the body of toxins. Much of the vitamins are contained in the skin of the cuke so be sure to consume these natural powerhouses with the skin intact. As with any vegetables consumed raw, be sure to scrub them well before eating.
Cool as a cucumber? Cukes are often about 20 degrees cooler than their surrounding temps. They have been used to treat sunburn and swelling around the eyes and can be pureed to create a lotion for moisturizing and smoothing skin. A slice of cucumber, pressed to the roof of your mouth for 30 seconds will kill bacteria responsible for causing bad breath. Eating cucumber before bed can aid in preventing hangovers and headaches. All in all, a hearty powerhouse to aid in your body’s health. Try our salad for a tasty nutritious treat.
1 3-oz. pkg. lime Jello
1 cup boiling water
½ tsp. salt
1 cup salad dressing
½ cup sour cream
1 cup chopped cucumbers
1 T. chopped onions
Stir together first three ingredients; let cool. Mix salad dressing and sour cream. Add cucumbers and onion. Fold into Jello mix. Refrigerate until set.
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