Soothe, relax and refresh everything from the palate to the skin by adding this naturally hydrating ingredient to your spa menu.
Although native to India, cucumber has been a popular ingredient throughout the world, having been widely cultivated for more than 3,000 years. Consisting mostly of water—more than 90%—cucumber has a unique moist taste. A great source of vitamins C and K, as well as potassium, the cucumber also is high in dietary fiber and low in calories—about four per ounce. The flesh contains ascorbic acid and caffeic acid—both of which help to ease skin irritations and reduce swelling, while the hard skin is rich in fiber and minerals, such as silica and magnesium. Varieties range in size from 3–20 inches, differ in color from green to white, and may be either smooth or ridged.
In the kitchen
This common salad staple frequently is added for its crisp, crunchy texture. The Peninsula Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California, features a Chilled Cucumber and Enoki Mushroom Salad on its menu. Cucumber also tastes delicious on its own when tossed with a light sesame oil and rice vinegar dressing, such as the Cucumber Sesame Salad served at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. The Spa at Grandover in Greensboro, North Carolina, pairs apple and cucumber to create a zesty Cucumber Apple Slaw. Or, for a garnish, mix up a Crisp Cucumber-avocado Salsa, like the one served at The Pointe Spa at Hawthorn Farm Athletic Club in Hillsboro, Oregon. For a cool and sweet summer treat, dish up the recipe for Cucumber & Watercress Soup, courtesy of Chef Don Jakubowski of Kohler Waters Spa at Destination Kohler in Kohler, Wisconsin.