All summer long I have been creating different types of summer salads–figuring out how many ways I can use zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, etc… This recipe is a variation of another lentil salad that I created. I changed it up by adding local, seasonal cucumbers, tomatoes and fresh herbs. Salads can be quite diverse and when adding healthy, fiber-rich legumes–they are also filling. In the warm weather, when you feel like eating a bit lighter, this one works great!
1 cup French lentils (uncooked)
1 ½ -2 cups water and ½ vegetable bouillon cube*
*1 ½-2 cups vegetable broth1 ½ cups cucumbers—diced
1 ½ cups fresh tomatoes—chopped
¼ cup white or red onion—finely chopped
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tbs. nutritional yeast
1 tbs. fresh basil—minced
1 tbs. fresh mint—minced
½ tsp. lemon zest (organic grated lemon peel)—optional
½ tsp. salt—or to taste
Black pepper—to taste
Rinse and drain lentils. In a medium size pot, add lentils, water and bouillon (or broth). Bring to a boil then cook on medium-high heat for about 25 minutes or until lentils are tender but not overly done (al dente—not mushy). Add a little more water if needed, but just a little at a time. Make sure lentils are cooked and water is evaporated. When done, put lentils into medium-size bowl. Cool. Add remaining ingredients. Stir together until well combined. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Health Benefits of Cucumbers
- Keep you hydrated
Cucumber has 96% water content that is more nutritious than regular water, which helps in keeping the body hydrated and regulating body temperature. It also helps in flushing out the toxins from the body.
- Fight cancers
Cucumber contains lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol – three lignans that have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer.
- Control Blood Pressure
Cucumber juice contains a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber which are very helpful for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumber especially good for treating both low blood pressureand high blood pressure.
- Beneficial for teeth and gums
Cucumber juice is also beneficial for people with teeth and gums problems, especially in cases of pyorrhea. Cucumber is a good source of dietary fiber and this fiber massage in the teeth and gums.
- Aid digestion
Digestive disorders, such as heartburn, gastritis, and even ulcers, can be cured by the daily consumption of fresh cucumber juice. The high water content and dietary fiber in cucumber are very effective in driving away the toxins from the digestive system and hence aid digestion.
- Promotes joint health
Cucumber is an excellent source of silica which is known to help promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues.
- Get rid of bad breath
The photochemicals present in cucumber help kills the bacteria in your mouth which are responsible for bad breath. To get rid of bad breath, press a slice of cucumber in between your mouth with your tongue for at least 30 seconds.
- Nail care
The high silica content in cucumber also helps prevent splitting and spoiling of nails of the fingers and toes.
- Relieve gout and arthritis pain
Cucumber is a best ingredient for gout pain relief. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels.
- Reduces cholesterol
Researchers found that some compound called sterols in cucumber may help reduce cholesterol levels.
- Stimulate hair growth
Cucumber contains silicon and sulphur and thus a regular intake of cucumber can help promote healthy hair growth. For best results, mix cucumber juice with the juices of carrot, lettuce or spinach.
- Acts as a diuretic
The water content of cucumber acts as a diuretic. It encourages the elimination of waste products from the body through urination. Regular intake of cucumber helps to dissolve bladder or kidney stones.
- Aid in weight loss
Due to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who looking for weight loss.