Outside the thermometer reads 101 degrees so it's time to make a great summer drink: Cooling and refreshing Cucumber Water with Lemon and Mint.
The recipe is very simple: Slice one cucumber and one lemon and place in a half-gallon pitcher of water. Add mint (this was my touch; the recipe doesn’t call for mint). Leave in the refrigerator overnight and it’s ready. I add ice to begin so I can begin sipping right away and I try to drink all of it in one day.
I have read that, over and above the cooling and refreshing aspects of the drink, there are health benefits associated with cucumber water. For instance, both lemon and cucumber juice contain many of the essential vitamins and minerals the body needs to function. They are also versatile in how they can be used to help treat a number of ailments.
As the flavor of the cucumber enters the water, some of the cucumber's nutrients also enter the water. The longer the cucumber floats in the water, the more flavor and nutrients enter the water, explains Barbara Mendez, a master's-level nutritional consultant in New York City. Nutrients provided by the cucumber include but are not limited to vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, calcium, vitamin K and potassium. The amount of these nutrients you get from cucumber water depends on how much cucumber you use in the water and whether you eat the cucumber slice after drinking the water. The more cucumber you use, the more nutrients you receive.
Discard any unused water after two days to keep your beverage tasting fresh.
So go ahead and cool off! Minimal calories, nutritional benefits and most of all, it tastes so very good and is so simple to make. And with more hot days ahead, I know I'll be making a pitcher each day!
If you try it, let me know what you think.