Why mini cucumbers make the perfect snack

These crunchy vegetables are quite possibly the most refreshing low-cal snack around.

Cucumbers may not compare to, say, leafy greens in the nutrient department. But—repeat after us—all veggies are good veggies.

At 10 calories a pop, the minis are a handy answer to that age-old question: “What’s a portable, healthy snack?” Bonus: like most mini veggies, their flavor is a tad more intense than their larger brethren’s.

It’s said that these compact cukes (sometimes called Persian cucumbers) got their start in the late 1930s, when breeders crossed Middle-Eastern cucumbers with Indian, Japanese, Chinese, American, English, and Dutch varieties to make them more resilient to disease.

Another fun fact: cucumbers are about 95 percent water. No wonder they’re so refreshing.

So if you want to feel, shall we say, cool as a cucumber, pack a handful of crisp mini cukes in your lunch box. No need to peel off their thin skin.

Of course, mini cucumbers have their place in the kitchen as well. Try a green salad with lettuce, cucumbers, and avocado tossed with a sesame vinaigrette. Or cut them into a chicken, shrimp, or tuna salad (instant crunch). Or slice them into sticks and eat with hummus or yogurt dip. They’re also a gotta-have ingredient in gazpacho.

Cucumbers are great year round, but their peak season is just getting started. Enjoy!

Photo: Jolene Mafnas/CSPI.

The information in this post first appeared in the June 2018 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.

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