Healthy Benefits of Cucumber & Onion Salad
Apple Cider Vinegar has long been touted as a health and restorative tonic for the body. Studies have shown a myriad of benefits ranging from resetting the pH of the stomach, effectively eliminating acid re-flux and heartburn, reducing cholesterol, improving blood pressure, and promoting healthy blood sugar levels. But if you've ever tried to take the recommended daily dose of ACV you may have hit a speed bump, or road block, because of its strong taste. Even mixing it with honey, as some recommend, doesn't help it become any more palatable. And if you're like me, it actually makes it taste worse. So how then are you to start a regime of a daily dose of ACV when you cannot stomach the taste?
Carolyn O'Byrne is the author of the book Gut Instinct. Several weeks ago in one of our cooking on the truck groups she posted a recipe that sounded positively delicious, at least to anyone who likes things like pickles, cucumbers and onions in vinegar and oil, or Italian salad dressing.
Her recipe was:
- 1 cucumber sliced thin
- 1 onion sliced thin
- 1 cup ACV (organic, non pasteurized like Bragg's that has the “mother” - the brown residue that is the healthiest part of the ACV)
- 1 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste. (I always use Pink Himalayan Salt because it is so much healthier for you than table salt. But you can use sea salt was well.)
Directions: Place sliced cucumbers and onions in a mason jar, add equal parts ACV and Water, salt and pepper to taste. Store in the refrigerator for several hours, though longer is good too.
These cucumbers and onions make a delicious cold salad or healthy mid-day snack. Cucumbers are cooling and are great on a hot day. But they also cool the stomach, are full of water for hydration, full of powerful antioxidants and vitamins like A (good for eyesight), B (great for reducing the effects of stress on the body), and C (a powerful antioxidant for flushing the body of toxins and free radicals.) They also contain much needed nutrients such as magnesium and potassium (electrolytes that aid in muscle repair, sleep, hormone regulation, and blood pressure regulation). Cucumbers are great for diabetics, have cancer fighting properties (as do all natural, unprocessed foods), and are even wonderful for soothing the skin.
Onions, a super food in their own right, have been used in cooking and healing for centuries. Onions are part of the Allium group, like garlic, and when broken down in the body produce a chemical similar to the powerful sulfa antibiotics. Along with its antibiotic-like properties it also is packed full of flavanoids, quercitin, and tannins, that reduce cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, and work as an anti- inflammatory.
Adding in a regular serving of the above recipe makes good health sense, as well as a delicious and refreshing treat for your palate. And this is where my “discovery” came in. After eating all the cucumbers and onions from one of the full mason jars I had in the truck, there was still quite obviously a lot of “juice” left over. This juice was the combined flavors of the ACV diluted with water, PHS, fresh ground pepper, and of course juices from the cucumbers and onions. At first I merely cut up some more cucumbers and onions and refilled the jar. However, it didn't take long again for it to be empty.
With no more veggies to put in the jar, and being snowed in off of I-80 in Wyoming, I was left with over half a jar of this flavorful juice. At first I took it in with me one night when we went to have a salad, and simply used it as a salad dressing. So much better tasting than any processed Italian Dressing or plain Oil and Vinegar. At this point I noticed my nightly nausea after eating hadn't happened in several days. Hmmm,was this because of the ACV? What a wonderful positive side-effect! Carolyn O'Byrne confirmed what I already knew, that ACV has well researched and documented digestive healing properties. Then I had a thought. What if instead of ACV with honey, I just drank a little of the ACV/cucumber/onion juice?
No bitter, yucky, hard to swallow flavor of plain ACV with honey and water. It went down smooth and easy, leaving my mouth feeling refreshed. For the next several days I'd take a sip several times a day from the mason jar, especially before and after eating a meal. No nausea after eating, which is a HUGE improvement for me. I have decided this will become a daily staple for us in the truck. A bottle of Bragg's ACV is not expensive, and neither are cucumbers and onions. So it is an easy and inexpensive thing to prepare in the truck. With two small jelly mason jars, they don't take up much room in our fridge, and would work as well for those with only a cooler in your truck.
Today we finally made it to Salt Lake City to deliver. Having breakfast at Denny's I asked the manager if it was possible to buy a cucumber and onion from the kitchen, that I needed them for cooking in the truck but there were no stores within walking distance or nearby that we could get our truck into. They were all too happy to oblige and only charged me for a small side salad for a full great big cucumber and large onion. Now I have enough for the next few days until we make it back down to Vegas on Monday and can get to a store there.
So drivers, here is a way to deliciously get a full serving of 2 or so Tablespoons of ACV, as is recommended, plus extra water and healthy veggies, every day, that doesn't take up much room in your fridge or cooler. These common veggies are easy to get from any Truck Stop that has a Denny's or any such restaurant that has a salad bar or serves salads. Not to mention in the warmer times of the years where you can find them fresh at a road-side stand.