I’ve always liked the idea of cucumbers — they smell great, and are crisp and refreshing — but only occasionally do I actually enjoy eating them. I don’t know if it’s the texture or the bitter chaser that some cucumbers have, but I rarely find the fruit enjoyable unless it’s gussied up with salt, pepper, and vinegar, or tomatoes and feta.
So I’ve been playing around with including cucumbers in smoothies. That way, I get the slightly sweet, refreshing flavor, and lose the problematic texture and bitterness that often bothers me.
This Cucumber Dreamsicle smoothie is definitely my favorite concoction so far. It is creamy, refreshing, coconutty, and filling without being heavy. As soon as I took a sip, I thought, “This tastes like summer!” And just in time, too: here in West Texas, temperatures are rising and our family loves sipping on cooling treats in the hotter months. I may even try turning this recipe into actual popsicles this summer!
A few notes before the recipe:
- For a smoother consistency, peel the apples and cucumbers. I like the nutrients and the extra texture that come with leaving the skins on, so I don’t peel the fruit.
- Use canned coconut milk rather than the refrigerated, watery version. Part of what makes the smoothie so creamy and satisfying is the fat from the coconut milk. Just be sure to shake the can or stir the fatty part of the milk thoroughly with the coconut water.
- This recipe is highly adjustable, depending on your taste buds and needs. Want a little more spice? Add more cinnamon! Love the flavor of coconut? Use a bit more coconut milk! Play around and find your sweet spot. Speaking of sweet, one of the great things about this smoothie is that the ingredients provide sweetness naturally; I didn’t feel the need to add any honey or maple syrup — it feels plenty delicious and decadent without!
To make this summery smoothie, you’ll need:
- 1 large cucumber, diced
- 1 large Fuji apple, diced (you can substitute a similar apple, like Cameo, Gala, Macintosh, or Honeycrisp)
- 2 cups of almond milk or other nondairy milk
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Optional: 1 inch of ginger root, sliced
- Place the cucumber, apple, and ginger (if you’re using it) into the blender.
- Add the almond milk, coconut milk, and orange juice.
- Add the cinnamon.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour and enjoy!
This recipe makes two to three large glasses of Cucumber Dreamsicle. If my husband’s not around to help me drink it all, I pour myself a glass, then keep the rest in the refrigerator to snack on throughout the day. This smoothie has served as a great alternative to the cookies and potato chips that usually lure me — and I feel so much better after a glass!