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Crunchy Zesty Cucumber Cantaloupe Salad

0006_NutritionTwins-cucumber-melon-cantaloupe-lime-mint-serrano-pepper-salad-summer_logoAs you may know by now, although we grew up in a healthy household surrounded by fresh produce, the truth is we didn’t always have all kinds of produce throughout the year at our fingertips, as you’d likely expect.  In fact, there were only a few weeks during the year when we’d have some of our favorite fruits and veggies.  Yup, our mom was ahead of her time—buying local and “in season” before it was cool and trendy.  You could tell what season it was by opening our fridge. This meant that most of the year, we didn’t have some of our favorite fruits—like melons!  We’d wait all year for our favorite season—summer, which just happens to be when some of our favorite fruits are in season. As hard as it is to believe, some of our favorite recipes that we make today, we would have only had a few months of the year.  Recipes like our:

Watermelon Frosty,

Watermelon Snow Cone

Watermelon & Mint Detox Salad

Strawberry Milkshake

cucumber-cantaloupe-salad-summer7cropped

 

And we can’t help but smile with our latest creation.  It’s the summer dish that we would have waited all year for—and we’re feeling a bit spoiled thinking that we may just keep eating it this one, even when it’s a bit out of season. 😉  When it’s too hot to turn on the stove and you’re looking for a thirst quenching, refreshing side dish (with an optional kick!), this salad with hydrating fruits and veggies and cooling culinary herbs is about to be your new bestie!

Added bonus: Phytonutrients found in cucumbers (cucurbitacins, lignans and flavonoids) may provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Cucumbers have a high water content and are a great source of fiber to help prevent constipation and the unsightly gut bulges that come with it.

Fun fact: Cucumbers are technically fruits!

Cantaloupes are a great skin beautifier thanks to being high in vitamin C (necessary for the formation of collagen, which keeps the skin pliable and elastic) and vitamin A helps to promote healthy cells and skin. Also since it’s gota high water content, 90 percent, it helps to hydrate the skin, making it appear moist and supple!

Fun tip: To find a great tasting cantaloupe, do a sniff test, if the melon smells delicious it’s sure to be tasty.

We visited the farmers market over the weekend and came across a variety of cucumbers (common salad/garden cucumber, white cucumber, lemon cucumber and Armenian cucumber) and decided why not try them all! You can certainly use just one type of cucumber and it can be any type.

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Just a word of warning, once you start you may not be able to eat just one serving!

You can also make a larger portion, by doubling the recipe, to eat the next day. The lime juice helps preserve the freshness overnight.

0004_NutritionTwins-cucumber-melon-cantaloupe-lime-mint-serrano-pepper-salad-summer_logoCrunchy Zesty Cucumber Cantaloupe Salad

Makes 4, 1 Cup Servings

Serve this easy to make, juicy summer salad with a Mediterranean dish, falafel, grilled fish, fish tacos, grilled chicken or another lean protein.

 

Ingredients

2 cups cantaloupe, diced* (about ¼ medium cantaloupe seeded)

2 cups cucumber, diced* (roughly 2 medium cucumbers), peeled (optional).

1 tsp serrano pepper, (about ¼ small sized pepper) seeded and minced (optional)

1 – 1 ½ Tbsp lime juice,

4-5 fresh mint leaves, chiffonade

Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Combine cantaloupe and cucumber in large bowl.
  1. Pour 1 Tbsp of lime juice over the melon/cucumber mix. Stir to coat the produce in the juice.
  1. Add a pinch of salt to taste to contrast to the sweetness.
  1. Add ½ tsp of the minced serrano pepper, andmix throughout. It can have quite a kick so add more to your liking. This can be omitted if you’re simply looking for a cool and thirst quenching salad without a kick.
  1. Top with slivers of fresh mint leaves.

* Diced pieces can be any size, we liked a small dice in order to get a variety of flavors in one bite!

**A note about the serrano pepper. The oils will linger on your hands, even after washing them. Be aware to not touch near your eyes especially after cutting. You may have to wash your hands a few times before it begins to fade. (I only noticed because I stuck my finger near my mouth while taking a bite of left over cantaloupe and my mouth started tingling! Long after I had finished cutting and washed my hands!)

 

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 47 Calories, 0 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 87 mg Sodium, 12 g Carbohydrate, 1 g Fiber, 9 g Sugar, 1 g Protein  

Cucumber_Cantaloupe_Salad_Collage

 

Crunchy Zesty Cucumber Cantaloupe Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cantaloupe, diced* (about ¼ medium cantaloupe seeded)
  • 2 cups cucumber, diced* (roughly 2 medium cucumbers), peeled (optional).
  • 1 tsp serrano pepper, (about ¼ small sized pepper) seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1 – 1 ½ Tbsp lime juice,
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves, chiffonade
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine cantaloupe and cucumber in large bowl.
  2. Pour 1 Tbsp of lime juice over the melon/cucumber mix. Stir to coat the produce in the juice.
  3. Add a pinch of salt to taste to contrast to the sweetness.
  4. Add ½ tsp of the minced serrano pepper, andmix throughout. It can have quite a kick so add more to your liking. This can be omitted if you’re simply looking for a cool and thirst quenching salad without a kick.
  5. Top with slivers of fresh mint leaves.
Notes
*Diced pieces can be any size, we liked a small dice in order to get a variety of flavors in one bite! **A note about the serrano pepper. The oils will linger on your hands, even after washing them. Be aware to not touch near your eyes especially after cutting. You may have to wash your hands a few times before it begins to fade. (I only noticed because I stuck my finger near my mouth while taking a bite of left over cantaloupe and my mouth started tingling! Long after I had finished cutting and washed my hands!)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 47 Fat: 0 g Saturated fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 12 g Sugar: 9 g Sodium: 87 mg Fiber: 1 g Protein: 1 g Cholesterol: 0 mg

Slimming Raspberry Mint Detox Spritzer

By now you probably know that as both dietitians and personal trainers who love veggies–and who also have a big sweet tooth that we have to work hard to keep in check (oy!) ;), we don’t mind it at all when you request some drinks to help immediately get your mind and body back on the healthy track!  We understand and enjoy the drinks ourselves! 🙂  After all, in addition to starting our day by drinking a large glass of water, on days when we want an extra lift, we also have one of our refreshers like our Kale Recharge Smoothie, Sparkling Cucumber and Refresh Detoxer, or we go for one of our smoothies that use the Easiest Way To Get our Greens — or when we feel like we want a fresh start after eating foods that we don’t typically eat, we go for this Slimming Raspberry Mint “Detox” Spritzer that we just added to our list!

This  Slimming Spritzer and drinks like this “flusher” are rich in water and help you to rinse out bloating sodium from your body, “de-puffing” you and making you feel lighter. The potassium from the fruit will also fight bloat as it helps to restore normal hydration status.

 

  • The fruit’s vitamin C in the Slimming Spritzer will make your skin gorgeous, soft and supple by promoting collagen formation. Plus it will hydrate your skin (i.e., you’ll glow) and you can kiss goodbye to a puffy face and eyes.

 

  • The Minty Bonus: 🙂 After over-indulgences, your insides are likely on the fritz–mint’s antioxidant rosmarinic acid, has anti-inflammatory properties to ease the havoc inside your body!  Plus mint helps to ease indigestion–it soothes the stomach and is a calming herb). It is thought to improve the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion.

 

This slightly sweet, slightly tangy drink helps to bust sugar cravings! And as you sip it throughout the day, it will fill you up, preventing you from overeating and helping you to lose tummy fat! Flat belly ahoy! 🙂

 

Slimming Raspberry Mint Detox Spritzer

 

Slimming_Raspberry_Mint_Detox_Spritzer

 

Slimming Raspberry Mint Detox Spritzer

For best results, make several batches of this yumster, and drink it before meals and it sip it during the day. 

Note: If seltzer doesn’t agree with your stomach, makes you feel too full or actually makes you feel bloated, simply sub it for water.

Ingredients:
• 8 ounces seltzer water
• 3 raspberries
• Sprig of mint
• Juice of 1/2 lime (optional)
Directions: Pour seltzer in a glass, add raspberries and mint. Enjoy!

*Tip– let the drink sit for a few extra minutes in the refrigerator to allow a stronger raspberry flavor.

 

Nutrition Information per serving: 8 calories, 0 g fat

 

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Chai-Berry Smoothie

Thanks to all of you who have been asking how we have so much energy!  We really appreciate the compliment, thank you! 🙂  We always have considered ourselves lucky to have a lot of energy.  But the truth is when we don’t eat the way we like to eat or get to exercise in some form (even just going for a walk), we don’t have our usual high energy.  So much of our boost is truly from our diet. (Here are some of our tips that help us). So we realized we really wanted to share this smoothie with you that we sometimes go for in the morning with eggs or for a quick refreshing snack to tide us over just before dinner (plus it takes the edge off dinner so we eat less there!)

 

(Psst… looking for smoothies/ drinks that will flood your body with antioxidants and help to fight damage?  Please feel free to search this site for some!  Here are a few to try:

Kale Recharge Smoothie

Green Grape & Matcha Detox Drink

Sparkling Cucumber and Detox Refresher)

One of the best ways to add natural energy sources into your diet is through fruits, especially berries! Berries, like strawberries and raspberries, are great sources of energizing high-fiber carbohydrates and they are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C, not to mention, they’re always deliciously sweet!

Chai_berry_Smoothie

Here’s a smoothie recipe that we absolutely love, a chai-berry smoothie.  And with coconut all the rage, it adds the perfect boost –both from its’ water and shredded!  This is just like a dessert (although it’s not baked)– and it’s still low in calories, delicious, and very energizing!

This is also great after a workout –it’s super hydrating and packed with antioxidants to repair your muscles (and your skin).  It’ so delicious you’ll want it as an easy-to-make snack or with breakfast!  If you have it with breakfast, just be sure to get some protein–you can simply have a yogurt on the side!

Chai-Berry Smoothie

Serves 2

Ingredients:
– 1 ½ cups of vanilla chai tea (look for one with no added sugar and about 80 calories per cup**)
– 1 cup of coconut water ice cubes
– ½ cup of frozen bananas
– ½ cup of fresh, non-frozen bananas
– ½ cup of frozen strawberries
– 6 non-frozen raspberries
– 2 tbs of shredded coconut, unsweetened

** If you can’t find vanilla chai tea with no added sugar that’s about 80 calories per cup, you can make 2 cups of vanilla chai tea using 2 vanilla chai tea bags, and adding 1 cup hot water for steeping –as directed on the tea box– and then removing tea bags, allowing tea to cool and adding 1/2 cups vanilla unsweetened almond milk)

** If you prefer sweeter smoothie, add a teaspoon of your favorite sweetener (1 teaspoon sugar will add 15 calories).

Directions:

1. Blend all ingredients (except for coconut shreds) in a blender until smooth. Add coconut shreds as garnish and enjoy!

Makes 2 smoothies

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 131 Calories, 24 g Carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 2 g protein, 4 g fiber. 

For more than 100 delicious recipes, a 10-day Weight Loss Jumpstart and Detox Plan, plus a GET HEALTHY plan please check out The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure.

Chai-Berry Smoothie
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • - 1 ½ cups of vanilla chai tea (look for one with no added sugar and about 80 calories per cup**)
  • - 1 cup of coconut water ice cubes
  • - ½ cup of frozen bananas
  • - ½ cup of fresh, non-frozen bananas
  • - ½ cup of frozen strawberries
  • - 6 non-frozen raspberries
  • - 2 tbs of shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • ** If you can't find vanilla chai tea with no added sugar that's about 80 calories per cup, you can make 2 cups of vanilla chai tea using 2 vanilla chai tea bags, and adding 1 cup hot water for steeping --as directed on the tea box-- and then removing tea bags, allowing tea to cool and adding ½ cups vanilla unsweetened almond milk)
  • ** I
  • f you prefer sweeter smoothie, add a teaspoon of your favorite sweetener (1 teaspoon sugar will add 15 calories).
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients (except for coconut shreds) in a blender until smooth. Add coconut shreds as garnish and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 131 Fat: 4g Carbohydrates: 24g Fiber: 4g Protein: 2g