Fab Fourth- Fab Side!

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Hi All! Well I’m sitting on the beach in sunny Southern California right now, and I’ll be spending the Fourth of July in Las Vegas this year. It’s quite a change from my normal Fourth festivities, that’s for sure! I usually have a cookout, and then we go and watch our local fireworks display. 

While I won’t have a cookout this year (or even cook at all!), I wanted to share a recipe for the BEST and easiest side salad to make your fabulous Fourth meal complete. It’s made with one of my favorite vegetables, the humble but delicious cucumber. Did you know how healthy cucumbers are for you? No? Then it’s a good thing you read my post today because I’m going to tell you right now. 

Cucumbers protect your brain because they contain the anti-inflammatory flavenol called fisetin. It plays an important role in memory by protecting nerve cells from age related decline. They also contain polyphenols called lignans and phytonutrients called cucurbitacins which have anti-cancer properties.

Cucumbers also contain potassium which plays an important role in lowering blood pressure. They’re very high in fiber and water too which helps in two ways. First, fiber helps aid in digestion (colon’s broomstick!) and water helps digest the other food you eat, and it also fills you up so it helps maintain a healthy weight. Another super thing is that cucumbers are very low in calories (1 cup has only 16 calories) so you can eat a lot of them and not take in too many calories. 

Are you now convinced that cucumbers are a super duper thing to eat? Good, because I’ve got a delicious salad to share with you that my family loves. It’s quick too so you can spend time enjoying your family and friends during the holiday. 
  
Cool Cucumber Salad
  
 1. Prep Veggies– Peel and chop two cucumbers, one onion (I used fresh green onions from my farmer’s market for this recipe but any type of onion will do) and one large tomato. I use Heirloom tomatoes because I love the flavor but again, any will do. Put them in a flat-ish container (because I like for the vinaigrette to really soak into the veggies).

  
2. Make Vinaigrette– Combine 1/2 cup organic white vinegar with 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup of water, a teaspoon of honey, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper in a small bowl and whisk them together.

3. Add vinaigrette to cucumbers, tomatoes and onions and give a stir. Ideally I like to make this an hour or so ahead of my meal to allow the ingredients to combine, but I’ve also made it a second before dinner and it’s been yummy so either way is fine. 

  

That’s all there is to it! My family raves about this salad and it’s so easy to make. I hope you try it, and I know you’ll like it! Let me know if you do! Eating healthy side dishes like this one will help you lead a life of vitality- with Valerie!

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