Recipe Round Up: Cool Off with Cucumber

This week I went crazy for cucumbers. It all started with an experimental recipe for cucumber simple syrup. It sort of sounds strange, but I knew it would work on account of an amazing cucumber soda I drank a few weeks ago. In a quest to recreate such a refreshment, I set off to extract the essential refreshing qualities out of the cucumbers piling up at Taproot. Once I got rolling, I couldn’t stop.

First I made this:


Cucumber Soda Spritzer

Mix 1 oz Cucumber Simple Syrup with 8 oz seltzer water in a glass with ice. Give it a twirl and garnish with a slice of cucumber for fanciness.

Alternate version for grown ups: swap out seltzer for tonic and add a splash of gin.

Cucumber Simple Syrup

1 cup organic cane sugar
1 cup water
1 cup shredded cucumber

1. Bring water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat.

2. Shred cucumber with a cheese grater. Add to sugar syrup. Steep for 30 minutes. Strain with a fine mesh strainer. (Reserve shredded cucumber for use in Cucumber Yogurt Pops-recipe below)

3. Chill. Use within 1 week.

Then, I wanted to do more with the simple syrup, so I invented this:


Cucumber Yogurt Popsicles

2/3 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup cucumber simple syrup (recipe above)
2/3 cup shredded cucumbers (for best results, use the ones you strained out of the simple syrup)
1 lime, juiced

1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pour into popsicle molds.
2. Freeze for at least 2 hours, until set. Run mold under warm water to remove popsicle.

And because you can never have too many popsicles in a heat wave, even if you are a grown-up, I also made these:

Cucumber Ginger Gin Popsicles

1 oz gin
1 cup cucumber juice (recipe below)
1 cup ginger beer 
2 oz cucumber simple syrup
Juice of 1 lime

Mix everything together and pour into popsicle molds. Be aware that adding too much gin will prevent the pops from freezing solid. Recipe inspired by this recipe from ShutterBean.

Cucumber Juice
In a blender or food processor, puree 2 cucumbers and 1/2 cup water. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. (Or juice 2 cucumbers with a juicer machine)

And if you get tired of popsicles, you can make Food52‘s recipe for Chilled Cucumber Avocado Soup, but instead of making mango salsa, you can top it with chopped basil, sunflower shoots, and/or minced sweet onion. 

Text and photography by Katie Darlington- Taproot employee, home cooking enthusiast, and farm-to-kitchen blogger.  More recipes and writing can be found on her own blog A Season to Taste