* Jedd Thoughts, * Peace Corps

When Life Gives You Cucumbers

A Jamaican friend told me recently that during our tenure here life would never be boring, something interesting is always happening. This has been true.

This past week brought rolling storms with some of the loudest thunder I’ve heard in my life. We had an unexpected farewell (we will miss you D). Boxes filled with goodies and treats from our respected homes (Michelle’s and mine) in the states. A stern reminder about safety in Jamaica from a concerned community remember. A reminder of the struggles Jamaica faces as told through the documentary, “Life and Debt”. And finally, the promise of a visit from a good friend that Michelle and I haven’t seen in years. As I write I also remembered that we had a chaotic week at both our work sites but those stories will come soon enough.

Yes, life here has definitely been a roller coaster of emotions and new challenges, but overall we are still very thankful to be here. As someone might have said, “When life Gives you cucumbers, you make cucumber juice.”

Cucumber Juice – at the request of my friends @ Relevant Studios 🙂
I love this drink. It’s cheap, super refreshing, and really easy to make. I also like to convince myself that it’s really healthy too, but probably not the way I make it.

This recipe was taught to me by my first host mother in Jamaica. I was amazed at how many natural juices can easily be made at home. Apparently you don’t have to buy the store stuff, you can control the ingredients (like the amount of sugar), and it doesn’t take much effort or know how to make it happen.

What You’ll Need

– blender (one of, if not the best purchase we’ve made in Jamaica)
– bowl
– spoon (forgot that for the pic)
– strainer (kind of a duh thing, but make sure the holes are small. Do not use a colander)
– A knife

Ingredients (Makes about 1 pitcher)

The best thing about making juice is that you can really make it to your liking. All the ingredients below and their amounts are really a basic guide and it’s up to you too add or subtract what you’d like. Also for those of you health conscious, it’s up to you how much sugar you add or whether or not you like lots of pulp or no pulp. Make it your own.
In the future when I post other juices you’ll notice that the method and ingredients are typically the same except for the main fruit of vegetable. Experiment and enjoy.

For today’s cucumber juice I used:
– 2 good sized cucumbers
– 2-3 Limes
– a decent size of ginger (as much or as little as you’d like)
– sugar (preferably natural cane sugar, no corn syrup)
– water (preferably safe and drinkable)

Method – 5 steps
Step 1 – Cucumber(s)
– Wash and clean cucumbers till you feel comfortable that they are clean
– Use 1 cumber
– Cut of ends and begin to dice
– Place cut pieces into blender

Notes: You don’t have to cut the cucumbers into too small of pieces as you will be blending them. You don’t have to discard the seeds. I blend everything including skin. It’s up to you whether or not you’d like to peel the cucumbers. I think you get more nutritional value when its on, plus you get a nice green color from the skin. Place all cut pieces in the blender.

Step 2 – Ginger
– Peel and cut ginger
– Add to blender with cucumber

Note: Peel by using a peeler or a small knife. Ginger gives it a nice bite. Some people really like ginger and others don’t.

Step 3 – Blend
I have heard from many people that by straining pulp from your juice you are taking away a lot of the nutrients (and some flavor) for the sake of texture. I say, why not have the best of both worlds and go for the minimal amount of pulp as possible. I have given three different ways to do this next part.

Minimal Amount of Pulp (my preferred method)
– Add a small amount of water to the blender (that should have the cucumbers and ginger)
– Start the blender at a low speed to grind and then intensify to liquefy the contents
– Add water to blender (to fill it up 3/4) and repeat blending
– Pour contents through strainer over bowl. Only a little bit of pulp will remain
*Repeat the first 3 steps to prepare the second cucumber.*

No Pulp
For those that hate the pulp texture.
– Add water to cucumbers but fill to 3/4 full
– Blend on high
– Pour all contents into strainer over bowl
– Discard caught pulp

Lots ‘o Pulp
This is the most healthy way but some people don’t like the texture.
– Add water to cucumbers but fill to 3/4 full
– Blend on high
– Pour all contents into mixing bowl

Step 4 – Lime
– Cut limes in half
– Discard seeds
– Add the lime juice into the mixture
– Add more depending on your preference

Step 5 – Sugar
– add sugar (amount will be based on how sweet you want the juice)
– You can always add more. Do not add too much sugar in the beginning.
– Stir till all sugar has been dissolved.

Once you complete all the steps, pour into a pitcher and subsequently into a glass. Enjoy!

11 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Cucumbers”

  1. I like that you specified that the water should “preferably” be safe and drinkable. Is that one of those, “You know you’re in the Peace Corps when…” kinds of things?

    Thanks for the juicer-free juice tutorial. I’ve been craving fresh juice but sold my juicer more than a year ago. Intellectually, I know that I can make juice without the extra appliance, but it’s helpful to see it in action.

    1. I’m glad you saw that and appreciated that. It’s true about water safety, you never know when you’re in the Peace Corps and I wrote that thinking of other volunteers. 🙂

  2. I got confused about the carrots in the ingredients list and started to worry about you Jedd! I was thinking you had gone over the juicing edge 🙂 But now I think you meant cucumbers. This sounds soooo good! BTW I am sending you a package this week, let me know if there is anything special you’d like me to include.

  3. Think I’ll try this! It sounds refreshing and healthy :)) Enjoying keeping up on your journey-bonus with the juicing recipes! Take care Christie

  4. Ha! I guess you’re getting quite a few packages! You’re getting one from us too. I’m sending it tomorrow. Expect some yummy Asian goodness. I hope it’ll be yummy… I should try to send it soon; otherwise, E or Q will eat it all. Love the food posts.

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