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Cucumbers play it cool in summer


UNDATED — BC-EVERYDAY-FOOD-CUCUMBERS-ART-NYTSF -- The secret to this hugely flavorful Scandinavian shrimp-and-cucumber sandwich? Creamy Neufchâtel cheese. (CREDIT: Ren Fuller) -- ONLY FOR USE WITH ARTICLE SLUGGED -- BC-EVERYDAY-FOOD-CUCUMBERS-ART-NYTSF -- OTHER USE PROHIBITED.

Cucumbers are capable of much more than crunching up salads and soothing puffy eyes. They can help balance blood sugar and strengthen bones — and at 95 percent water, they’re hydrating, too.

Work the crisp, mild fruit into these recipes, and reap the benefits any time of day.

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Cucumbers are capable of much more than crunching up salads and soothing puffy eyes. They can help balance blood sugar and strengthen bones — and at 95 percent water, they’re hydrating, too.

Work the crisp, mild fruit into these recipes, and reap the benefits any time of day.

Scandinavian Shrimp and Cucumber Sandwich

Servings: 4

Preparation time: 35 minutes

With their vitamin K, cukes will help keep your bones strong, while protein in the eggs and shrimp energize you until dinner.

Add 1 pound peeled, deveined medium shrimp to a pot of salted boiling water. Return just to a boil, then transfer shrimp to an ice-water bath. Drain well; slice in half lengthwise. Soak 1⁄2 cup thinly sliced red onion in cold water 10 minutes; drain. Whisk together 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, 2 tablespoons rinsed capers and 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss with shrimp, onion, 1 cup thinly sliced English cucumber and 2 packed tablespoons chopped fresh dill to combine. Spread Neufchâtel onto slices of lightly toasted pumpernickel; top with sliced hard-cooked egg and shrimp mixture.

Cucumber Ice Cubes

Servings: 4

Preparation time: 4 hours 5 minutes

Freeze the fruit in pieces to keep your water, seltzer or lemonade cold. Snack on them afterward to sneak in potassium, an electrolyte that can stabilize blood sugar.

Halve 1 English cucumber lengthwise; seed. Cut into 2-inch pieces; freeze on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet until solid, at least 4 hours. Transfer to freezer bags to store.

Garlic-Ginger Cucumbers

Servings: 4

Preparation time: 40 minutes

Quarter 1 pound baby cucumbers lengthwise (if longer than 3 inches, halve crosswise first). Toss with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar. Let stand 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Drain, then toss with 2 teaspoons each rice vinegar and reduced-sodium soy sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon safflower oil in a small skillet over medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon julienned fresh ginger and 3 smashed garlic cloves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Pour over cucumbers; toss to combine.

Season again, if desired. Transfer to a serving dish, discarding liquid. Top with toasted sesame seeds and a few drops of hot chili oil.