Digestive-Friendly Garden Bounty: Cucumber and Zucchini Recipes
Article

Digestive-Friendly Garden Bounty: Cucumber and Zucchini Recipes

Published on Thursday, July 11, 2024
by
Rebecca Ledford

Low-FODMAP
Acid Reflux
GERD
IBS

Endless Summer, Endless Cucumbers and Zucchini: Delicious and Gut-Friendly!

Hello Foodguides family! I hope your summer is off to a great start!

When I was living at home, I often found myself engrossed in watching Food Network with my sisters. One of our favorite shows was Iron Chef America. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, here’s a brief synopsis. Two chefs would battle against each other using a secret ingredient. They must serve about five courses featuring the “secret” ingredient. Whoever created the tastiest dishes would be declared the winner. It wasn’t as simple as that; throughout the competition, the hosts would throw challenges at the chefs, which may affect the dishes they were making.

Come along as we compete in our Iron Chef America: Foodguides edition. This time, we will have two secret ingredients: cucumber and zucchini. Our challenge? Create delicious meals that minimize IBS and GERD symptoms. Think you’re ready for the kitchen? Allez cuisine! 

Cucumber SOS: Understanding IBS & Acid Reflux Triggers in Common Summer Produce:

In previous articles, we have discussed everything you need to know about Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease (GERD), including things you may not know. Both conditions cause uncomfortable side effects, but they can easily be avoided by choosing the right foods. 

Why Choose Cucumbers and Zucchini?

You may wonder why we chose cucumbers and zucchini as our “secret” ingredients. For one, they are not cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, etc). Cruciferous vegetables, named after their four-leafed cross-shaped flowers, have high amounts of sulfur, which can cause bloating and gas. They are also high in a type of carbohydrate fructans, which some people, like those with IBS, may have difficulty digesting.

Second, cucumbers and zucchini are listed as Low FODMAP foods. Cucumbers and zucchini contain low amounts of fermentable carbohydrates, aiding digestion. 

Cukes and zukes are not the only IBS and GERD-friendly foods. Bananas, cantaloupes, strawberries, turnips, bok choy, almonds, peanuts, and gluten-free pasta are other excellent examples of Low FODMAP foods. 

Beyond the Salad: Creative and Gut-Friendly Cucumber and Zucchini Recipe Ideas:

Let’s look at our five dishes:

Low FODMAP Cucumber Berry Salad 

Inspired by Jessie Hulsey’s kitchen: A colorful ensemble of Low FODMAP fruits and vegetables: cucumbers, blueberries, strawberries, fresh mint, and a drizzle of olive oil. We’ll even add some diced zucchini for an extra crunch.

Crisp Cucumber and Dill Salad with Curry-Rubbed Grilled Gulf Shrimp 

Inspired by Lisa Green’s kitchen, this dish features an assortment of sliced cucumbers, carrots, and zucchini covered in a dressing of Greek yogurt, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper, layered with spicy curry-fried shrimp and a splash of lemon juice.

Lettuce Wraps 

Inspired by Dr. Allison Koch’s kitchen, this delicious mix of shredded chicken, diced cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms, and shredded zucchini is atop a leaf of crisp iceberg lettuce.

Tropical Smoothie 

It is inspired by Kitty Broihier’s kitchen: a healthy, thirst-quenching drink filled with blended banana, pineapple chunks, water, unsweetened almond milk yogurt, coconut extract, and diced cucumber or zucchini. (Here’s an extra-special benefit: this smoothie will keep you hydrated on a hot summer day! Not into smoothies? No worries—try adding cucumber and mint to a water pitcher, let it sit in your fridge, and enjoy a fresh treat!)

Lemon Zucchini Cake with a Lemon Glaze 

Also inspired by Lisa Green’s kitchen: A perfect way to end our competition! A delicious cake with zucchini added for that extra healthy component with a zesty lemon frosting.

Spa-Worthy Cool Down: Soothing Summertime Skincare with Cucumbers:

Now that the cooking is done, it’s time to relax! Did you know you can use your leftover cucumbers as a soothing eye mask or a facial scrub? There are dozens of recipes for these online, or you can simply slice the cucumber, lay it gently on your eyes, and inhale a deep breath of tranquility. 

Conclusion: Which Dish Won the Foodguides Competition?

Which dish do you think won the Iron Chef America: Foodguides competition? Which one will you try? Let us know in the comments on Facebook, X, and Instagram!

 

  1. Cleveland Clinic. (2024, April 30). This is why mom said to eat your broccoli (and other cruciferous veggies). https://health.clevelandclinic.org/crunchy-and-cruciferous-youll-love-this-special-family-of-veggies 
  2. Low Fodmap Diet for irritable bowel syndrome: IBS treatment. Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio. (2023, February 16). https://www.gastroconsa.com/patient-education/irritable-bowel-syndrome/low-fodmap-diet/ 

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