I’m a big advocate for the mono or duo meal. Taking one, super flavorful ingredient or maybe two and making a meal out of it. Some favorites monos for me are mangoes, sapotes, mamey, figs and melons. Duos that are to live for include tomatoes and cucumbers, avocados and cucumbers, red bell pepper and pineapple and the combo that might be my favorite: cucumber and dates.
I discovered my love for this snack after an especially liberating practice of hot yoga. I felt blissed out in a way that only could be made sweeter by a long, bubbly bath. Problem was that I was also famished and needed fuel pronto. I craved something crispy, cool, sweet, nourishing and also not gross to eat in the tub. I grabbed the cucumbers and dates thinking I would eat one and then the other. I don’t know what compelled me to put them together but I am sure glad that I did.
The beauty of the cucumber date combo is that it has everything. It’s a little salty, fairly sweet, but that sweetness is cut with crunchy, refreshing and bitter notes.
Since its inception cucumber and date bites have developed some variety taking them out of the duo meal, but still quick, easy and delicious realm. By wrapping the cucumber slice and date in a small leaf such a lettuce, spinach or cabbage leaf, you can add smaller ingredients. Over the years I have added peanuts, shredded coconut, sweet chili sauce, bell pepper, and green onion to name a few. The inspiration to make cucumber date bites into a more elaborate but still super fast, “use what ever you have on hand,” affair came from my travels in Thailand, where I had the vegan version of the local dish, Miang Kham. Small betel leaf, morning glory or spinach leafs are served stacked high with a variety of fillings and dipping sauces.
Cucumber and date bites
Take a cucumber and slice it into small spears, circles or half moons. Take dates and pit them if they are not already pitted. You can slice the dates into smaller pieces if you want the combo less sweet, or leave them whole for more gooey date goodness. Depending on if you enjoy it cucumber side down or date side down either layer your cucumbers and dates like in the picture shown, or wrap the date around the cucumber, concealing it in your sweet treat.
Spinach rolls with cucumber date and herbs
My favorite easy, on hand additions to this quick snack are
2 leafs cilantro and 1 mint leaf
Other items I like in this rolls include: shredded coconut, avocado cubes, sweet bell pepper, basil, hummus, sweet chili sauce, peanuts, cashews, hemp seeds…really just roll with what you have on hand and your drawn too.
Prepare your date and cucumber, by pitting the date and slicing it in half. Slice your cucumbers into half moon slices. Prepare any of your other accompaniments and make small piles of them on a plate or tray. Prepare the leafs you plan to use to wrap. I like baby spinach because it comes pre-prepared, but you can also do cabbage leafs cut into half, or small lettuces. Add a slice of cucumber, a date half and small amounts of your other fillings to a leaf in your hand. Fold the leaf over and eat.