Bizarre Food Facts: The Kooky Cucumber

Sometimes food can be used for more than just eating. There are many unusual uses for everyday ingredients that we may use in our recipes. So when a unique ingredient or food with a bizarre use comes to our attention, we'll be sure to inform you about it.

Today, we'll feature the cucumber, which is in abundance this season. Have too many cucumbers lying around that are about to go to waste? Fear not! We've got some unique uses for this cool summer veggie.

Believe it or not, the cucumber is without a doubt one of the few 'Swiss Army Foods'. No matter who you are or what you do, the cucumber can help.

Green Thumbs: keep your garden free from pests all season by slicing a cuke, put the slices in a pie tin, and place in your garden.

Home Improvers: remove years of tarnishing on stainless steel facets and sinks, remove pen and crayon marks on walls and some furniture, and fix that squeaky hinge that has been begging you for attention by slicing them and rubbing them on the problem areas.

Social Event Connoisseurs: before you go out, cut up a cucumber and polish your shoes, fix bad breath, and rub a slice on cellulite to smooth out those ruts.

Hypochondriacs and Panophobics: write the words, "Don't Panic" across a whole cucumber, cut it up, and boil it in water to release an aroma proven to reduce stress.

5 Homemade Skin Exfoliants Made From Your Kitchen!

Photo: cottonseedoil on flickr
Spring means it's time to exfoliate away the winter and let your skin glow. But don't worry, you don't need spend much in order to attain healthy skin. Here are a few ways to find ingredients in your own kitchen to make homemade skin exfoliants.

Use these exfoliants by applying to your face in circular motions and leave on for about 15 minutes. After you wash it off, be sure to apply a good moisturizer or sunscreen as your skin will need to be protected once you go out in the sun. And don't go overboard, these exfoliant should be used only 2-3 times a week. Also, read here about why you should drink lemon water for great looking skin.

* The Basic Kitchen Exfoliant: Starting out with the simplest recipe, combine 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Baking soda will help polish the skin while the sea salt exfoliates. You can also add in some olive oil, which helps to soothe irritation and inflammation.

* Oats, Honey, and Apple Vinegar Exfoliant: If you're feeling more adventurous, take 2-3 teaspoons of raw oats and pulverize them in a grinder. Take the ground oats and mix in honey (the amount depends on how viscous you want the mix to be) and 1/4 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar until it creates a smooth texture. Add in 1 drop of basil oil or tea tree oil, which will help your skin heal faster. Try drinking this oat and kale smoothie for even more beauty benefits from the inside out.

* Argan Oil Exfoliant: Mix together 1 teaspoon crushed almonds, 1/2 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon milk, 1/2 teaspoon tomato juice and a few drops of argan oil. Argan oil is made from the Moroccan argan tree and is said to have restorative and age-defying effects. It is high in vitamin E and can help with dry skin, acne, eczema and even wrinkles! Argan oil is also delicious in salad dressings. Add it in place of olive oil in your basic vinaigrette, or read here about how various oil can be used for everyday cooking.

* Cucumber and Avocado Exfoliant: Cucumbers and avocados are also good for face masks as they contain soothing oils and hydrating elements. Mixing them with strawberries, honey, oatmeal or ground almonds will help create a thick exfoliant for your skin. Try mixing 1/4 cup each of grated cucumber, diced avocado and 1/4 cup of one of the other ingredients. It will be hard not to try a taste of this delicious concoction!

* Oatmeal, Honey, and Egg White Mask: If you want a more intense mix, combine 1 cup of plain oatmeal and 1/2 cup of honey to one egg white. This will create more of a paste like texture, which will really help hydrate your skin.

After trying these topical skin treatments, read about the best foods to eat for beautiful, glowing skin. Also see this article on the top 5 foods for your skin.

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