This 5-Ingredient Cucumber, Ginger, and Sweet Pepper Salad Highlights Springtime’s Best Anti-Inflammatory Produce

Photo: Stocksy/ ZOA PHOTO
The first *real* signs of spring are starting to make an appearance in many parts of North America. New Yorkers, for instance, recently experienced high temperatures thanks to a weather phenomenon called a “Bermuda High,” and Californians are expected to have a major super bloom due to unprecedented amounts of rainfall this winter. As the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers.

As everyone begins to head back to the farmer’s market every week once more, making the most of what spring has to offer will be top of mind—especially when it comes to the food. Indeed, it’s no secret that some of our favorite produce grows during this warmer time of year, but there's one viral seasonal salad in particular that has been calling our names since it blessed our feeds just a few weeks ago: the cucumber sweet pepper salad recipe. It’s crunchy, savory, and perfect on so many levels. More ahead on why you must make it ASAP.

How to make the springtime cucumber sweet pepper salad recipe that’s all over the internet

In a recent TikTok video by @rachael_kirkconnell, Rachael Kirkconnell shares how to whip together a quick and easy veggie-forward snack perfect for noshing on its own or serving as a side dish with any meal. To make it, she starts by slicing baby cucumbers into thin rounds and then chopping sweet peppers into small bite-sized pieces. Then, the real magic happens: Kirkconnell adds three umami-rich ingredients to flavor the simple veggie dish. In a bowl filled with the chopped veggies, she adds a few tablespoons of Makoto Ginger Dressing, a generous amount of Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend, and a few spoonfuls of Momofuku Chili Crunch.

@rachael_kirkconnellmouth is watering watching this back♬ original sound - rachael

The result is a crispy, crunchy medley of flavors that essentially explode in your mouth with every bite. The chili crunch is made with flavor-packed ingredients like three different types of chilis (puya chilis, japones chilis, and chilis de arbol), along with coconut sugar, onions, garlic, and sesame seeds. Meanwhile, the ginger dressing is the perfect combination of sweet and savory, thanks to ingredients like carrots, ginger, and soy sauce. And it’s safe to say many of us have been fanatics of everything bagel seasoning for years on end—something about the simple combination of sesame seeds, sea salt, garlic, onion, and poppy seeds hits the spot every time.

Health benefits of this veggie salad

For starters, cucumbers are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals. “Cucumbers contain vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, vitamin K, B vitamins, manganese, and copper,” Kara Lydon, RD, LDN, RYT, registered dietitian and owner of Kara Lydon Nutrition, previously shared with Well+Good. The potassium and vitamin K found in cukes are beneficial for regulating fluid balance, which can help with blood pressure and bone health. Finally, cucumbers are one of the most hydrating foods out there: Each one is comprised of about 96 percent water. This is important, seeing as most folks are chronically dehydrated, especially as the weather warms.

Meanwhile, peppers—another hydrating food—are packed with immune-boosting benefits. “Peppers have more vitamin C than oranges, and also contain potassium, folate, vitamin A and E and are rich in various antioxidants,” Maggie Michalczyk, RD, a registered dietitian, previously shared with Well+Good.

To put the immune benefits of peppers into perspective, one cup of sliced raw red sweet pepper has 118 milligrams of vitamin C; meanwhile, one cup of oranges has about 97.5 milligrams of vitamin C. (The recommended daily intake is 65 to 90 milligrams.)

That said, this recipe is easily adaptable—especially if sweet peppers or cucumbers aren’t your jam—and any of the ingredients can be swapped out for your favorite spring produce instead. For some inspiration, in a recent Instagram post, gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, MD, shares some of his favorite springtime fruits and veggies beneficial for gut health. On the list was farmer’s market finds like avocados, asparagus, bok choy, carrots, and onions—just to name a few.

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