Kid-friendly Cuban Cucumber Mojito Slushies Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Cuban Cucumber Mojito Slushies

Recipe: Cuban Cucumber Mojito Slushies

Cuban Cucumber Mojito Slushies

by Erin Fletter
Photo by PromKaz/Shutterstock.com
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
makes
4-6 servings

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • blend :

    to stir together two or more ingredients until just combined; blending is a gentler process than mixing.

  • peel :

    to remove the skin or rind from something using your hands or a metal tool.

Equipment Checklist

  • Rolling pin (optional)
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Peeler
  • Blender
scale
1X
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7X

Ingredients

Cuban Cucumber Mojito Slushies

  • 1 handful fresh mint
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 1/2 C hot water
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 limes
  • 1 to 2 C ice

Instructions

Cuban Cucumber Mojito Slushies

1.
intro

This mocktail is a fun twist on a traditional Cuban mojito, which is usually made with mint and sugar. Making a honey-water solution is a useful trick to get honey into a drink by diluting it half and half with hot water. This way the honey mixes properly into your drink instead of becoming gloopy at the bottom of your glass. Now you can drink your cucumber!

2.
smash + tear

Have kids smash and tear up 1 handful of fresh mint with a rolling pin or their hands.

3.
mix + peel + blend

Mix 1/2 cup of honey with 1/2 cup of hot water and stir to combine. Peel 1 cucumber, slice in half lengthwise, and scoop out and discard the seeds. Toss the cucumber into your blender with the honey water and mint. Blend until smooth.

4.
squeeze + pretend + enjoy

Have kids squeeze the juice of 2 limes into the cucumber purée, then add 1 to 2 cups of ice. Blend again. Drink while pretending you're on a beautiful Cuban beach, and enjoy!

Surprise Ingredient: Cucumber!

back to recipe
Photo by Taras Grebinets/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I’m Cucumber!

"I'm as cool as a cucumber. Actually, I am a cucumber! I have a thick, dark green peel; I am longer than I am wide; and I am a fruit that's often used as a veggie! There are three types of cucumbers: slicing, pickling, and burpless. The slicing and burpless varieties, with or without their peels, are tasty and refreshing sliced, chopped, or minced in salads, sandwiches, salsa, sauces, appetizers, and smoothies or other drinks. The pickling cucumber eventually becomes a pickle (after its pickling spa treatment)!"

History & Etymology

  • Cucumbers are one of the oldest known cultivated vegetables. They have been grown for at least 3,000 years and are believed to have originated in India. 
  • The early Greeks or Romans may have introduced cucumbers to Europe. Records indicate that the French cultivated them in the 9th century and the English in the 14th century. Then Spanish explorers brought cucumbers to the Americas in the 16th century. 
  • Pickled cucumbers, or pickles, may have been produced first by workers building the Great Wall of China or by people in Mesopotamia's Tigris Valley. 
  • A 1630 book called "New England's Plantation" by Francis Higginson, describing plants grown in a garden on Conant's Island in Boston Harbor, mentions "cowcumbers." The cucumber may have been dubbed cowcumber due to thinking at that time that uncooked vegetables were fit only for cows.
  • The word "cucumber" comes from late Middle English, from the Old French "cocombre," from the Latin "cucumis."

Anatomy

  • The cucumber is a creeping vine plant that is part of the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family. Other members are melon, squash, pumpkin, and watermelon. Cucumbers grow on a vine, often in sandy soil. Sandy soil warms faster in the spring, giving cucumbers a more favorable growing environment. 
  • Cucumber length varies. Slicers are 6 to 8 inches, burpless 8 to 10 inches, and picklers are 3 to 5 inches long. 
  • Cucumbers have a mild melon flavor. Slicing cucumbers will have seeds in their flesh, preferably small, soft seeds. Burpless cucumbers are slightly sweeter with a more tender skin and are easier to digest. They may also have no or very few seeds.
  • "Cool as a cucumber" isn't just a catchy phrase. A cucumber's inner temperature can be 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the outside air. This is because it consists mainly of water, which also applies to watermelons, and it takes more energy to heat the water inside the cucumber than the air around it. No wonder these are such summertime favorites! However, we don't say "as cool as a watermelon," so how did this expression become part of our vocabulary? It may have come from a poem in John Gay's Poems, New Song on New Similes from 1732. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Cucumbers are ready to be harvested 50 to 70 days after planting. They are ripe when they are firm and bright or dark green. Slicing cucumbers will be six to eight inches long. Avoid leaving them on the vine too long, or their taste may become bitter and their rind tougher. 
  • At the store, look for firm cucumbers without blemishes, wrinkles, or soft spots. Organic cucumbers are the best choice to avoid pesticide residue, if available. In addition, washing them reduces the amount of residue and pathogens. 
  • If you don't eat your fresh, uncut cucumbers immediately, store them in your refrigerator crisper drawer in a plastic bag for up to three days if unwaxed and up to a week if waxed. 
  • You can eat slicing and burpless cucumbers by themselves, slice or chop them into salads, or blend them into sauces and smoothies. 
  • Pickling cucumbers are pickled whole or sliced in brine, sugar, vinegar, and spices. There are several kinds of pickles, such as sweet, bread-and-butter, gherkin, and kosher dill. 

Nutrition

  • Cucumbers are 96 percent water, have very little fat, and are low in calories. 
  • Cucumbers contain small amounts of the vitamins you need every day and 16 percent of the daily value of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting.

 

What are Mojitos?

Photo by Lucie Liz
  • The mojito (mo-HEE-toe) was born on the island of Cuba and is one of that nation's oldest drinks. Traditionally it is a mix of white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water, and mint, but there are variations. Explorer Sir Francis Drake may have created it in the 1500s when he and his crew landed in the city of Havana to sack the city's gold. That cocktail was called the "El Draque but contained the same ingredients.
  • The name "mojito" may have come from a seasoning called mojo that is made from limes, or it is from the Spanish word "mojadito," which means "lightly wet."

Let's Learn About Cuba!

Photo by BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock.com
  • The Republic of Cuba is an island and country in the Caribbean Sea and is part of the North American continent. The country includes the main island of Cuba, Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth), and numerous minor archipelagos (island groups). 
  • Cuba's population is over 11 million, and 2.1 million live in Havana, the capital city. Its total area is 42,426 square miles. The official language is Spanish, and although there isn't an approved religion, many Cubans practice Roman Catholicism. 
  • The Cuban peso is now the only currency of Cuba. Until 2021, the Cuban convertible peso was also in circulation but is now retired. 
  • The government of Cuba is a Unitary Marxist–Leninist one-party (Communist) socialist republic. Its economy is based on its socialist government. Therefore, it is a state-controlled planned economy that thrives through various sectors tobacco farming, fish, coffee farming, and nickel mining. Recently, Cuba's constitution was changed to allow individuals to own private property such as small businesses and homes.
  • Even though Cuba is a developing nation, it has a 99.8 percent literacy rate, the tenth highest in the world, possibly due to the free education it provides. The government also offers free universal healthcare. 
  • Did you know that Cuba is only 90 miles from the United States? Havana, Cuba, is 105 miles from Key West, Florida. 
  • Because the island of Cuba resembles a crocodile or alligator from an aerial view, it is sometimes called El Cocodrilo or El Caimán. 
  • The Bee Hummingbird, native to Cuba and only two inches long, is the smallest bird in the world.
  • Baseball is especially popular in Cuba. In fact, some Cuban baseball players have come to the United States to play on Major League Baseball teams. 
  • Music and dance are very important in Cuba. Dances that originated there are the Danzón, Mambo, and Cha-cha-cha.
  • Christmas was banned as an official holiday in Cuba from 1969 to 1997. However, due to pressure from Pope John Paul II, when he visited the country in 1998, the government made Christmas a legal public holiday once again. 
  • On New Year's Eve, Cubans burn dolls as a symbol of putting away the bad times of the previous year as they look forward to new and good times during the new year.
  • Cuban cuisine includes a mix of Spanish and Caribbean foods and a lot of spices. Traditional foods include black beans, shredded beef, rice, and plantains. Family meal planning has to work around government food rationing, established in 1962.
  • A national dish of Cuba is "ropa vieja" ("old clothes"), which came from Spain. It is a slow-cooked beef stew with tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and spices and is often served with "Moros y Cristianos" ("Moors and Christians"), a dish of black beans mixed with rice and fried plantains.
  • Cubans have not typically written down their recipes, passing them on orally from generation to generation.

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Cuba?

  • Every child in Cuba between 6 years and 15 years of age must attend school, and every student wears a distinct uniform according to their grade level.
  • The toys kids play with in Cuba are often homemade, sometimes a combination of wood and leftover industrial parts, but they have fun with what they have.
  • Kids often play outside with little supervision. There is a sense of responsibility among the Cuban people, especially for the safety and well-being of kids!
  • Internet access is limited, but students may be able to use it at school. Instead of playing games on their computers or phones, you'll often see kids outside playing "las bolas" ("marbles"), "el pon" ("hopscotch"), or "cuatro esquinas" ("four corners"), a simple street baseball game using the four corners of an intersection as the bases. 
  • Popular sports for Cuban kids are baseball, boxing, volleyball, and basketball. 
  • For breakfast, kids may eat "tostada" (toast made with Cuban bread) dipped in "café con leche" ("coffee with milk") or chocolate milk. They may also have eggs with toast or rice. Meals often depend on the family's income and the availability of ingredients.
  • Favorite desserts include "pastelitos de guayaba" ("guava pastries"), "arroz con leche" ("rice with milk" or rice pudding), Cuban flan (made with canned evaporated and condensed milk), and "cake de ron" ("rum cake").

The Yolk's On You

How does a cucumber become a pickle? 

It goes through a jarring experience!

Lettuce Joke Around

What’s green and very noisy? 

A cucumber playing a drum!

THYME for a Laugh

"Doctor, doctor, I’ve got carrots growing out of my ears! How did that happen?"

"I don’t know, I planted cucumbers there!"

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