4 delicious foods to pack for a healthy and wholesome summer picnic
Everyone knows that nothing beats a proper picnic in summer with all your friends, good food and hopefully a bit of sunshine. But while scotch eggs and cocktail sausages might be the most obvious choices, there’s plenty of ways to have a deliciously healthy picnic that work better for your friends and your waistband.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Crudites and dips will be the main staple of any healthy picnic. All you need to do is pick up some fresh, colourful peppers, celery, carrot sticks and cucumbers and chop them up into batons ready for sharing and dipping. Squeeze some lemon or lime over the vegetables for extra tang and top them off with some herbs or seasoning like paprika, basil leaves and rosemary sprigs for presentation and extra flavour.
Buy some shop-bought dips like humus and tzatziki sour and bring along some tahini and peanut butter to top it off. Or, experiment with your own flavours and make your own humus. Our favourite option is this vegan roasted garlic and caramelised onion treat from The Messy Vegetarian Cook blog.
Make sure to keep all the dips separate in airtight containers and don’t leave them out in the sun as they can spoil or dry out fairly quickly.
Making your own ice lollies will cool your guests down and impress them at the same time. Buy a silicone ice lolly mould, pour in the water, add some elderflower and lime cordial and your favourite fruits for texture and flavour. Then simply pop it into the freezer and leave it to set overnight. Keep the lollies in the mould and keep them protected in your insulated cooler bag. Strawberries and blueberries work well and look pretty for all your picnic selfies.
Keep your friends fresh and hydrated with a mixture of infused water options to choose from. With the right combinations you won’t even miss fizzy sugary drinks and you will stay hydrated for longer.
Our favourite mixtures are basil leaves with lemon, cucumber with lime and raspberry with mint. All of these combinations are bursting with fresh, zingy flavours. Either prepare the drinks before you leave, or bring some tumblers and prepare the fruit combinations in separate containers so your friends can make their own and can mix and match to find the right flavours.
Don’t worry, I’m not talking about plain old leafy greens but a big, filling, summery salad that everyone will love. Start with your base which could be spinach, kale or lettuce, add some grain for crunch like cooked quinoa or cous cous and then go crazy with the toppings. For a fruity, summery vibe top it off with chopped mango and strawberries and then sprinkle some pumpkin seeds, pistachio nuts and macadamias for a delicious mixture of textures and flavours.
Make your own vinaigrette to avoid unnecessary salt and sugar. This quick and simple recipe for strawberry vinaigrette from The Gracious Pantry is the perfect addition to any salad as it is quick, sweet and healthy!
There are lots of other healthy snack and treat options you could add to a healthy picnic such as flavoured popcorn, homemade energy bars, thumb print cookies and homemade snack mixes. There's always something for everyone. The great thing is you can be as simple or as creative as you like.
Grab a cool bag, find a nice grassy spot in the sunshine and enjoy a really fresh tasty picnic!
Elinore Court lived at Liberty House, one of Liberty Living's London Student Accommodation options – studying a masters degree in Magazine Journalism at City University.