You can finally have a reunion with your best pals, and go for a much-needed outdoor picnic. From homemade hummus to potato salad, here are the healthiest picnic foods to pack.
Restrictions on outdoor gatherings are *finally* easing – and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably craving a seaside bask in the sunshine with good food and good company.
After so long in isolation, however, you mightn’t be feeling like the typical cheese and cured meat fest that most picnics involve. Behold: ten healthy and easy picnic foods for your much-anticipated catch up with the girls.
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1. Caprese salad skewers
Thread baby bocconcini balls, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil onto a skewer – it’s as easy as one-two-three. These tasty little morsels are a lighter take on cheese, and even contain those all-important veg. Bon appetito!
2. Mini frittatas
Roast up a batch of veggies (think: pumpkin, asparagus, capsicum), throw them into a dozen whisked eggs, pour the mixture into muffin cases and bake for a satisfying, protein-packed bite to eat.
3. Fruit salad
For a hit of natural sweetness, anything and everything that’s in season will do. With fresh fruit, you’re in for a boost of disease-fighting antioxidants, gut-loving fibre and Vitamin C to support your immune system.
4. Lentil salad jars
For something a little more substantial (and oh-so Insta-worthy), combine cooked green lentils with cucumber, tomato and feta cheese in a sealed mason jar. Prepare a zingy lemon dressing to add just before eating.
5. Homemade hummus
This one takes a bit of extra effort, but trust me, it’s worth it. Add rinsed tinned chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and good quality extra virgin olive oil to a food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy. Delish.
6. Yoghurt flatbreads
To go with your hummus (or any other healthy dip for that matter), a yoghurt flatbread is a nice touch. Simply combine plain Greek yoghurt with wholemeal self-raising flour and cook batches on a griddle pan to get some lovely char marks. It’s much more satisfying than high-GI crackers from a packet.
7. Potato salad
Cooked and cooled potatoes contain a special type of fibre called resistant starch, which keeps the lining of the bowel healthy. For a healthier take on this picnic-favourite, ditch the mayo and opt for a yoghurt-based dressing instead.
8. Devilled eggs
They might be from the 70s, but in my eyes, devilled eggs are the bomb. Simply hard-boil a batch of eggs, then gently peel and halve them, scooping out the yolk. Combine the yolk with a little mustard, mayo and paprika, and spoon the mixture back into the yolk cavity.
9. Roasted veggie sandwiches
Another option with veggies in mind, this is one of my all-time favourites. Pair roasted veggies (my go-to combo is pumpkin, zucchini and capsicum) with goats cheese on a wholegrain loaf for a high-fibre spin.
10. Dark chocolate dipped strawberries
Because what picnic is complete without a little treat for dessert? I like to use dark instead of milk chocolate because a little goes a long way (read: you’re probably not going to get through the whole block). The higher the percentage of cocoa, the better.
Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.