Healthy and Easy Picnic Food Ideason
While many of us have been spending more time in doors during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is beneficial for our overall health to get outside, breathe some fresh air, and absorb a healthy dose of vitamin D!
A great way to plan for a day in the sun is to coordinate a picnic; picnics are enjoyable as the food does not have to be complicated - the simpler, the better.
Today, we are going to share with you some of our favorite picnic meal and snack ideas for your next summer picnic!
Picnic Meal Ideas
1. Chickpea Salad Sandwich
For a simple chickpea salad, first rinse and drain chickpeas.
Then, mash them together and add olive oil, chopped celery, carrots, sliced pickles, lemon juice, tahini, and some salt and pepper.
You can pack this in a Tupperware and eat with crackers or spread on your bread of choice and refrigerate for make ahead cold sandwiches.
2. Beet, Kale & Tomato Pasta Salad
Pasta salads are a great meal to enjoy cold and on-the-go.
For an easy pasta salad, boil your pasta of choice the night before you are heading out for a picnic.
Then, shred some beets and toss some chopped kale and tomatoes in with the pasta once it is cooked.
Dress with olive oil, garlic, and lemon, and if desired, you can add a protein of choice.
3. Mason Jar Rainbow Salad
Using a mason jar is an effective and clean way to bring a salad with you on a picnic.
First, you will want to fill the mason jars with your dressing of choice.
Next, it is best to add crisp ingredients such as celery, peppers, and carrots after the dressing. This will keep the top ingredients from getting soggy.
Then, you can add proteins such as beans or grilled chicken followed by any rice, quinoa, or grain of choice.
The last layer at the top of your jar should include your nuts and greens (arugula and kale tend to work best for these).
The day of the picnic, simply grab your jars, shake them up, and the salads are ready to enjoy!
How to Make your own Fruit Salad
A fruit salad is one of the most refreshing and simple snacks to make and bring with you for a summer picnic.
It is best to choose fruits that will stay fresh when left out, such as berries and melons instead of bananas or apples.
Here are 5 simple steps to follow:
1. Choose your fruit
2. Slice every fruit and set aside in different bowls
3. Mix every fruit into one large bowl
4. Add the juice of 1 lime and mix together
5. For more sweetness add some cinnamon or honey, and to add a spicy element you can add some cayenne pepper or chili powder to your fruit salad.
Here is one of our favorites for you to try!
Refreshing Summer Fruit Salad
- ½ large watermelon cubed
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 2 cups cubed fresh mango
- 2 cups fresh pineapple
- Juice of 1 lime
- Dash of cayenne pepper and chili powder
Author: Karli McCarthy
Cal Poly, SLO Nutrition Student