Thursday, 29 April 2021

HEALTHY PICNIC IDEAS

So, this blog focuses on mental health and improving it through diet and lifestyle. And what makes one happier than eating a picnic in the sun with friends?

As the world is opening up in most parts of the world and the weather in the northern hemisphere is approaching summer, it is most definitely picnic season!

Of course, you can eat a lot of junk at a picnic if that is your wish. We are not about restrictions here!! I usually munch on crisps and dips and never really get full or satiated or satisfied. I feel groggy afterwards and still hungry because the junk has no nutritional value to fill me up.

So if you want to feel happy and energised after and are interested in improving your mental health through food, then maybe you can bring some healthy (still yummy!) treats along to the party! After all, we want to eat food that makes us feel good. Good mood food!



Savoury snacks

Olives (Tip: I like the ones stuffed with red pepper and they also provide extra nutrition)

Cashew nuts – (Tip: less processed if unsalted and unroasted)

Natural grain-free crackers (Tip: make your own! But my healthy cracker snack would be fine)

Crudit̩s Рsliced red pepper, sliced cucumber Рto dip in the below dips

Tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and oregano (I am not a big fan of cold tomatoes but when drizzled with olive oil and dashed with oregano – they have a sort of pizza taste. You could also add some feta if you eat cheese)

Graze snacks – I love the flapjacks, the roasted chickpeas etc. This is a great option if you are busy and don’t have the time to make it. I love that you can sign up for a subscription so you don’t have to remember to go and buy healthy snacks.

Sourdough slices - this is a great staple to spread with dips or homemade spreads or even homemade jam.

Dips

Guacamole (Tip: choose one that is over 95% avocado and doesn’t include dairy etc. Here in Spain the guacamoles are so good – they are basically just avocado. But I remember in the UK that guacamole would often contain sour cream. It doesn’t taste as good and just isn’t healthy. You could also make your own (Smash some avocado with lime juice, maybe some coriander, onion, chilli…whatever you fancy!)

Hummus (Tip: I actually prefer hummus that has more water in it as it is more creamy. In the UK, I really liked the Tesco Organic or Waitrose Organic hummus. In Spain, I really love the hummus from Dia.)

Any veggie dip you can find (Tip: if it's free of dairy then it is much better)

Make your own! – Have a go at making your own dip. I fell in love with veggie/nut/bean dips when I went on a yoga retreat to Fuerteventura. The food was mostly vegan and these dips were honestly incredible. It was things like broad bean and basil – this book (link here) is cool for exploring recipes for dips.



Main dishes

Sweet potato sliders – see recipe coming on Sunday!

Roasted veggie hummus sandwich (I will do a recipe on my blog. I roast courgette (zucchini) and red bell pepper in olive oil. As that is roasting, I spread a good layer of hummus on both sides of m sourdough bread. I then put the veg inside. It is really filling, healthy and tasty!

Lettuce wraps (or just wraps) – fill a big lettuce leaf with spiced beans or chickpeas – season with paprika and chilli powder. You could also add sweetcorn for another flavour and texture. You could also do this with wholegrain tortilla wraps and add any veggies and beans that you would like.

Veggie skewers – roasted pepper, onions and mushrooms on skewers. These would be nice dipped in sweet chilli sauce or maybe a pesto.

Mini veggie burgers – This is self-explanatory. You could make your own bean and quinoa burgers or you could just buy them and stick them in burger buns with some salad!

Caramelised onion and tomato tarts – this is just some caramelised onion and tomato in pastry but it is divine!


Desserts

Dates filled with almond butter or peanut butter (I love these! Tip: You can also freeze them before if it is going to be a hot day!)

Frozen grapes (Tip: Green grapes when frozen taste like ice lollies/popsicles – they are so refreshing for a hot day!)

Chia seed pudding – I love a chia seed pudding. Simply add chia seeds and plant milk into a container and leave them in the fridge for minimum of 30 minutes. You can add nut butters, fresh fruit, cocoa nibs for extra deliciousness and extra nutrition. Chia seeds are so good for you and you can buy a 1kg bag of whole food raw Chia seeds from Amazon (link here)


So, I hope these ideas gave you some inspiration for healthy, filling, nutritious, tasty picnic foods. If you want more ideas, you can buy a book that gives you ideas. Link here to one on Amazon which has some great ideas!

Enjoy!


Wishing you a week full of health and happiness

 

Alice

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