Great news – it’s picnic season again! When planning a picnic, we often default back to the same foods.
However, it’s super-easy to create a picnic basket full of health and taste – no curly sandwiches here!
Nutritionist Suzie Sawyer shares her five picnic favourites which are nutrient-packed, full of flavour and will help keep your energy levels up during your day out.
Thai Chicken Drumsticks
Chicken drumsticks are a great addition to picnic menus because they are easy to cook and transport (as long as you have a cold box). Chicken is high in protein so will help keep blood sugar levels in balance and energy levels sustained, therefore you can enjoy the day. Plus, they are great to snack on because they will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
These drumsticks take on a Thai feel using Thai green curry paste, zest and juice of a lime and a little bit of honey. Marinade them overnight if you can for a fuller flavour and add some more of the marinade halfway through the cooking. Make sure they are fully chilled before transporting. These drumstick delights offer a great twist to a popular picnic food.
No picnic is complete without some delicious dips. And it’s a great opportunity to get some really healthy nutrients onboard too!
Any dish containing beetroot is a winner in my book. Beetroot offers so many health benefits, including supporting the liver in its key detoxification processes and providing energising folate and iron. Simply whizz some cooked beetroot in a blender, and add some spring onions, natural yoghurt, lime juice and garlic. The combined effect of all these ingredients provides some great antioxidants to support overall health. And don’t forget to bring some cruidites with you for dipping (carrot, cucumber and celery sticks)
Any recipe containing eggs has my vote! They are one of the best sources of protein so will keep everything (including mood) in balance, especially if eaten earlier in the day. These frittatas can be used as a mid-morning snack or as part of the main event. Plus, they are really easy to prepare.
They are more like muffins because you can make them in a muffin tin for ease. These frittatas will provide a great protein and vegetable hit by using crumbled feta, chopped roasted peppers, diced chorizo, and chopped spring onion, with the beaten egg poured over. Once cooled, they are easy to transport, and most people love them!
Vegan Spring Rolls
These vegetable rolls are just like posh crudites! You can basically add any vegetables that take your fancy. All you need is spring roll paper (rice paper), thinly sliced carrots, cucumber, lettuce leaves and celery plus some herbs of your choice. And then wrap them up! The more colour variety you have in the roll, the more antioxidants you will be getting. Plus, it’s a great way to top up your daily intake of vegetables.
Spring rolls certainly benefit from a slightly spicy dipping sauce. You can easily make your own sauce using garlic, chilli, sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar.
Fruit and Nut Flapjacks
Flapjacks are often very heavy on sugar. However, these fruit and nut flapjacks contain agave syrup, which is sweeter than sugar, meaning you need to use less.
Another positive is that these flapjacks contain plenty of other health-giving ingredients including hazelnuts and seeds which provide the essential, healthy omega-3 fats, as well as raisins and apricots that are rich in the frequently deficient mineral, iron. Plus of course porridge oats, packed full of energising B-vitamins. They’ll take you about 10 minutes to prepare and provide the perfect sweet, but healthy treat for your picnic.
Picnics can be fun and healthy too! And with these delicious options you’ll have the energy to enjoy your day to the full.
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