Picnic season is here which means it’s time for warm summer nights spent on blankets until midnight. For many of us, typical picnic food choices don’t necessarily bode well with the summer physique we’ve worked so hard for. Fried chicken and potato salad can wreak havoc on your diet, but the good news is that with a little tweaking, you can enjoy a picnic without compromising your waistline.
With fresh salads, meat platters and fruit kebabs to prepare, you can make sure that your picnic food choices are healthy but delicious. Take a look at these healthy picnic alternatives to get you started:
1. The sweet:
These vitamin-packed fruit skewers are a simple, quick and colourful way to fit in some fruit, and tickle your taste buds:
Cut the watermelon into cubes. Slice the strawberries in half lengthwise. Wash the basil. Cut the mozzarella into cubes. Bring the balsamic vinegar to a simmer in a small pot. Let it reduce by about half. When it coats the back of a spoon, it is ready. Keep it on low heat and stir often so that it does not burn. Put the fruit, cheese, and basil on the skewers in any order you would like. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the skewers.
2. And the savoury:
Some may suggest that crips and dips are picnic essentials, but most of us know that deep (fried) down, that crips aren’t the healthiest option to be snacking on at your picnic. It’s usually game over once the crisp bag opens, so have a go at these crunchy, zucchini, crisp-like substitute:
•1 large zucchini or 2 medium zucchinis, cut in thin slices
•salt/pepper/any other desired spices
Cut the ends off and cut the zucchini into thin slices.
Place in single layers on dehydrator sheets, sprinkle lightly with salt, and dry at 135 degrees F for about 6-8 hours, until completely crunchy.
3. Pitcher perfect Pimms:
No picnic would be complete without a fruity, zingy pitcher of Pimms. But by switching in diet lemonade and balsamic vinegar (1 tbsp per litre of lemonade) instead of alcohol, you can concoct a delicious non – alcoholic version of Pimms that should hit the spot, save your pennies as well as your calories, leaving you feeling guilt-free.
4. The ‘skinny’ sandwich: Lose the bread, wrap it instead:
Sandwiches are portable, versatile and easy to store, making them a picnic basket favourite. But you can cut down the calories and add fresh flavours to your sandwich filling or burger by wrapping it in lettuce instead of bread.
5. Something for the kids:
Cocktail sausages and chicken nuggets aren’t the best bites to pick on, but simply switch the breadcrumbs for almond and coconut flour and these coco- nuggets will keep the kids perky and give you a nutritious and delicious protein hit.
So don’t starve yourself this picnic season; simply make smart choices and start eating! And if you’d like to combine your picnic with some physical activity, why don’t you work up an appetite before the picnic with a brisk walk, bike ride or family ball game?