The Art of Healthy Picnicking

I LOVE PICNICS.

There is nothing quite like eating the produce God gave us while immersed in His beautiful scenes of nature under the warm sun with a cool breeze. I have had the pleasure of picnicking everywhere from a dock by the lake to the top of a mountain to tree roots by a stream to a trampoline to a dry riverbed in the middle of a forest to Central Park to the small town of Boerne, Tx! Through all my picnic adventures, I’ve learned a thing or two that I want to share with y’all!

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To Cook, or Not to Cook, that is the question…

The first important decision of any picnic is whether you whip up the feast or carry out the chow. There is no wrong decision here, just think about what fits the experience best. I’ve had picnics where ordering from a restaurant made things so much easier, but I’ve also had picnics where preparing the entire spread made the experience. Either way, think travel foods!

 

Travel foods are those that…

  1. Can hold up through an adventure and weather the outdoors.
  2. Can be prepared in advance.
  3. Can be served at room temperature.
  4. Don’t need to be sliced at the scene.

Finger food is highly encouraged!

 

If you’re cooking…

  1. Do all the prep work at home. Don’t leave any chopping for the picnic!
  2. Bring sauces in a separate container or spray bottle to use moments before enjoying.
  3. Keep all dishes in individual containers to avoid unwanted mixing.

 

DIY Stations: When you do all the prep work at home, It’s always fun to have different foods that can be mixed and matched so each person can personalize their own plate. One of my personal favorites is to bring along chia seed or coconut flour tortillas so everyone can make personal tacos combining different veggies, proteins, and sauces. This way, you ensure that everyone can find some combination to suit their palate, and the meal never gets repetitive!

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The Art of Packing:

Choose an insulated soft cooler for transportation. They are lightweight and keep food cold. To get the most bang for your buck, purchase a rectangular or square shaped cooler. This way you can snuggly stack glass containers inside to avoid spilling or tipping over.

 

Tip: Lay soft ice packs flat on the bottom of the cooler and put your most perishable items down first, closest to the ice to keep them fresher longer.

 

Bring a blanket big enough to fit you and all your food. This will keep the ants/bugs away, and also provide an even surface to set everything up!

Don’t pack your finest china! Bring glass or plastic containers; another way to reduce waste while you enjoy the great outdoors!

Bonus: Tupperware prevents food from getting crushed in transportation.

 

Favorite Picnic Foods

  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Butternut Squash
  • Fruit – Cut Strawberries, Grapes, Peelable Tangerines, Watermelon and Pineapple Chunks, Dates
  • Ground Bison (Super Lean with lots of Protein)
  • Baked Salmon with Lime and Basil (So Fresh!)
  • Almond Butter
  • Roasted Veggies – Cauliflower, Carrots, Broccoli, Endive

 

The Short List for a Swell Time:

-Soft Cooler

-Portable Speakers

-Ice Packs

-Glass/plastic containers

-Utensils

-Water Bottles

-Bug Spray

-Blanket

– And of course, the FOOD!

 

A sad but true fact is that spills are inevitable in the life of an experienced picnic-er. When that last bite leaves your fork and lands in your lap instead of your mouth, just laugh it off and don’t let it spoil the experience!
I hope this little guide will help you on your outdoor adventures! Happy Picnicking!

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