Summer is here and the sun-filled days are simply beckoning for more outdoor adventures.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of satisfying, yet healthy picnic snacks that will both entice your palate and energize your body for all those activity-filled days.
To find out what to fill your picnic basket with during the sunny season, here is a list of some of the yummiest outdoors-friendly bites to help get you started.
Seasoned Sweet Potato Chips
Chips and other kinds of premade snacks are always the quickest and easiest option for an outdoor bite.
However, a lot of the stuff you see in supermarkets is laden with salt and other less-than-healthy ingredients.
Plus, store-bought snacks never seem to be filling enough, especially if you plan on spending prolonged periods of time out in nature.
Luckily, there are ways in which you can get all the satisfaction of the classic chips and French fries, while still replenishing your body with only good-for-you nutrients.
These delicious plant-cased alternatives to traditional snacks seem to be increasingly popular, especially among budding health enthusiasts – and this is how you can make your own.
The first thing you need to do is preheat the oven to 400F/250C degrees.
- While the oven is heating up, grab three to four mid-sized sweet potatoes. Wash them well with a sponge and warm water (keep the peel), then slice them into thin rounds, either using your knife or a mandolin.
- In a bowl, combine olive oil, sea salt, pepper, dry basil and oregano. If you prefer chips with a little bit of kick to them, you can also add chili flakes.
- Toss the sweet potato chips in the mixture and make sure to combine them well, so all the rounds are coated with the marinade.
- Place a sheet of baking paper or the tray and place your chips on top so there’s some space in between two rounds.
- Put the baking tray into the over; once the top parts turn golden, flip to the other side and bake for a few more minutes. Take it out of the oven and serve with lime wedges.
Bacon Avocado Pesto Sandwich
Avocado is one of the hottest ingredients right now, and we don’t mean just for guac.
There are a bazillion of ways to prepare this delicious, tummy-filling fruit, and a great one for every outdoor occasion combines the creaminess of avocado with crunchy, mouthwatering bacon.
Best of all, this picnic-friendly combination is super easy to make.
- First, grab a couple of slice of your favorite whole wheat bread and lightly toast it for an extra dose of crunchiness.
- Next, take your avocado and mash it onto the bread using a fork.
- Heat up the pan and fry the bacon until it’s golden and the edges our crispy. Take it out, lightly drizzle the pan with oil, then crack open an egg and fry it.
- Place the egg and the bacon on the sandwich.
- Mix basil, garlic and Parmesan to whip up a super-quick pesto sauce. Take a small spoon and drizzle a bit of pesto on the slice, add some rocket, then sprinkle it with ground pepper for an extra kick.
And there it is – a delicious, picnic-ready take on the wildly popular avocado toast trend.
An essential part of Korean picnic baskets and lunch boxes since forever, kimbap is a great way to mix up all your healthy carbs, veggies and proteins in one simple bite.
These days, you too can make your own delicious kimbap, a surefire way to energize your body at any outdoor occasion.
To create your own, you first need to prepare all the fillings.
First thing’s first: steam your rice, then set it aside to cool down.Then follow this simple step-by-step approach:
- Grab a couple of carrots, peel them, then cut them into matchsticks. Flash-fry them in a preheated pan lightly coated with vegetable oil.
- Next, take a cucumber, peel it and slice it into matchsticks, as well.
- Boil two handfuls of spinach for a few of minutes, then drain and drizzle with sesame oil.
- Grab a yellow pickled radish (danmuji), and slice it into sticks.
- Next, prepare your meat of choice – beef tenderloin, crab sticks or tuna can all be great options for kimbap. If you want to go for the vegetarian option, you can also add sliced grilled mushrooms or fresh pepper.
- Finally, heat a frying pan. Whisk an egg and spread it across the pan in a thin layer. After a minute or two flip it, then take it out of the pan once golden. Slice the egg into long stripes.
- Once you’ve assorted all of the ingredients, grab a sheet of kim (seaweed) and spread a hefty spoonful of the rice you cooked onto the sheet, leaving about two inches along the top edge empty to help with the rolling.
- Place the rest of the ingredients horizontally at the bottom of the sheet, then grab the kim and start rolling. Once you’ve made you kimbap, lightly coat it with sesame oil and slice it into bite-sized rolls.
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Bruschetta
An irresistible, yet heart-healthy bite, these smoked salmon bruschettas will be ideal for upping your healthy fats and protein levels for all those outdoor adventures.
Best of all: it doesn’t require heating up the stove or messing with five different small appliances.
- The first thing you’ll need is your favorite whole wheat baguette; cut it into one-inch slices, holding the knife ever-so-diagonally.
- Grab your favorite cream cheese and spread it across each slice.
- Cut smoked salmon into bite sized pieces, then roll each one, placing them atop your bruschetta.
- Sprinkle each slice with a little bit of olive oil and ground pepper. Finally, chop up fresh parsley and add it on top of bruschetta for decoration.
And there you go, a refreshing and body-replenishing picnic snack in a matter of minutes.
Grilled Veggie Skewers
Nothing says outdoor meals quite like palate-pleasing skewers.
And yet, stuffing yourself with meat when it’s boiling hot outside might not be the most appetizing idea.
Since picnics give a perfect opportunity to try out healthier, more refreshing snacks, why not stack your favorite veggies instead of meat?
And to give you some ideas, here are a few vegetables that will look and taste great when grilled on skewers:
Cut any of the above vegetables into chunky, bite-sized pieces. Stack them on the skewers and set them aside.
Preheat the grill to medium heat while you make the marinade for your veggies. Crush a few cloves of garlic, chop them up and add them into a bowl. Pour about two tablespoons of olive oil and add basil, oregano, salt and pepper into the mix. If you’re feeling extra daring, you can also infuse your marinade with some chili flakes.
Coat every skewer with the marinade using a brush. Place the skewers onto the grill and drizzle them with the mixture as you cook them.
Once the veggies are golden and crispy on all sides, turn off the heat and your skewers are ready to be eaten!
Ginger Ale with Lime and Mint
Every thought-out picnic basket has to come with a tasty, refreshing drink to help you stay hydrated during the sizzling summer days.
And an ideal concoction for doing just that is this zesty, ginger, lime and mint cocktail, which can be whipped up in a matter of minutes.
- Mix your favorite ginger ale with carbonated water in 1:1 ratio.
- Next, grab a couple of limes, slice them in half and squeeze them into the water-ginger ale mixture.
- Grab fresh mint leaves, wash them with cold water and put them into the glass.
- If you prefer a sweeter taste to your ginger ale, you can also add a bit of honey to make your refreshment more palate pleasing.
- Mix the whole thing well with a spoon, then add ice cubes to keep your summertime picnic drink extra fresh.
Cucumber and Cherry Tomato Hummus Bites
When days get sticky and hot, your body tends to crave foods that are packed with water.
For your next picnic, you can take your recipes a step further and center a whole dish around this refreshing summertime treat.
It’s easier than it sounds, and here’s how to do it.
- Grab two to three cucumbers, and cut them into half-inch slices so they’re nice and thick.
- Top each one with a teaspoon of hummus; this will add more nutritional value to your bites and make them more filling.
- Once the hummus spread is on, take a bit of feta cheese and crumble it on top of hummus.
- Slice cherry tomatoes into quarters and add a quarter to each cucumber round.
- Finally, chop fresh parsley and sprinkle it over your bites for an even fresher feel.
Raw Vegan Cake
If you have a sweet tooth and are feeling left out – don’t worry, we got your covered!
This filling, yet healthy dessert recipe is not only good news for your calorie count, it’s also time-saving and super easy to make compared to most traditional desserts.
All you need is some dates, cocoa, coconut oil, walnuts and maple syrup.
- To make a platter full of these healthy treats, grab a bowl of pitted dates and soak them in water for a few hours.
- Once soft, place them into a food processor, along with a cup of walnuts and a tablespoon of maple syrup.
- When your mixture is smooth, you can add dried fruit for extra texture and more nutritional value to your dessert.
- Grab a baking tray and spread the mixture, so it’s about one-inch thick.
- Create an all natural chocolate frosting by combining coconut oil, cocoa powder and a bit of maple syrup over low heat.
- Keep mixing until the frosting is smooth and free of lumps, then spread it onto your cake in an even layer.
- Put the baking tray in the fridge and leave it in there overnight or at least for a few hours. Afterwards, take it out and cut into cubes.
And that’s it! A delicious, natural snack to satisfy all sugar lovers out there.
Goat Cheese and Pear Salad
Summer heat calls for lighter meals, and what’s more refreshing and nourishing for your body than a bowl of salad?
And if you are one of those people who think that making salad delicious can be a tall order, then this aromatic delight that blends the sweetness of the pear with the pungent flavor of goat cheese might be the picnic choice that changes your mind.
Here’s how to make it!
- The first thing you need to do it choose your greens: romaine lettuce, rocket and iceberg salad all work great for this particular recipe.
- Wash your salad base well, then place it in a bowl. Grab your pear and slice it vertically into thin pieces.
- Next, take soft goat cheese (if you’re not a fan of chèvre, you can always replace it with blue cheese or feta) and use your hands to create crumbles.
- To add an extra dose of sweetness to your salad, grab a handful of dried cranberries and place them on top.
- Take a handful of walnuts and sprinkle them over your salad.
- Drizzle with olive oil and – voila – your delicious salad is complete!
With some hope, this list of summertime snacks will inspire you to craft your own picnic menu with treats that will recharge your body and please your taste buds at the same time. With a little bit of prep and patience, we are positive your next picnic basket will be filled with all kinds of colorful, delicious bites.