Spring picnic

September 30, 2022

The start of Spring is the start of picnic season! And we are here to help you with simple and healthy, light and fresh ideas perfect for giving you that Spring feeling. What sounds better than a picnic with friends and family to unwind after a busy week?

Picnic foods should be simple and delicious, easy to pack in a cooler bag and take with you to your favourite picnic destination. Involve the family in the making of these items, or let it be a surprise when they unpack the cooler bag.

Not convinced? Some benefits of a picnic include:

1. Fresh Air will help you feel rejuvenated and ready for the next week.

2. Being able to spend time with family and friends in different surroundings. A picnic is a fun and relaxing way to build memories and spend some time in the environment.

3. Letting go of stress and taking a moment to reflect and take time to be grateful away from the hustle and bustle of ‘normal’ life.

4.  Enjoying a healthy mood boost. Fresh air and sunshine are key ingredients to make you feel happier!

5. Getting some free vitamin D.

6. Enjoying healthy and yummy picnic food.

7. Creating a good environment for a date.

8. An opportunity to educate your children about nature.

Picnics are also the perfect opportunity to get your daily exercise, for example, with a friendly game of ball.

Picnic Food Recipes

•  Sandwiches

Sandwiches can be the staple of any picnic! They are easy to make, compact to pack and you can eat them with your hands – which is a bonus! If you are worried, wrap in clingwrap and, when ready to eat, open one side of the clingwrap and keep the rest wrapped, ensuring that your sandwich does not fall apart.

Caprese Sandwich

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/caprese-sandwich

Ingredients – Serves 4

•  8 slices of brown or whole wheat bread.
•  2 tbsp basil pesto
•  2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
•  Handful of rocket
•  2 x 125g balls of mozzarella, sliced
•  2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
•  A small handful of basil leaves
•  1/2 small red onion, sliced (optional)

Method
•  Spread 1/2 tbsp pesto over four of the bread slices, and drizzle each of the remaining four slices with 1/2 tsp olive oil.
•  Divide the rocket, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil leaves and red onion slices over the pesto-topped bread.
•  Sandwich the slices together and wrap up for a picnic. Best when made fresh on the day of the picnic.

Wraps

A lighter option to make instead of sandwiches are wraps. Wraps are easy to make, pack up and take with you to your favourite picnic destination. Wraps are a great way to include vegetables into your meals without it feeling like you are just eating a plate of vegetables.

Veggie Wrap with Hummus
https://simplegreensmoothies.com/veggie-wrap

Eat the rainbow with this plant protein veggie wrap. It has got crunch, creaminess and flavour.

Ingredients – Serves 4
•  4 tortilla shells (burrito-sized, any variety)
•  ½ cup hummus
•  1 cup spinach
•  1 yellow bell pepper (cut into strips)
•  ½ cucumber (cut into matchsticks)
•  ½ cup carrots (grated)
•  ½ cup beets (grated)
•  ¼ cup red onion (cut into strips)
•  ½ lemon (cut into wedges)
•  4 teaspoon olive oil

Method

•  Lay all tortillas out on a clean surface. Spread 2 tbsps hummus onto each tortilla and top with ¼ cup baby spinach, laying the leaves flat against the hummus. Leave a bit of a border around the wrap for easy wrapping.

•  On one half of each tortilla, about one inch from the edge, layer the remaining veggies, dividing them up evenly between the wraps. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the veggies and drizzle with olive oil.

•  To roll the wraps, start with the side with the veggies and bring the empty border over the veggies, pulling them into a tight bundle tucking the edge underneath to secure them.

•  Wrap tightly with waxed paper or parchment and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Fresh and Colourful Salads

Loaded with minerals, vitamins and fibre, salads are a great way to add colour to any meal. Pack the freshly made salad into a tightly sealed container and remember to pack forks! Pack separate salad dressing if required. Allowing each person to add their salad dressing helps them to control the amount they want to add, if any, and will prevent the salad dressing from making the salad lose its freshness and texture.

Watermelon & feta salad
https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/watermelon-feta-salad/

Ingredients
•  700 g watermelon
•  1 small red onion
•  180 g feta cheese
•  1 bunch of fresh mint
•  Extra virgin olive oil

Method
•  Scoop out and chop the watermelon flesh into chunks, discarding the peel.
•  Peel and finely slice the onion, crumble the feta, and then pick the mint leaves, tearing any larger ones.
•  Place it all into a bowl and combine. Drizzle over a little oil and season with black pepper.

Meat Themed Snack

Easy Chicken Kebabs
https://cooktoria.com/easy-chicken-kebabs/ Ingredients

•  600g boneless chicken thighs, cut into medium pieces
•  20ml soy sauce
•  20ml olive oil
•  ½ tsp dried oregano
•  2 garlic cloves (minced)
•  lemon, juiced
•  2 multicoloured bell peppers, cut into medium pieces
•  Skewers

Method

•  Place the chicken pieces in the large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything well. Cover, and refrigerate for between 2 to 24 hours to let it marinate.

•  Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Arrange the chicken and peppers onto the skewers and place on an oiled oven pan.

•  Cook for about 7 minutes on each side, until the chicken is well done.

Smoothies

Smoothies are a delicious way to ensure you get your daily intake of fruit while being a refreshing calorie-conscious alternative to a starchy dessert.

Frozen Fruit Smoothies (2 portions)
https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/frozen-fruit-smoothies-recipe-1914927

Ingredients
•  1 frozen banana, peeled and sliced
•  2 cups frozen strawberries, raspberries, or cherries
•  1 cup milk •  1/2 cup plain or vanilla yoghurt
•  1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
•  2 to 3 tablespoons honey or to taste

Method
•  Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.
•  Cook’s note: For non-dairy smoothies, substitute the milk and yoghurt for non-dairy alternatives (Oat Milk/Rice Milk/Almond Milk)

At the end of the day, regardless of what food you decide to include, picnics are a special time to slow down the world and enjoy the environment, the people around you and life in general. Being able to enjoy great food is just an added bonus!

Happy picnicking!

Yours in Wellness
Thandi and the Empact Team

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