Well known fact: picnics were made for summer. They’re a great way to get in touch with the outdoors and those near and dear to you, so what better reason to hit the hills with a basket or two than a gorgeous sunny day? The trouble is some of the foods we love don’t always keep well under the summer sun. With moisture and heat often getting the best of them, some ingredients don’t lend well to being on the move. Things like cheddar become oily, mayo-based salads spoil quickly, and frozen treats leave you with sticky puddles for cleanup. This season, skip the mess and try these wholesome and affordable recipes that you and your family are sure to love!
Apple avocado turkey wraps
High in lean protein, vitamin A and healthy fats, one thing is for sure: these wraps will leave you feeling satisfied and craving-free. A great alternative to their high starch counterpart, they’re a cutlery-free meal option you can whip together in only minutes! What’s best? They’re really good for you! Not only are they a nice crispy alternative to sun-soaked soggy bread, but the lettuce will help keep your filling cool, making it a perfectly refreshing way to cut the heat! Light and delicious, this sweet and savoury treat will have you glowing all day!
- Thinly sliced apple slices (we like Granny Smith)
- Avocado slices (squeeze a bit of lemon on them beforehand for extra punch)
- Sliced turkey
- Lacinato kale leaves
The steps are simple:
1. Lay your kale flat,
2. Load ingredients in at will, roll, wrap and enjoy!
A good source of selenium, couscous is rich in antioxidants that support the body’s fight against harmful free radicals, helping maintain healthy blood cells and tissue. Couscous also contains choline, a nutrient that contributes to your metabolism, brain, liver and nerve function. Thanks to its firm texture, this salad can come to the party fully dressed without the fear of a container full of shriveled veggies. Chock full of good carbs, this salad will give you all the energy you need to keep alert through the summer heat! Looking for a boost? Follow these directions, and in 10 minutes, you’ll have a fresh and filling source of protein and fibre that makes for a perfect lunch or side!
Make sure you have:
- ½ cup of couscous
- 1 cup of hot low-salt vegetable stock
- 2 spring onions
- 1 red pepper
- ½ cucumber
- 2 oz of feta cheese, cubed
- 2 tbsp of pesto
- 2 tbsp of your choice of seeds (we like pumpkin), or chopped nut
The steps are simple:
1. Put your couscous in a large bowl. Pour vegetable stock over it and cover for 10 mins. This should give it enough time to absorb the vegetable stock and get nice and fluffy.
2. While you wait, chop up your other vegetables.
3. Once ready, add the couscous to your mix and gradually knife in your feta and pesto.
4. Top with your choice of seeds or nuts and serve immediately.
5. If you’ve got the ingredients but are running low on time, feel free to take them with you! With just a quick mix, you’ll be ready to serve it in no time.
Apple almond butter stacks
A clever twist on an afternoon classic, these apple almond butter stacks are sure to be your new go-to guilt-free indulgence! Apples are high in vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant as well as vitamin B, an energizer and metabolizer. Almond butter is high in protein and omega 6s, so together, they make for one powerfully enriching snack! What’s best is that this treat is one you can assemble as you eat, kissing prep work goodbye!
To make this afternoon delight, you’ll need:
- 2 organic apples, cored
- ¼ cup of creamy almond butter
- ¼ cup of vanilla granola
- ¼ cup of mini dark chocolate chips (optional)
The steps are simple:
- Slice your apple into thick, even rings. You should be able to get 4-6 slices from each apple.
- Spread a dollop of almond butter atop half of the apple slices. Sprinkle them with granola and chocolate chips.
- Top them with remaining apple slices.
- If you’re not eating them immediately, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Otherwise, dig in!
DIY fruit roll up
If you’re anything like us, fruit roll ups were the fabric of your childhood. The adult alternative? Fruit leather! These are a compact and no-melt treat, making for the perfect picnic tag-along.
Along with all of the great stuff we’ve already heard about apples, including vitamin A and the amazing effects it has on your hair,skin and nails, the secret to making this snack incredible is the spinach-in-disguise! High in zinc and niacin, protein and fiber, these leafy greens keep you healthy and full.
- 6 small apples, peeled, cored and diced
- ½ cup of water
- ½ tsp of ground cinnamon
- 1 cup of packed baby spinach
The steps are simple:
- Preheat oven to 175ᵒF and set aside a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
- In a large saucepan, bring the apples, water and cinnamon to a boil, then bring the heat down to low. Leave it there for 40 minutes, or until your apples have noticeably softened. Stir and mash occasionally for good measure.
- Once they’ve fully softened, leave your apples to cool, and then put them through your food processor. Add spinach gradually until combination is smooth.
- Pour apple-spinach mixture onto the centre of your cookie sheet and spread evenly with an offset spatula or frosting knife.
- Bake for 3-5 hours until your sheet is dry but still malleable.
TIP: At times, the corners finish before the centre does. If this happens, take a pair of kitchen shears, snip them and place your pan back into the oven. Not all fruit roll ups were created equal, so be sure to check on it every 20-30 minutes to make sure you don’t overcook it!
- Once it’s done baking, take it from the oven and let it cool. *leave the wax paper on it to keep it from sticking*. Cut your creation into strips, roll them up and put them in a ziplock bag or plastic container until you’re ready to dig in!
If you haven’t got a ton of ingredients at the ready, watermelon and corn are both foods that can go the distance without sacrificing their freshness. Here is a bit of a breakdown:
Watermelon, being 92% water, is entirely saturated in good-for-you nutrients like vitamin A, B6 and C, as well as a catalogue of heart-healthy antioxidants.
Corn is very fibrous, facilitating digestion. It also boasts 10% of your daily recommended dose of magnesium, thiamin, folate, phosphorus and vitamin C.
Whether you’re hosting a dinner in your backyard or meeting a friend for an afternoon picnic, bring one of these options along! Your guests will be happy you did.