Now that summer is well and truly here, it’s the perfect time to arrange a delicious spring picnic in the park. So phone some friends, grab your stripy picnic blanket, and get set for a chilled afternoon of socialising in the sunshine.
When you’re looking for food to pack for a picnic, what instantly springs to mind? Stale sausage rolls? Soggy sarnies? Dry carrot sticks? Well, not this time. If you’re looking for healthy ideas for picnic food you won’t have to spend hours slaving over, look no further.
Homemade Sausage Rolls with Thyme
When you’re deciding on what to bring on a picnic, the temptation can be to just grab and go. But making your own picnic food can often be quite satisfying, and is likely to be better for you. These lazy sausage rolls are easier than you think. Wrap small pieces of good quality sausage (preferably without skin) in ready rolled puff pastry, and lay on a baking tray. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, brush with beaten egg, then cook for 20-25 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. Sprinkle the sausage meat with chopped thyme for added wow.
Posh Finger Sandwiches
Sandwiches might be the most common food to pack for a picnic, but they don’t have to be boring. Choose 3 of your favourite fillings like cheese, chicken or smoked salmon, as well as 3 accompaniments such as cucumber, tomato or avocado. Butter a mixture of types of bread and then assemble the sandwiches making each combination different. Once you have a pile of sandwiches, cut the crusts off and slice into 3 thin rectangles. Create a mouth-watering arrangement by laying these on their side so the variety of fillings can easily be seen. Who can resist bite-sized sandwiches?
If you’re making picnic food for kids, why not use cookie cutters to make your sarnies into fun shapes? Or just take along wraps and ingredients and let them assemble their own? Picnic food suggestions don’t come any easier than that!
Roasted Veggie Pasta or Couscous
For slightly more filling picnic food ideas, opt for pasta or couscous. Arrange a variety of chopped up veg on a baking tray. Try colourful peppers, courgette, onions and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and season, adding herbs if preferred. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes turning occasionally. Meanwhile, cook your favourite pasta, or soak couscous in boiling water. Toss together with a squeeze of lemon. Delicious packed up immediately, or make in advance and keep in the fridge for a day or two.
Jam Jar Salad Dressing
A leafy green salad might seem like a dull food to pack for a picnic, but it doesn’t have to be. Add interest by creating a variety of salad dressings in jam jars. That way, everyone gets to choose their own. Try 3 parts olive oil to 1 part balsamic vinegar for a classic vinaigrette. Turn up the heat by adding chopped chilli and crushed garlic to olive oil, or for a zesty spring picnic flavour, try mixing lemon juice and olive oil (adding a squeeze of honey works well with this too). Just shake well and pour over salad.
And for afters?
When it comes to picnic ideas for a hot sunny day you, just can’t beat a good old fruit salad. Choose as many different colours as you can for added wow factor. Think blueberries, strawberries, kiwi and orange – sweet and juicy. Easy picnic food ideas to enjoy in the sun.
Failing that, just listen out for the ice cream van!
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