Picnic season is upon us (if the British weather ever cheers up) if you’re trying to stick to a diet or weight loss plan, heavy sandwiches, greasy crisps and chocolate rolls might not be the best idea. So, we’re going to be sharing with you our favourite healthy picnic food ideas so you can enjoy some alfresco dining without the added calories!
Raw Vegetable Sticks and Dips
A perfect alternative to crisps, raw vegetable sticks with a selection of dips is the perfect option for snacking on throughout your day in the outdoors that will contain very little calories and adds up to your 5 a day!
Celery, carrots and peppers can all be chopped into sticks for dipping and transport really well. Dips can include homemade guacamole, reduced fat hummus, homemade salsa or any other dips you love as a family or group of friends!
Turkey Salad Pinwheels
Sandwiches are an integral part of any picnic but they can carry a fair few calories if not planned out carefully but our recipe for turkey salad pinwheels are the perfect alternative to a thick and heavy sandwich!
Tortilla Wraps (consider sweet potato, kale or beetroot wraps as a healthier option)
Reduced Fat Hummus
- Lay one of your wraps flat on a surface and spread a tablespoon of reduced fat humous across the wrap.
- Spread salad leaves across the wrap.
- Slice yellow pepper and cucumber into thin, long slices and lay vertically down the centre portion of your wrap.
- Take two thin slices of turkey per wrap and lay down the middle of your wrap, one above the other.
- Roll your wrap tightly, rolling in the direction in which the vegetables are still vertical.
- Chop each wrap into 4-5 pieces, dependent on the length of the wrap and add a cocktail stick to secure if required.
Using a Genius Gluten Free Beetroot wrap and cutting your wrap into 4 pinwheels, each one would average at about 47 calories each!
Potato and Bacon Salad
Potato salads are a nice savoury main for a picnic and something you can make in bulk and everyone can help themselves and this one combines crunchy veg and tender bacon for an explosion of flavour.
Bacon Medallions (smoked or unsmoked is down to personal preference)
- Wash your new potatoes and boil until completely cooked.
- Fry your bacon medallions and then chop into small pieces.
- Drain your sweetcorn, cut your pepper into chunks and grate your carrot.
- Once your potatoes are cooked, drain them and chop into halves or quarters, whichever you prefer.
- Add your bacon and vegetables to the potatoes and mix.
- Add light mayonnaise a small amount at a time and mix between each addition, coating the mixture each time (you can add a little mustard too if you fancy adding a kick)
- Eat straight away or keep in the fridge in a Tupperware box for later in the day or the next day.
Homemade Kale Crisps
Crisps are an important part of a picnic but they can also be one of the saltiest and fattiest components, so making your own vegetable crisps, with superfoods like kale is a much healthier alternative!
It’s really easy to make kale crisps and you can do it by spreading 100g of chopped kale on a baking tray, having removed all the stalks, and drizzle with oil, sea salt and any other spices you fancy, give everything a good shake and stir and bake in the oven for 18 – 22 minutes.
You’re looking for the kale to still be green but super crispy so you get that potato chip style crunch!
Chocolate Drizzled Fruit Kebabs
Popping something sweet in the picnic basket is essential and these chocolate drizzled fruit kebabs are perfect for both adults and kids if you need a helping hand getting your 5-a day in.
White, Milk or Dark Chocolate
- Add your chopped and prepared fruit to BBQ skewers, mixing up the kind of fruit on each kebab.
- Lay all your prepared skewers on a tray lined with greaseproof paper.
- Melt your chocolate, whatever kind you have chosen, until it is a smooth liquid.
- Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate across your fruit skewers.
- Pop in the fridge for the chocolate to set and pack in a Tupperware box for your picnic when the chocolate has hardened.
Chocolate Popcorn Bars
A gluten-free but also low-calorie sweet treat that is perfect for packing in your picnic, this recipe for chocolate popcorn bars is inspired by TV chef, Tom Kerridge but can be altered to suit you by adding dried fruits, nuts or whatever else you fancy!
200g Dark Chocolate
40g Sweet and Salted Popcorn
50g Gluten Free Puffed Rice Cereal (you can use regular rice krispie cereal if gluten isn’t an issue)
40g Mini Marshmallows
50g Dried Cranberries
- Line a 20cm square tin with greaseproof paper or cling film.
- Melt your chocolate over a pan of simmering water or carefully in the microwave until completely liquid.
- Add your popcorn, marshmallows, puffed rice cereal and cranberries into a large mixing bowl and stir to randomise the ingredients but avoid breaking any of them up.
- Pour your melted chocolate over the ingredients and mix until everything is covered.
- Pour your mixture into your tin(s) and press down to ensure it is firm and compact.
- Place in the fridge to set for a minimum of two hours until hard and then cut into pieces.
- Cutting this mixture into about 20 even squares will make each piece around 90 calories!
So, grab the picnic basket and blanket, head to your favourite local outdoor space and set up camp for the day, enjoying the British sunshine and some great, healthy picnic treats!