National Picnic Week: 5 tasty dishes to pack in your picnic hamper
During the summer months, nothing beats a delicious family picnic at the park or even in your own back garden. When it comes to deciding what goodies to pack, it can be all too easy to reach for the bread basket. There’s nothing wrong with the ol’ peanut butter and jam sandwich, but if you fancy switching things up then look no further. We’ve rustled up some unique and tasty food ideas for you to try, that are bound to hit the spot. Make sure you get your little helpers involved, there’s lots for them to do from whipping up the muffin mix to finishing off the veggie hummus pots. Check them out below!
1. Tortellini and Tomato Salad
This sandwich alternative is super tasty and even better, takes no more than 5 minutes to put together. Cook your tortellini for a few minutes and then set aside to cool. Slice up a few cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves. Finally, thread them onto a cocktail stick (make sure you find some with no sharp ends). An optional extra is to drizzle them with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
2. Healthy Carrot and Apple Muffins
For reluctant veggie eaters, here’s a great way to sneak in some healthy goodness into little tums. Muffins are a handy way to disguise fruit and veg, especially when presented as a treat at the end of the meal. There are lots of variations you can try, however we opted for this tasty and added a sprinkling of crushed walnuts on top. Our tip is to make a big batch and freeze the extras so that you have a few handy for any spontaneous picnics in the future!
3. Pitta, Veggies & Hummus Shots
Our family love these and they’re another useful way to get the boys to eat their veg. The trick is to serve them in a creative way to make them more appetising! You can add any veggies you like for these, we used some leftovers from our fridge: red peppers, celery, carrots and cucumber. After you’ve finished chopping simply spoon some hummus into a plastic shot glass and then stick your chosen veggies on top. We added some sliced wholemeal pitta bread in case anyone was feeling extra peckish.
4. Fruit Kebabs
A fruit kebab on a warm summer’s day is always a popular choice. We cheated here and bought some pre-chopped fruit salads from the supermarket and simply threaded them onto some wooden skewers (again without pointed tips). However, whatever fruit you have in the house will work just fine.
5. Additional Snacks: Cheese Stars & Raisins + Popcorn
One of the best things about picnics is the chance to have a real pic’n’mix lunch, so for some extras we used some Babybel cheese and cut them into star shapes with a scattering of raisins on top. Instead of our usual Pom-Bears, we served up some popcorn. You can have fun with the toppings by adding sprinkles or cinnamon.
Drinks-wise, we recommend filling up a couple of large water bottles and infusing some water with your favourite fruit combinations. There’s plenty of variations to try, such as watermelon and basil, strawberry and mint, orange and blueberry, ginger and lime - the ideas are endless and the kids will still feel like they’ve had a tasty juice.