Healthy dishes for your summer picnic

‘Tis the season for beautiful outdoor weather! Take advantage of the season by dining al fresco—enjoying your meal outdoors. Why not plan a picnic with some of your friends, colleagues, or family? Here are some ideas for healthy dishes you can bring for everyone to enjoy.

  • Appetizers and snacks:
    • Hummus and crudites. This appetizer is simple but delicious. Serve a platter of cut-up veggies like carrots, celery, and sliced bell peppers with a dish of store-bought or homemade hummus.
    • Fruit salad. Fruit is always a refreshing starter! Try one of these delicious seasonal fruit salad recipes.
    • Chips and salsa. Pair a bag of tortilla chips with a fun dipper like Grilled Corn Salsa or Tomatillo Salsa.
    • Spiced nuts. Add a little protein to your picnic table! Put out a dish of delish seasoned nuts. Mississippi Spiced Pecans and Curried Cashews are each simple to prepare.
  • Entrees:
    • Turkey burgers. Turkey burgers are packed with protein and can be a healthier alternative to the usual beef burgers. Check out these 5 tasty turkey burger recipes!
    • Grilled Portobello mushrooms. You can use the grill to cook more than just meat! Try grilling up some delicious Portobello mushroom burgers
    • Shrimp skewers. Shellfish is a great choice for a summertime picnic. Marinate, skewer, and grill these spicy shrimp!
    • Chicken kebabs. Grilled chicken is always a great choice for a picnic. Try making these simple kebabs and serving them with no-cook peach chutney.
    • Sandwich platter. If you don’t have a grill available where you’re picnicking, no problem! Bring a platter of homemade sandwiches. Use a variety of meats, cheeses, spreads, veggies, and breads to make your sandwiches, then cut them into halves or quarters and serve them on a platter. If needed, consider including a kid-friendly option like peanut butter and jelly or jelly and cream cheese, and all-veggie options suitable for vegetarians or vegans.
  • Side dishes:
  • Desserts:
    • Creamy grape salad with candied walnuts. This lightened-up grape salad uses reduced-fat cream cheese and only half the sugar called for in most other grape salad recipes.
    • Raspberry bars. These yummy bars are a sweet and tart treat!
    • Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. These healthier cookies have a secret ingredient: Tahini! The tahini (sesame paste) helps add a delicious nutty flavor.
    • Basil-cinnamon peaches. These poached peaches are a healthy yet unconventional summer treat.
    • Lemon icebox bars. These lightened-up bars are a cool dessert for a hot summer day.

Don’t forget to take proper measures to keep your picnic food safe outdoors. Click here and here for helpful resources!

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