National Picnic Month
To help boost the health benefits of your picnics, here are a few recipes for you to try throughout the month.
1. Light and Fresh Potato Salad
This potato salad cuts out the fattening mayo and replaces it with a light vinaigrette, and it also packs in antioxidant-rich tomatoes and bell peppers.
Ingredients: Canola oil, seasoned rice vinegar, red potatoes, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, green bell pepper, orange bell pepper, green onions, ripe olives
2. Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wraps
Take advantage of summer's fresh vegetables and the health benefits of garlic by grilling by preparing these delicious wraps to take along on your picnic.
- 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices red onion $
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered $
- 1 (12-ounce) eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices $
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 (8-ounce) container plain hummus
- 4 (1.9-ounce) whole-grain flatbreads (such as Flatout Light)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush onion, bell pepper, and eggplant with 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and bell pepper to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Remove from pan. Add eggplant to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Remove from pan; coarsely chop vegetables. Combine vegetables, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, parsley, and salt; toss to combine.
2. Spread hummus over each flatbread, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges. Divide vegetables over each flatbread; top each serving with cheese.
3. Roll up wraps, and cut diagonally in half.
3. Jicama and Watermelon Salad
This delicious and refreshing combo will keep everyone around the picnic basket coming back for more. Guaranteed.
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice, plus 1 teaspoon zest
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, plus 1 teaspoon zest
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Kosher salt
- 1 jicama, cut into matchstick pieces
- 4 cups watermelon in 2-inch chunks
- 1/3 cup roughly torn fresh mint leaves
Whisk together juices, honey, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Add the jicama, watermelon and mint and toss to coat.
4. Tortilla Pinwheels
Pinwheels are a quick and easy way to pack a protein punch into your picnic basket.
- Flour tortillas
- Cream cheese, softened (or substitute other cheese)
- Ham, thinly sliced (or substitute turkey)
- Choice of veggies
Spread cheese evenly over each one of the tortillas. Top with meat, followed by the kale and other veggies. Tightly roll up and slice into rounds
5. Fruit Kabobs
Create a sweet and healthy twist on traditional kabobs by cutting up a variety of fresh fruit, such as pineapple, apples, peaches, strawberries and bananas.
Keep the chunks around cubic inch or less in size, and stack them on skewers, alternating among the different types of fruit as you go.
To give the kabobs an extra kick, before you head out, heat up some dark chocolate to dip in. This technique works best on warmer days.
When deciding what to pack in your picnic baskets you must consider food safety. Some foods spoil quicker than others, so whatever food options you bring, be sure you're practicing safe handling and storing procedures. To learn more about food safety visit foodsafety.gov.