Enjoyable, healthy picnics: Creating the perfect basket for outdoor fun

How can you discover the art of organizing a delectable and nutritious picnic while ensuring food safety and environmental responsibility?

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Summer vacation invites us to embrace delightful picnics, whether in the comfort of our backyard or amid the serene beauty of nature.

More than just being a fun activity, picnics offer a chance to rejuvenate our bodies and nourish our spirits.

The healing power of nature has long been recognized, dating back to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates. Today, scientific studies confirm that spending time in green, vegetated areas leads to improved health and a reduced risk of illness. The lush surroundings and fresh air contribute to a sense of calmness and well-being, lifting our spirits and reducing stress levels.

When we venture outdoors, physical activity becomes an integral part of the experience. Whether it's cycling, walking, running, or group activities like sports, these moments not only benefit our physical well-being but also uplift our mood. Being active in nature can release endorphins, which boost our mood and enhance the overall picnic experience.

Sharing picnics with loved ones strengthens our bonds and fosters a sense of belonging and support. The relaxed atmosphere of a picnic provides an ideal setting for meaningful conversations, creating cherished memories, and strengthening family ties. Moreover, being away from screens and technology allows us to be fully present with our loved ones and enjoy the beauty of nature together.

Credit: IngImage
Credit: IngImage

To make our picnics both enjoyable and healthy, embracing a Mediterranean diet is an excellent choice. The Mediterranean diet is known for its numerous health benefits and is considered one of the healthiest diets worldwide. It focuses on whole plant foods like grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, while also incorporating moderate amounts of fish, poultry, and dairy products. This balanced diet is rich in essential nutrients, antioxidants, and healthy fats, promoting heart health, reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Now, let's explore the delectable items our perfect picnic basket can hold.

What should you pack for a picnic?

  • Fresh vegetables: Colorful vegetable salads or cut veggies make for convenient and wholesome choices. Cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and bell peppers add vibrancy to the spread. Enhancing salads with legumes, grains, nuts, or cranberries transforms them into satisfying meals.
  • Seasonings: Adding zest to our salads can be achieved with lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or the ever-popular tahini. Raw tahini, conveniently available in a squeeze bottle, is a rich source of calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and vegetable protein. Additionally, it adds a delightful creaminess and nutty flavor to the dishes.
  • Delectable sandwiches: Opting for whole wheat bread filled with various ingredients, such as hummus, tahini, eggs, avocado, cheeses, tofu, or matbucha, creates mouthwatering sandwiches. Adding your favorite vegetables enhances both taste and nutrition.
  • Healthy snacks: Bite-sized treats like vegetable pies, wholesome muffins, and refreshing spring rolls made with rice sheets and veggies add variety to our picnic spread. Using bread for crackers or tortillas allows us to create delightful wraps.
  • Sweet fruit snacks: Replacing sugary treats with sweet, refreshing summer fruits like grapes and watermelon provides essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
  • Special desserts: Delightful halva balls made with dates and raw tahini or raw tahini sprinkled over cut fruits add a unique twist and extra nutrition.

Staying hydrated is essential, so don't forget to pack cold water or herbal infusions. Infusing water with fruits creates delicious beverages without added sugar or sweeteners.

Ensuring food safety during our outdoor picnics is of utmost importance. Storing food in sealed containers and ice coolers maintains freshness.

Lastly, let's remember the significance of protecting the environment. Opting for reusable plates instead of disposable ones minimizes waste and preserves the beauty of nature. Incorporating these ideas into our next picnic promises a delightful, healthy, and eco-friendly experience, surrounded by the wonders of nature.