Your favorite foods taste better when you get to enjoy them outside.
With summer in full swing, it’s officially picnic season. Regardless of whether you’re spending your free time beneath the shady trees in the park or basking in the sun’s rays on the beach, you’re going to need to bring a little sustenance to fuel your best summer days. And you know you can do better than a sad sandwich and a lukewarm bottle of water. Consider these five tips the next time you need to make a picnic spread and you don’t feel like compromising on flavor or fun.
1. Don’t fear dairy.
Contrary to popular belief, not all dairy products need constant refrigeration. In fact, the majority of cheeses taste better at room temperature, meaning a cheese board is still on the table for your mid-summer picnic. From brie to cheddar to buffalo mozzarella, you can enjoy it all alongside slices of baguette or your favorite crackers without risking food poisoning.
2. Reach for hydrating fruits.
Let’s be honest — the best part of summer picnics are the foods that cool you off, keep you hydrated and taste incredible. Fresh watermelon wedges are always a great go-to when you have a sweet tooth, and citrus fruits like juicy oranges give your picnic a nice, energizing zing. You can also raid that seasonal fruit section of your local supermarket and make a fun fruit salad medley that covers all of your flavor bases.
3. Salads are your best friends.
And we’re not talking about romaine lettuce here. Cold salad side dishes are nourishing, refreshing and perfect for picnicking. Oil and vinegar-based potato salad, Mediterranean-style orzo pasta salad and Moroccan-inspired chickpea salad are a few easy ways to add healthy veggies to your picnic spread without relying on boring baby carrots and celery stalks.
4. Make your ice cubes interesting.
Keep your picnic cooler cold and your drinks tasty at the same time by preparing some fruit and herb-infused ice cubes a day or two before you head outside. You can use freshly squeezed fruit juice, whole pieces of your favorite fruits and sprigs of refreshing herbs like mint and rosemary. What’s more, you can freeze the base of your favorite summer cocktail in ice cube form so you don’t have to lug around any heavy bottles.
5. Bring on the baked goods.
No picnic is complete without dessert, but it’s obvious that anything involving chocolate or ice cream will transform into one melted, messy disaster in a matter of minutes. So lean into those baked goods that can withstand the heat and pack easily, like homemade oatmeal raisin cookies, blonde brownies, mini muffins and fresh pound cake slices. We can’t say these are the picture of health, but hey, a little indulgence never hurt anyone.