Imagine sitting on a cozy blanket during a gorgeous spring afternoon and enjoying a bounty full of fresh food with family and friends. Now there is true beauty in that. April 23rd happens to be National Picnic Day, which is the perfect time to celebrate all of the wonderful things this planet has blessed us with. Picnics are especially wonderful during the warm weather months and make an ideal casual affair for a little rest, fun and relaxation for everyone. Although summer is officially picnic season, it doesn’t hurt to get the party started a little early, right?
Whether you prefer your picnic on a grassy field or on a sandy beach, here are our favorite tips and recipe ideas to keep everything simple and environmental-friendly.
Use reusable containers, napkins, plates and bags. This is better for the environment and will help create less waste.
Keep hot foods hot and cold food cold. Pack one cooler with ice packs or frozen water bottles for cold items and a food warmer for hot items. You can bring everything else in picnic basket. If you don’t have a food warmer available, choosing foods that can be served lukewarm or cold such as sandwiches or pasta salads should do the trick.
Bring portable foods that are easy to pack. Keep your picnic menu simple by choosing foods that are easy to move and transfer. Pastas and dips like guacamole and hummus can easily be packed into containers. Finger foods can easily fit into ziplock bags and save on a lot of space when packing. Individual dessert bars like lemon bars or brownies are durable, easy to share and less fragile than more delicate sweets such as cakes.
Drink dispensers are great for picnics and outdoor gatherings. Bring a drink dispenser and fill it up with your drink of choice along with plenty of ice. That way, everyone can easily serve themselves.
Don’t forget the essentials. Since you will be spending plenty of time outdoors, besides the food and tableware, remember to also pack essentials like bottled water, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, moist towelettes, bug spray and extra blankets.
Grilled Corn and Black Bean Guacamole
When it comes to picnics, we’re thinking in green. Guacamole is an everyone’s favorite snack and what better place to break it out than at a springtime picnic? Take things to the next level with your basic guac dip recipe by adding in some grilled corn on the cob. The sweetness and crunch from the corn kernels and heat from the Serrano chile is simply divine in this guacamole. And of course, don’t forget your favorite tortilla chips on the side!
We’ve always been big fans of hummus because they make not only a delicious afternoon snack but also a crowd pleasing picnic option. Pair your hummus up with sliced pita bread, pita chips or raw vegetables for a great finger food alternative to the usual chips and dip. This recipe is our refreshing take on a classic hummus made with our Peeled and Steamed Garbanzo Beans and Fire Roasted Red Bell Peppers. The result is a vibrant creamy dip blended with the perfect combination of sweet and smokey flavors.
Potato Cucumber and Dill Salad
This is no ordinary potato salad. Picture this–Baby Ruby Gold® Potatoes mixed with crisp organic mini cucumbersand fresh baby heirloom tomatoes. Tell us, does that or does that not sound like a dream come true? This salad is gently tossed with a cool and creamy Greek Yogurt and sour cream dressing and is every bit as refreshing as it is delicious. Baby Ruby Gold® Potatoes have a light and subtle flavor but if you prefer something a little more buttery, our Dutch Yellow® Potatoes make an tasty substitute.
Now THAT’S a pie! While beautiful, vibrant heirloom tomatoes already make one gorgeous pie, the homemade Parmesan cheese crust takes it to the next level. This Italian-inspired pie crust boasts a savory, nutty flavor and incredibly flaky texture, which complements the natural sweetness of the heirloom tomatoes. It’s a little time consuming to make, but trust us, it’s well worth the patience!
Lemon Basil Artichokes with Pasta
A light, lemony pasta is most fitting for a picnic. After all, who needs heavy meat-based sauces when all you need is lemon zest, salt and pepper to give your pasta incredible flavor? Our convenient, ready-made Steamed Artichoke Hearts take out the extra steps of prepping and cooking and is vacuum-sealed to give it its signature just-picked flavor. Toss with toasted pine nuts, fresh basil and flavorful shallots and you have yourself a delicious go-to pasta recipe for Earth Day.
Pixie Tangerine and Baby Red Beet Salad
Did you know that citrus and beets go together like peanut butter and jelly? The earthiness of the beets paired with the sweet, acidity of the citrus makes for a divine combination. This recipe brings together our Organic Peeled and Steamed Baby Beets and Ojai Pixie Tangerines into a simple yet delicious salad and is finished with a delectable citrus vinaigrette. Garnish with a little crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese for an extra salty bite.
With the intense tartness of the rhubarb balanced by the sweetness of the strawberries, you could almost say they’re a match made in heaven. Although this combination in found mostly in pies, we bring you something a little more portable for Earth Day–Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars! The crisp, buttery top and bottom layer combined with the sweet-sour and jammy filling makes these scrumptious, little treats are one of our all-time favorite springtime snacks!
When life gives you Meyer Lemons, lemonade isn’t the only thing you can make.Truly one of nature’s seasonal jewels, they are wonderful for brightening up any dessert, salad or sauce. Lemon bars are a classic dessert favorite that’s simple to make and wonderful for sharing. Our Meyer lemon bars are more sweet than sour with a buttery shortbread crust and a delicate zesty custard filling. These portable desserts are perfect for picnics or when you’re on-the-go!
Mocktail, lemonade, whatever you choose to call it, every good picnic needs a fruity refreshment. This Dragon Fruit drink is one exquisite libation you’ll find yourself sipping on all summer long. Dragon fruit is both sweet and slightly acidic with flavors reminiscent of watermelon, cactus pear and kiwi. Its melon-like texture makes it perfect for blending into drinks. Just a few simple ingredients turn this lemonade into a lovely tropical treat!
White sangria is always a popular adults-only treat and is incredibly easy to make with just a few simple ingredients. All you need to put one together is your favorite bottle of white wine, lemon-lime soda for the extra bubbles and sweet, summery fruits such as berries and stone fruit. This one is based on the 2012 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs, one of our most popular options from ourwine selection. The result is an irresistibly easy refreshing that is sure to get the party started in style.
What are your favorite picnic-friendly foods? Do you have any other tips for throwing the perfect picnic? Share with us here!