8 Satisfying Sustainable Snacks For A Plant-Based Picnic
Warm weather means more outdoor events and opportunities to take in the sunshine. When you’re out and about, you’ll get hungry. Why not bring a picnic to the park or beach? Whatever the occasion, it’s nice to have refreshing, sustainable snacks to nibble on. Before filling up the picnic basket, check out these eight satisfying sustainable snacks to satisfy any craving.
1. Cucumber And Tomato Salad
Cucumber and tomato salad is an excellent choice if you want something refreshing. This snack is comparable to Israeli salad, which people have eaten for over a century.
As the name suggests, you’ll need cucumbers and tomatoes. Dice them and add them to a bowl. Add sliced red onion, oregano and basil for incredible flavors. Cucumber and tomato salad tastes fantastic with homemade dressing, and you can make one with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
2. Hummus And Veggie Wraps
If you’re looking for protein on your picnic, hummus is a tasty choice with a gram of protein per tablespoon. You make this Middle Eastern dip from chickpeas, typically containing tahini, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Blending these ingredients gives you hummus, ideal for sandwiches and wraps. Hummus and veggie wraps are a terrific addition to your picnic.
These wraps give you a balanced snack with protein and fiber. Lay out tortillas and spread your favorite flavor of hummus. Top with chopped vegetables like bell peppers, shredded carrots, tomatoes and spinach. Make your wrap even more flavorful with vegan sriracha mayo, scallions and pickled onions. Wrap the burritos in foil and keep them in a cooler to maintain freshness.
3. Oatmeal Cookies
Fruit may satisfy your sweet tooth, but it’s hard to beat the taste of a fresh-baked cookie. These pastries typically contain dairy products like milk and butter. However, you can make vegan oatmeal cookies with simple ingredient swaps.
For example, eggs are a common binder in baking dishes. Vegan cookies swap the eggs with bananas, flax seeds and chia seeds. These ingredients give you the same delicious cookies with even better flavors. Plus, you can take advantage of health benefits. One serving of chia seeds provides 10 grams of fiber and five grams of protein.
More vegan products are debuting on the market, allowing you to swap traditional butter and milk for plant-based options. Vegan milk, such as cashew, elevates the taste of your cookies while sticking with plant-based products.
4. Potato Salad
Another delicious picnic classic is potato salad. This dish is creamy and savory with tender potatoes, celery, red onion, pickles and other vegetables. Potato salad is terrific for picnics because it’s a crowd-pleaser. Plus, potatoes are environmentally friendly because they require less water to grow than rice and popular cereal grains.
Making vegan potato salad is easier than you think. Boil diced potatoes for about five minutes until tender. Once cooled, mix them with your chopped vegetables and store the vegan potato salad in the fridge. Your dish will taste great on your plant-based picnic.
5. Fruit Skewers
It’s hard to beat a piece of fruit when the summer heat comes. Fruit is essential to your daily diet because it contains carbohydrates for everyday functions. In fact, experts recommend about 45%-65% of your daily calories should derive from carbs. Making fruit skewers is a terrific way to bring them on the go.
Fruit skewers are excellent snacks because you can make them to your liking. Try making a rainbow of fruit onto your kebab for variety. For example, your skewer could contain watermelon, Mandarin oranges, pineapples, kiwis and blueberries.
Look for fruits with a high water content to keep you hydrated. For example, each piece of watermelon and strawberries is made of about 92% water.
What’s a better combination than chips and dip? Chips and salsa are an excellent treat for your picnic. Snack away while enjoying the cool breeze. Most salsa recipes are inherently vegan, so bringing a jar of salsa in your plant-based picnic basket is a terrific option.
Making homemade salsa allows you to elevate the flavors and adjust the spice level to your taste. You can create no-cook salsa without a blender or food processor. Mix diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, bell peppers and red onion in a bowl. Top the mixture with olive oil, lime juice and cilantro to mimic the restaurant quality in your homemade salsa.
Add fruits and hot peppers to your salsa if you’re looking for variety. Mango and pineapple chunks are popular additions for fruity salsa. Turn up the heat with jalapeños and habaneros — depending on how hot you want the salsa.
If you bring salsa, it makes sense to take guacamole, too. This dip provides a creamy and healthy companion to salsa. Avocados contain monounsaturated fats to lower your risk of heart disease and help your brain health. It’s easy to make guacamole with plant-based options and keep it tasty.
A great thing about guacamole is its flexibility. You can keep it simple with mashed avocados, salt and lime juice. Alternatively, add other fresh ingredients like red onions, jalapeños, cilantro, diced tomatoes and radishes. Avocados have a short shelf life, so make your guacamole the day of your picnic or the night before.
8. Overnight Oats
The best time for a picnic in the summer is in the morning before it gets too hot. Morning picnics may provide less time to prepare your food, so give yourself a head start with overnight oats. This dish has become a social media trend because of its convenience. You can grab them and go in the morning and head out for your picnic.
Overnight oats typically contain milk and yogurt, so swap them with your favorite plant-based alternatives. The yogurt and milk soften the oats overnight, leading to a sweet and creamy texture when you dig in.
Overnight oat recipes are highly flexible, so add your favorite vegan ingredients into your jar. For example, peanut butter, bananas and strawberries create a sweet and healthy overnight oats jar. Fall picnics may inspire you to add pumpkin puree and cinnamon to celebrate the season.
Mia Barnes is a freelance writer and researcher with a passion for holistic healing and healthy living. Mia is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the online publication, Body+Mind magazine