It is oﬃcially summer! Savor the extra daylight hours and improve your well-being by spending more time outside. Invite a friend to join you in an outside activity like hiking, biking, taking a walk, or simply enjoy a picnic together outdoors.
Picnics are a great excuse to gather with family and friends in a casual setting and get out of the house! In a peaceful area surrounded by nature, it’s much easier to slow down and savor your meal, the fresh air, and the company of others. That’s not to say that an indoor picnic isn’t also a wonderful idea. Don’t let a rainy day change your plans—pack a picnic basket and have an indoor picnic!
After all, enjoying the pleasures of food and drink with others is one of the pillars of the Mediterranean Diet—and enjoying a meal outdoors is a big part of the Mediterranean culture. A mild climate and high value placed on fresh, seasonal produce in the Mediterranean lends itself to preparing and eating food under the sky for much of the year. With that inspiration in mind, we’re here to help you plan a simple, easy to eat, and not-too-heavy picnic that will nourish you during your fun activities under the sun.
Simple, does not have to mean boring! Heritage diets were built on what was locally and seasonally available in each region, and as farmers markets begin to open back up, fresh and ﬂavorful summer produce is available in abundance.
Summer brings delightful juicy gems like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, watermelon, zucchini, corn, peaches, and tomatoes. So, with that in mind, we’ve picked out some recipes with ingredients you could pick up at the local farmers market—ones that would be perfect to pack in your Mediterranean picnic basket.
Berries: Fruit and Ricotta Crostini
Grab a baguette, ricotta, and mix and match your favorite fresh fruit and herbs to make this simple snack.
Watermelon: Summer Salad with Watermelon, Feta and Olive Oil
There is nothing better on a hot day than fresh, juicy watermelon. Add a salty twist with some creamy and tangy feta for a delicious no-cook summer salad.
Zucchini: Whole Wheat Cheddar Scones with Zucchini and Herbs
Zucchinis are plentiful this time of year! Make these savory spelt scones ahead of time, and they’ll be a simple addition to your picnic spread. Spelt is a variety of wheat, and whole grain spelt ﬂour adds a delicious, nutty ﬂavor to baked goods.
Peaches: Curried Red Quinoa and Peach Salad
For a more active picnic day, you’ll want to make sure you have enough protein. This tasty whole grain salad provides just that—and great ﬂavor. You can swap the peaches for mangoes and get creative with whatever nuts you add.
Tomatoes: Rotini with Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil
You can’t beat ripe tomatoes. This quick pasta dish, topped with fresh basil and mozzarella makes great leftovers and can be enjoyed cold. Pasta salads of any kind make great picnic lunches because they typically travel well and are easy to ﬁll with healthy ingredients like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fresh herbs and olive oil.
Corn: Barley and Corn Strata Salad in Mason Jars
Utilize sweet corn by meal prepping this mason jar salad. It makes a great on-the-go lunch!
These are just a few picnic-friendly recipes—however, if you just want to go straight from the farmer’s market to a picnic—fresh fruit, sliced vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grain bread or crackers, and healthy dips like hummus or tzatziki make perfectly delicious spreads all on their own.
For even more inspiration—check out our 12 ways collection
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