July has been national picnic month in the UK, and, thankfully, the weather here has been pretty much perfect. After over a year of being cooped up indoors, waiting to be released and for the wet, cold, and gloom to lift, it is now time to make for the hills, woods, parks, or beaches and crack open the flask. We have come a long way from egg mayo sandwiches, a carton of Ribena, and a club biscuit (more on this next), however, but the memory of a picnic with our parents as children will hold deeply evocative memories for many of us. What is most wonderful about picnics is that they are relatively inexpensive (even cheap if you make the food yourself), they allow us to eat in the most stunning locations, they encourage the whole family to sit together to eat, and they are fun!
Shake up your next picnic with our creative vegan and vegetarian food ideas
If you choose to follow a mainly or wholly plant-based diet, you may sometimes struggle with finding tasty sandwich ideas. Let’s face it, there is only so much in the way of hummus a person can eat. Cold pasta salads are one way to build real flavour and texture while providing a much-needed boost of energy for the next leg of your picnic walk. If you need some inspiration, take a look at our exciting recipes for vegan Italian summer pasta, cheesy protein pasta with roasted vegetables, and our pesto pea pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and rocket.
A tasty alternative to the staple sausage roll is the exotic-sounding ‘burek’. Bureks are made with filo pastry with spicy, tasty fillings and are widely eaten across eastern Europe and western and central Asia. We offer bureks with a variety of fillings suitable for vegetarians, including leek, cottage cheese, cottage cheese and spinach. What is great about these bureks is that they can be baked from frozen before your picnic adventure, meaning they are soft, tasty, and fresh when you sit down to eat.
If you fancy a veggie alternative to the humble pasty, you may also be interested in our spinach and feta style cheese pockets. These are packed with delicious and healthy fresh ingredients and, again, can be baked fresh in the morning before you set out of the house.
Time for a refreshing drink
Let’s face it, while a flask of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate still has its place in the colder months when the sun is beating down, we need something more refreshing. If you fancy something different to drink on your picnic, have you considered kombucha? Kombucha is a fermented drink that typically has a light fizziness and a huge range of flavour options. You can even make homemade kombucha tea which is made with SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast); this is similar to the ‘mother’ used in apple cider vinegar. Kombucha starter cultures are widely available online, and you add can any number of flavours such as rhubarb, ginger, orange, or lemon. What makes kombucha and kombucha tea truly worth trying are the health benefits due to the hugely positive impact on the gut microbiome, which in turn, can improve our overall wellbeing.
Get out and enjoy the sun
The humble picnic offers a wondrous opportunity for us all to get out in nature and have fun with our loved ones. Whether you opt for a more traditional approach or you introduce new flavours and cuisines into your alfresco dining adventure, we have one final recommendation – get out while the sun is shining; you never know how long it will last.