What could be more fun than a gorgeous picnic on a glorious day? Yet, all too often the typical, heavy picnic fare of hamburgers, hotdogs, white flour buns, mayo-laden salads and sugary sweets can leave you feeling stuffed, bloated and generally zapped of energy.

So, what’s the fix? A vegan picnic! With a few simple steps, you can plan a delicious meal with a variety of healthy, plant-based foods that will leave you feeling refreshed and well nourished. Simply follow these four steps:

  1. Decide on fresh and simple recipes so you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
  2. Take along a cold beverage such as Peach Berry Iced TeaBlueberry Herb Lemonade Punch or Strawberry-Lemon Soda.
  3. Plan to serve fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and legumes, or easy-to-pack sandwiches and a healthy, sweet treat.
  4. Round out the menu with Sunny Hummus with Dippers or organic corn chips with either Superfast Guac or Simply Delicious Homemade Hummus for dipping.

Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad

Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad

Fruits & Veggies
A summer picnic isn’t a picnic without fresh fruit! Bring along berries, sliced stone fruit, melons or a fruit salad tossed with a little lemon or lime juice to reduce browning from oxidation. Ideas for dishes with fruit include:

Add a platter of baby carrots, cucumbers and bell peppers or a leafy green salad with light vinaigrette. Both Strawberry Balsamic Dressing and No-Oil Balsamic Dressing are wonderful on salads or used as a dip for fresh-cut or lightly steamed veggies.

Sunny Hummus with Dippers

Legumes provide quality plant protein and fiber:

Whole Grains
Whole grains, including pasta and corn, are good on their own, or blended with legumes. Easy ideas include:

Carrot-Oat Cake

Carrot-Oat Cake

Sweet Treats
Healthier cookies and cakes are easy to pack and can offer nutritious ingredients. How about Vegan Oatmeal Raisin CookiesThumbprint Cookies and No-Bake Thumbprint CookiesMaple Oat Cookies or Carrot Oat Cake?

Time-saving shortcuts: Canned lentils and beans, quick-cooking couscous and frozen, thawed corn, brown rice and quinoa are perfect for portable salads. Find recipe inspirationonline.