So you love regular picnic fare like potato salad, fizzy drinks and sugary pastries but you’re not a fan of all the calories consumed. divine.ca has tips on avoiding the picnic pounds while still enjoying the staples of this favourite summer pastime.
2. Use plain low-fat yogourt mixed with herbs to make a yummy dip accompaniment for picnic finger foods such as baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, celery and cucumber sticks.
3. For salads, use balsamic vinegar and go easy on the extra virgin olive oil.
4. Try adding other liquids to your salad such as freshly-squeezed grapefruit, lemon or lime juice which not only cuts fat but keeps food safer at room temperature due to their acidity.
5. Substitute the mayo in your potato salad or coleslaw with a low-calorie vinaigrette dressing. Dijon mustard is also a great mayo replacement to potato salad which will give it a spicy kick.
6. If you like a mayo flavour in your potato salad or coleslaw, use a non-fat version. Cut the amount of mayo you would normally use into half and supplement the missing half with yogurt or fat-free sour cream.
7. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, the more colour you have in your dish, the more vitamins and nutrients you’ll get. Be creative and combine as many different-coloured veggies as you possibly can into your picnic side dishes.
8. For sandwiches, choose breads, rolls, pita or tortilla wraps made of whole wheat flour.
9. Use lean ham, chicken breast pieces, salmon or tuna for your sandwiches.
10. Add crunch to sandwiches by filling them up with vegetables such as celery, cabbage or peppers, and use salsa or a light vinaigrette as a dressing.
11. Grilled veggie wraps served with a simple green salad is also a delicious meal for a picnic.
12. Forget the sugary, sweet drinks and go for natural fruit juices and low-cal drinks such as unsweetened iced tea, lemonade with a splash of pomegranate juice, and good ol’ zero-cal H20.
13. For alcoholic beverages, reduce your calorie intake by mixing yourself a spritzer with some white wine and club soda or a sangria-type drink with red wine and ginger ale.
14. Pack whole fruits such as strawberries, peaches or the ultimate picnic fruit, a fresh watermelon.
15. Want your fruit to have a pretty presentation? Make a fresh fruit salad or fruit kabobs for a sweet-ending treat.
16. If you simply can’t resist brownies, cookies or cupcakes, make your own miniature versions so you control the sugar content and portion size.