5 Easy, Healthy Recipes for Summer Picnics

Welcome to the Festival of Food Carnival. In celebration of summer, we’re sharing recipe ideas for healthy snacks and picnic food, or anything you could take outdoors with you. Hosted by Diary of a First Child and Hybrid Rasta Mama, you’re welcome to join us next time, or if you have a recipe you’d like to share, add it to the linky below.

Happy 4th of July! In case you’re a procrastinator like me and haven’t yet decided what you’re bringing to a picnic today or this weekend, here are five easy, healthy recipes to bring along to summer picnics. They’re also great for suppers al fresco at home!

Cucumber Yogurt Dip

My take on Greek tzatziki is a healthy replacement for traditional sour cream dip.

  • 1 cup Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-fat sour cream (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pickle cucumber, or 1/2 a regular cucumber
  • splash of lemon juice
  • fresh chives and dill, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • fresh veggies or pita chips for dipping

Peel the cucumber and chop it finely.  Lay on paper towels in a bowl, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and allow to drain for about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, sour cream, garlic, a splash of lemon juice, chopped fresh chives and dill, salt and pepper.  Stir in the cucumbers, then arrange on a platter with veggies from your garden and a few pita chips.

Ranch Pasta Salad

Homemade ranch dressing with fresh herbs makes this pasta salad a perfect side dish next to BBQ chicken.

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni (or shells, corkscrews, etc.)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup mayonaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash paprika
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, more or less
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 2 small pickling cukes, or 1 regular cucumber
  • 1 tomato
  • 8 oz. cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes

Cook the macaroni according to the package directions.  Drain it and cool it off by running cold water through the colander while stirring.  Mix the garlic, mayo, sour cream, salt and pepper, paprika, buttermilk, parsley, dill and chives to make a dressing. Peel and dice the cukes, dice the tomato.  Mix the dressing, veggies, cheese and cold macaroni. Serve cold.

Sauteed Corn with Basil

This is a perfect recipe for a fancy summer dinner party when you don’t want butter running down your arms or corn kernels stuck to your face. It’s just as yummy as corn on the cob but more refined.

  • fresh sweet corn (plan on about 2 ears per person), kernals cut off the cob
  • handful of basil leaves, chopped coarsely
  • other herbs, such as parsley or chives, if desired
  • 1-2 Tbsp butter
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large pan.  Toss in the corn and add the basil other herbs, salt and pepper, stir to combine and cook about 2-3 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook it, fresh corn cooks fast!This is way better than a canned corn side dish, and cooks so fast.  Try it with Butter and Sugar or Silver Queen corn, or whatever variety your local farmstand has.

Local Fruit Salad

These fruits scream AUGUST! to me, but choose whatever is fresh and juicy at your farmstand. There’s nothing that I like better than fresh fruit in season.

  • 6 ripe peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint red raspberries

Mix fruit together, cover and let marinate.  Sugar really isn’t necessary, but add a touch of honey and a splash of lemon or lime juice to taste, if desired. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch, supper or dessert.

Johnnycake Peach Cobbler

Cornmeal biscuits and fresh, ripe peaches are delicious in this juicy summer dessert. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

  • 6 large, ripe peaches
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1 1/3 c. flour
  • 2/3 c. cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp diced cold butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Peel and slice peaches.  Mix with cinnamon and put in a 9 x 9 baking dish.  Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl with a whisk.  Mix in the butter using your fingers.  Stir in the milk and honey.  This makes a wet dough.  Drop by heaping Tablespoons into sliced peaches.  Bake at 350°F for about 25-35 minutes, until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.

The links in this list will be live by the end of the day, as participants in different time zones publish their contributions

If you’d like to add your recipe to the blog hop, please do so below. You will have to add our badge to your post before you’ll be able to link up!

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Filed under Food, Living from Scratch, Local Agriculture, Real Food Resolution, Recipes, What's for Supper?

7 Responses to 5 Easy, Healthy Recipes for Summer Picnics

  1. Pingback: Summer Festival Of Food: Muffin Tin Quiches | Diary of a First Child

  2. Pingback: Hybrid Rasta Mama: Gluten Free Summer Cobbler

  3. Oooh, I love all of these! That fruit salad looks divine! Thanks for sharing! :)

  4. Pingback: Festival of Food!! |

  5. Love the idea of corn with basil! Yum! Thanks for participating in the festival of food!

  6. That cucumber dip sounds great! And, I have everything in my garden & fridge I need to make it. Pinning.
    Virginia recently posted..A Sign From GoodwillMy Profile

  7. Have to agree about the cucumber and yoghurt dip, looks yummy. I often make a cucumber and yoghurt dip with fresh mint which is also really nice (those are the only 3 ingredients, plus a little water).

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