Did you know that July is National Picnic Month? Picnics are what summer is all about! Gathering with loved ones to enjoy the gorgeous weather and the bounty of nature – what could be more relaxing? Many studies have shown the health and wellness benefits of spending time outdoors. Why not take it to the next level by packing a picnic basket full of from-the-earth, good-for-you fuel?
We’ve reached out to some of our close friends for insight on how to put together the perfect plant-based picnic, and we could not be more excited to share their recipes and tips with you! Below you will find delicious dishes by Raw Elements Ambassador Teri Gentes and Caroline Nash of FittieBliss, and Raw Elements Ambassador Kasia Sitarz’s picnic shopping list must-haves!
Teri Gentes’ Smokey Black Bean BBQ Burgers
Vegan; free of corn, dairy, and gluten | Serves: 8 large patties
Special note from Teri: These smoky burgers are perfect to pack up for a lunch in the park, beach or out in the woods. Make and bake them in advance, freeze, and pack directly into your cooler. From there they can be reheated on the grill. Alternatively, skip the freezer step and enjoy them from the cooler, hot or cold.
They pair great with a salad or I love to top the burgers with fresh roasted or grilled veggies and guacamole. Bun options to consider: grilled Portobello mushrooms, Ezekiel sprouted grain buns, large leafy greens, or corn tortillas.
- 1 cup dried beans, soaked and cooked OR two 14 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained well
- 1 small red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
- ½ cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 cup organic rolled oats, gluten-free: use quinoa flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1 flax egg (1 heaping tbsp flax seed and 3-4 tbsp water)
- 1 tbsp Dijon
- 1-3 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce or your preferred hot chili sauce
- 1 tbsp light miso paste, nut butter or seed butter
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder or regular chili powder
- 1 tsp sea salt or BBQ sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp Italian fruity robust olive oil, if needed
- Optional: 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast for a hint of cheesiness
- In a food processor, measure pepper, mushrooms, cilantro, onion, and garlic; pulse to roughly chop.
- Add the oats or quinoa flakes and the beans and pulse again, but be sure to leave the mixture a little chunky. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the flax egg, Dijon, Sriracha sauce, miso or nut/seed butter, and spices. Add a little oil if needed to help mixture hold together.
- Divide mixture into 8 large patties (use slightly wet or oiled hands) and place onto a flat surface covered with parchment paper. Chill 30 minutes and up to two days in the refrigerator to let the flavors permeate and help the burgers keep their shape. (They can be frozen until ready to cook or cooked then frozen 2-4 months.)
- Bake at 375° for approximately 15 minutes each side on a ceramic stone or parchment paper lined baking sheet, or until desired doneness. The size of your burgers will vary the cooking time.
Caroline Nash’s FittieBliss Berry Bombs
Vegan; free of corn, soy, nut, and dairy | Serves: Makes approximately 10 bombs
Special note from Caroline: Not only are these bombs quick to rustle up – they can be made in 15-20 minutes – they’re nutritious! They are also so pretty. Another reason they’re always a crowd pleaser! This recipe calls for quality organic ingredients, and I’ve opted for unsweetened wherever possible; however, if you like things sweeter: add more maple syrup, or use sweetened coconut, or switch out the blueberries for sweetened cranberries.
Once the bombs are ready, pop them into a container in the freezer and when needed, pack them. By the time you reach your picnic destination, they will be fresh, cool, and ready to munch on. This treat is also great for hikes and outdoor activities, as they have all the macro and micro nutrients you need to sustain your energy.
- 50g (2 Scoops) of Sun Warrior Warrior Blend Berry Protein Powder
- 10g chia seeds (ground)
- 150ml water
- 150g rolled organic oats
- 50g of finely shredded organic coconut
- 50g of frozen wild blueberries
- 30ml of maple syrup
- 15ml of organic coconut oil
- pinch of Himalayan pink salt
- In a small bowl, combine the protein powder and chia seeds with the water and set in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients but reserve about 10g of shredded coconut.
- With a fork, combine the 2 mixtures and then divide into 10 portions (about 40g each).
- With your hands, roll into smooth balls.
- Finish each one by rolling each ball in the reserved shredded coconut.
Kasia Sitarz’s Picnic Shopping List
Note from Kasia: “Pic” the right foods, “Nic” the right nutrients. (Shout out to a friend for giving me that genius title idea.) By picking the right foods, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of the entire picnic adventure outdoors, leaving you energized and not sluggish by the end of the day.
Here are some of the foods my friend and fellow Raw Elements ambassador, Marni Wasserman, and I enjoyed during our picnic meet-up this last month. Marni and I both brought a few healthy items to the table that we either prepared ourselves or purchased at local farmer markets or local organic stores. Picnicking like this does not have to be complicated. It can actually be quite simple!
- DelishKitch Tigernut Crackers
- BooMoo Dairy-Free Cashew Cheese spread
- LIVE Kombucha
- Assorted raw natural Trail Mix (walnuts, almonds, pecans, coconut, cashews, goji berries)
- Sunbiotics Ginger Chocolate Bar and Dark Chocolate (Use my discount code “true” on all products www.rawelements.ca!)
- Natures Sprouts (can get these at any organic food store)
- Fresh berries and fruit (organic strawberries and blackberries)
- Marni’s Homemade Kale Beet Slaw
- Avocado Dip
- Cucumber Salad
- Hemp Seeds (great salad topper)
- Ultimate Kale Chips
Using some of these ingredients, make a delicious salad, as we have!
We hope this blog post inspires your next picnic basket! Be sure to share your whole food picnic pictures with us this summer, and let us know what you’re packing in your basket by reaching out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
Big thank you to our friends Teri, Caroline, and Kasia for sharing these incredible picnic recipes and tips with us. We have our next picnic sorted out thanks to you, and we cannot wait!