Grab a blanket, basket and hat – this season’s sun calls for relaxing picnics outdoors.
To accompany blissful weather, a change of scenery and mood-boosting music, we’ve got six picnic pointers to add easy to prepare food and drinks to your next park outing.
**Pre-prepped, no-mess salad jars
**Avoid lugging big salad bowls and a bagful of ingredients to your next picnic. Instead, make your next outdoor afternoon a breeze with some pre-prepped salad jars.
Grab some mason jars Dollars & Sense, choose a recipe, like a lavish Caesar or Moroccan chickpea salad, and layer each of the ingredients inside. Think of it like a reverse salad – put your dressings and garnishes on the bottom, your heavier proteins or grains in the middle, and your leaves on top (so they don’t get soggy). When you’re about to serve, turn over the jar onto your plate or into a bowl and voila – you have a self-dressed salad!
**Home-brewed iced tea that packs a fruity punch
**Wash all the deliciousness down with some homemade iced tea packed full of seasonal fruity flavours. It’s a simple picnic addition that only takes minutes to prepare but will elevate the entire spread.
The key to a home-brewed iced tea is to choose a recipe that’s full of your favourite warm weather fruits. Apple and mint iced tea is a quick fruity fix you can pull together by first selecting a transportable jug Robins Kitchen, then picking up your fresh fruit from Woolworth, Aldi or Coles and your teabags and sparkling apple juice from Kiaan Health Foods.
To make the tea, place your tea bags and half of your herbs into a big heat-proof jug, pouring in the hot water and letting it infuse for a couple of minutes. Then, take out the tea bags and mint, add your juice, fruit and remaining herbs, and pop your jug in the fridge, ready to be served over ice. Our top tip is to let it sit overnight in the fridge to ensure those flavours are fully infused.
**An impressive savoury centrepiece
**Want to take your picnic to the next level? Delicious homemade picnic additions like spanakopita, rich quiches and hearty pies are a great way to do it, particularly because you have the freedom to fill them with whatever flavours tickle yours and your picnic guests’ fancy.
Spanakopita is a buttery vegetarian option that combines divine Mediterranean flavours. Pick up a fresh spinach and feta twister from Bakers Delight, or you could also whip up a super simple batch of mini quiches made with premium short cut bacon from Steak Kings. More of a pie person but don’t want to spend hours baking in the heat, visit Goldsteins and takeaway the best pies in town.
**Bite-sized desserts from your favourite eateries
**Make sure you leave room (on the picnic blanket and in your tummy) for some sweet treats after lunch. While there’s nothing better than home-baked goodies, if you’re looking for a no- fuss option, consider a selection of delectable desserts from Cafe Bella or The Coffee Club, to really elevate your picnic.
The more bite-sized the better, that way you can try a few without having to bring utensils to cut them up. Think Portuguese tarts, mini cupcakes, macarons and slices. The secret to a good selection is a combination of different fillings and flavours, like chocolate, custard, cream and citrus.
Now that you’ve mastered the art of picnicking, show us your picnic spreads on Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtag #HelloSunshine.