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Wellness Wednesday: Healthy, Wholesome Picnic Foods

Meal planning all year round saves time, money and is best for your health. During summer, when we may be out of our routine, it can be especially helpful if we want to continue to eat healthy AND enjoy the fun of the summer.

Picnics don’t just have to be chips and hot dogs! Create healthful, simple and delicious dishes for your family and friends to enjoy.

Bringing your signature dessert to the next outdoor gathering? Swap a few ingredients in your baked treats to make them healthier and just as tasty! Pack your cupcakes with fiber by swapping eggs with 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water (per egg). Cut out unhealthy vegetable oil and swap equal amounts of natural applesauce. Consider sweetening with honey or Stevia, or maybe just cutting down on the amount of sugar you normally use. You could even go the extra mile and ditch white flour for wheat or spelt flour! Now you’ve got a healthy, crowd-pleasing baked dessert from your favorite recipe!

Traditional green salads tend to have a tough time in the heat, not to mention traveling or holding dressing for long. Instead of a fresh heathy side, by picnic time it’s wilted mush. Try a marinated vegetable and bean salad instead! Pick your choice of canned beans and fresh vegetables like corn, bell peppers and green beans and mix them together in a vinegar dressing. Letting it marinate only improves the flavor and the vinegar will ward off any bacteria, making it taste great all picnic long.

Vinegar Dressing for a marinated salad
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar (or omit)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
lots of fresh chopped parsley
salt & pepper to taste

Bring the first 4 ingredients to a boil, remove from heat, cool slightly and add salt, pepper and parsley. Pour over salad and refrigerate.

Do you have a great recipe for potato or egg salad that everyone just loves? Make it healthy and just as tasty for your friends and family this time by simply swapping the mayo for plain yogurt! No one will ever know the difference and instead they will be eating healthy probiotics and getting some calcium, yum!

What are your favorite wholesome picnic foods? We want to know!

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