Close up of a small jar filled with a marinade mixture
Carey Jaman/Shutterstock

Food, Farming and Nutrition

Jun 19, 2023

Food, Farming and Nutrition

Summertime BBQ and Picnic Foods

Mar 03, 2024

Eating outside is a favorite part of any summertime routine. It connects to nature and the season, and it’s a wonderful way to connect with friends and loved ones. Consider upgrading your BBQ menu to include healthier marinades and picnic items.

We suggest mixing your own marinades because they will be guaranteed to be much healthier for you, with no sugar and high quality oils. Here are our top three suggestions below.

Italian: 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup avocado oil, 1 clove of garlic crushed, juice of half a lemon, a pinch of stevia or coconut sugar, Himalayan pink salt and lots of either fresh or dried basil and oregano.

Asian: 1 cup refined sesame oil, 4 tablespoons wheat-free Tamari (soy sauce), 2 tablespoons of honey. Finish with a 1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil.

Mexican: 1/2 cup cilantro, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 avocado, 1/2 cup avocado oil, juice of 1 lime. Blend together in a blender or food processor.

Other ideas to upgrade your picnic would be to bring along coconut water in lieu of soda, use brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta in your pasta salad with one of the marinades above so you can skip the mayo, or create any kind of a three-bean salad with organic canned beans, one of the above marinades and freshly chopped veggies of your choice. Or, try any of the ideas or recipes below!

To-Die-For Caesar Dressing

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup avocado oil
1 tablespoon expeller-expressed flax oil
1 egg yolk (preferably from high quality, pasture-raised eggs)
2-3 anchovy filets
1 clove garlic, minced
Optional: add a bit of water for greater viscosity

Procedure: Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. This makes a great salad dressing, dip or a delicious marinade for chicken or fish.

Summertime Antioxidant Snack: Sambazon Acai Bowl

2 packets frozen unsweetened Acai (Brazilian super fruit found in health food stores)
1 banana
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup frozen organic berries of your choice (optional)

Blend above ingredients in a blender or food processor.

Toppings: (small handful of each)
Raw cacao nibs
Raw almond slivers
Hemp seeds
1 teaspoon of raw, organic, local honey

Homemade Energy Bars

1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried figs or dates
1/2 cup almond butter (or other nut or seed butter)

Place sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, raisins and figs in a food processor. Chop until everything is ground together. Add nut or seed butter and mix until combined. Roll mixture into balls or press into 8 inch round cake pan and cut into 1 inch squares. Keep refrigerated. Makes about 2 dozen.

Variations: add 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut and a splash of a coconut or almond milk if necessary to help hold balls together.

You can play with super foods by adding 1/8 cup of any one of the following: maqui powder, cacao powder, spirulina, maca, or acai powder. All are available online or at a health food store.

This article is reprinted with permission from the author, Christa Orecchio, CN, HHC, and first appeared in The Whole Journey.

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