Picnics are a lovely way to spend a couple hours with a special someone on a nice afternoon. When most people think of picnics, there are probably plenty of gluten-filled foods that come to mind immediately. However, just because you are gluten-free doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of the finer things in life like picnics. When I first found out I couldn’t eat gluten anymore, I just assumed I would have to give up some of the things I loved the most, like picnics, because there were so many gluten-containing foods. But after some research, I found there are so many different tasty picnic staples that are already gluten-free, and the ones that aren’t can easily be prepared without gluten. There are actually no foods I can think of that contain gluten that cannot be prepared gluten-free. I will go over my personal favorite picnic foods.
I don’t think a picnic is really a picnic without some good deli sandwiches. However, you are going to need to go out and get your favorite gluten-free bread before you start making them. My personal favorite is Udi’s white bread, because I think it tastes the most like normal bread. Some options to consider for your gluten-free picnic are tuna salad, egg salad, chicken salad, turkey, or just peanut butter and jelly. Remember to pack your food in a cooler if you are going to be out in the sun for a few hours, so that the food won’t spoil before you get to it.
Potato salad is a traditional picnic food that is already naturally gluten-free. As long as there isn’t some extra wheat-containing ingredient or sauce added to it, it is good to go for your special picnic. Pasta salad made with quinoa or brown rice pasta is a fabulous side dish idea as well. A corn and green bean salad is something to consider. Since I usually have picnics on warm days, refreshing fruits like watermelon and apples go great with the main dishes.
I love firing up some deviled eggs for my picnics as well. They compliment the deli sandwiches perfectly. Another thing that I wish I did more was bring a variety of different cheese to “sample” before eating the main course. It adds a nice touch of creativity to the meal. If you are trying to eat a little healthier, some carrots or broccoli with the little packets of Ranch dressing are easy to prepare and store.
No picnic, gluten-free or not, is complete without a delicious glass of lemonade. I recommend homemade lemonade for your picnic, because I find the store-bought versions to be pretty marginal and just full of sugar.
If you are of age and the local laws allow it, bring your own bottle of wine to the picnic is something to consider. I love bringing my favorite bottle of Pinot Grigio on my picnics, and just relaxing and enjoying the weather. What better way to forget all your worries and stress than that?
See, you can have a great gluten-free picnic after all! Next time you have a free afternoon and the weather is pretty, invite a special someone in your life out for a nice picnic. Even if they don’t eat gluten-free, they will still enjoy the experience (and food) just as much as you will.