I love picnics. An afternoon spent looking at a pretty view is one of my favourite things ever; my other favourite thing ever is yummy food. Picnics are the best because unless you book a ready-packed basket, what you pack in is completely up to you!
Normally picnics are somewhat of a special occasion. So although I don’t want to go all out and inhale my bodyweight in carbs, I still generally want to snack on something a little more exciting than chicken and pumpkin. Also, there are often food stalls or shops at the venue that will definitely be selling enticing unhealthy food, so packing in yummy healthy food will hopefully deter you from all the yummy bad food.
Keeping in mind that although all of the things we packed in are healthiER options, they’re still not exactly cucumber sticks and ice blocks. Like I said, a special occasion calls for extra indulgence for sure, but eating a lot of semi-bad food in one go is still heaps better than eating a lot of bad-bad food.
CHOCOLATE COVERED PEANUTS
Neither chocolate nor peanuts are Banting approved, but they’re a healthier version of chocolate Tumbles or Chuckles. The sugar content is much lower, and peanuts are in their natural form, rather than some processed nonsense. On a normal, healthy eating day I wouldn’t eat chocolate peanuts, but they make for a nice semi-bad treat.
BILTONG, DROEWORS AND SALAMI STICKS
I’m currently focusing on a low-carb, low-fat diet so none of these things fall in the low-fat category, but again, they’re healthier and less processed than other meat options like viennas or chicken nuggets. Quick, easy, and not messy at all, these are probably my favourite things to munch on.
Bet you didn’t know that the carb content in these is right up there with the carb content in normal potato chips. These consist mainly of root vegetables, which like potatoes, are high in carbs. The only reason why these are worth buying rather than normal ones, is they’re less likely to make you bloated and lethargic because they have more nutritional value than ordinary chips.
BANTING SEED CRACKERS
For anyone Banting, I highly highly recommend shopping at Checkers. They have an extensive Banting range, and it’s extremely well priced, too. These crackers are really yummy, and are perfectly bite-sized too.
FAT-FREE COTTAGE CHEESE
If you’re doing dairy, fat free cottage cheese is literally holy grail. Low in carbs, zero fat, and high in protein. It’s perfect to be used as a dip because the consistency is not too hard that you lose half your chip in the potjie along the way.
I like to shred my chicken in the blender and then add some of the Trim Cross and Blackwell mayo with a dash of paprika and cayenne pepper. At work I add this to a salad, eat it with pumpkin, or pop it on a Banting wrap or pizza base. On a picnic it’s great to blob on your cracker as an alternative for cottage cheese.
I don’t normally eat cheese, because it’s dairy, plus it’s very high in fat. But, again, it is still a healthier option. Different types of cheeses are great for sit-down picnics, especially when there’s wine involved. Some different options are brie, camembert, blue cheese, goats’ milk cheese to name but a few.
I currently have the coffee flavour of Evox low-carb, low-fat protein powder. To this I add 10g pea protein for some extra protein and nutrients, 10g fibre power because I knew I wouldn’t be eating any high-fibre veg that day, and 5g unsweetened cocoa, also for protein and fibre. I just drink it with ice and water and it tastes like milkshake.
I realised the benefits of Coke Zero via the Dukan Diet last year. Although it has absolutely NO nutritional benefit – it also has no sugar, no carbs, and no fat. If you’re craving something sweet or feel like something bad, Coke Zero is a good idea in this case: a sweet, satisfying alternative for something bad-bad.
Personally, wine is always my alcohol of choice, because it doesn’t contain any added sugar. Spirits are generally added to fizzy cooldrinks, and even cordials are full of sugar. If you can stomach gin and sparkling water go ahead, but I prefer a lekker ice cold dry white or rosé, thanks.
Pesto, pâté, olives, nuts, tuna mayo, deviled eggs, meatballs, guacamole, berries, dark chocolate, chicken strips, hummus, cucumber and carrot sticks, baby tomatoes, tinned mussels, and if you have time to prepare things at home: low-carb quiche or muffins, Banting brownies, sarmies on Banting bread.