Summer is here and that means that there are some days that are just too hot to sit inside the house and eat. This is a great excuse to get out and have a picnic. If you are unfamiliar with this summer activity then let us help you out with some awesome picnic basket ideas and give you a rundown on what you should remember to take on your picnic.
There are so many different opinions on picnic food ideas that one might get a bit overwhelmed with all the information, but this is a very personal experience and at the end of the day, there is no right way to do this. That being said, if you want a little advice on packing picnic baskets, then carry on reading.
Picnic basket ideas
When packing the perfect picnic baskets there are three important things to remember. All of the picnic food should be made before time, should not go bad easily and should be easily transported. You don’t want to make anything that has heavy toppings that can shift around or that has lots of sauces that might drop off of the food item or seep into the other food items you have prepared.
Rather select food that’s easy to eat and don’t require much effort to get into your mouth. Finger foods, as an example, are perfect for picnics because they don’t need any cutlery to eat and you can nibble on them throughout the day. It’s also a good idea to make food that won’t change much when subjected to heat. You will be outside in the sun and if you have something like ice-cream sitting in your picnic basket, then it might be a soupy mess by the time you decide to pull it out.
Before we get into that…lets first tell you what you will be needing on your picnic.
Essentials for picnic baskets
Aside from finding the ideal picnic baskets for sale, you will need to know the basics before we get into the awesome picnic basket ideas we have planned for this post. These are some picnic basket essentials:
- Food that is packed in lightweight resealable containers to make eating easy and mess free.
- An icepack for the picnic basket to keep the food cold, packs of ice will also work, but these melt and can create a mess.
- Drinks, we will help you with this later on.
- Find good quality umbrellas for sale, this will shield you from the sun when the gazebo doesn’t.
- Condiments like tomato sauces and then salt and pepper
- Cups, plates and utensils: try finding disposable tableware and utensils so you don’t have to clean anything when you get home.
- Serving spoons and a cutting knife for serving, and a cutting board which is very handy so you have something to size the food on before putting it on your plate
- Bottle opener if you have bought pre-bottled drinks and serviettes
- Bring a black bag so you can throw unwanted food items or tableware away
- Find yourself a sturdy gazebo for sale, so it won’t blow away if the wind picks up
- A blanket to sit on and a picnic basket or backpack to put all of the above items inside for easy transportation.
Gazebo for sale on Junk Mail
Canvas Gazebo for sale
Umbrellas for sale on Junk Mail
Umbrella Wind Protector
Large beach umbrellas for sale
Different types of picnic baskets for sale
Now that you know what to put inside your basket, it’s time to choose the right type of picnic baskets for sale. Picnic baskets are widely varied in terms of their shapes and materials. Your more traditional wicker basket type style is still popular because it is very lightweight, practical and gives you a bit of nostalgia. Then there are more modern and colorful designs that cater to more sophisticated tastes and occasions. You get some that have dye-free cotton liners and others with a bamboo finish that might appeal to an eco-conscious picnicker. You also get baskets that have their own cutlery and those that don’t. This choice should mainly be based on how many guests there will be and the functionality that you will need.
Here are some picnic baskets for sale on Junk Mail
Willow picnic basket for 4
Wicker picnic basket
Picnic basket like new
Awesome food and picnic basket ideas
As promised it’s time to give you some picnic food ideas. All of the following recipes can be prepared at least a day before hand so you can pack them into your picnic basket the following morning. As we mentioned before, the picnic basket is about as unique as the person eating from it. Instead of telling you what to pack, here are ideas on two different side, main dishes and homemade drinks. You pick and choose which ones you like the most.
Please note that all preparation times include refrigeration times.
Sweet and Sour Coleslaw with Apples
Ingredients: 1 small head of green cabbage, 1/3 of a cup of sugar, 1 & ½ tablespoons of salt, 1/3 of a cup of cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons of oil, 2 large carrots, 2 quartered red apples, ½ a cup of raisins and ½ a cup of unsalted peanuts.
- Take your cabbage and slice it up then mix with the sugar and 1 tablespoon of the salt into a colander that is placed on top of a bowl. Let this stand for one to two hours so the cabbage releases all of its liquid. Pat the cabbage dry and discard the liquid in the bowl.
- Whisk the left over salt, vinegar and oil into a bowl and mix together. Put in your cabbage and carrots then toss it all together until everything is evenly coated. Cover and put in the fridge overnight or at least two hours prior to eating.
- Once cooled, add your raisins, apples, nuts and mix them all together.
Deviled Eggs with Cilantro, Jalapeños, and Curry
One of the other great picnic food ideas, you will need the following:
Ingredients: 12 hard-boiled eggs, 2 tablespoons of peanut oil or canola oil, 30 curry leaves (fresh), 1 tablespoons of mustard seeds, ¾ tablespoons of cumin seeds, 1 small red onion, 2 small jalapeños, 1 tablespoon of sambar or curry powder, ½ a cup of Crème fraiche, ¼ cup of mayonnaise, ¼ cup of finely chopped cilantro (fresh), ¼ cup of lemon juice, Kosher salt.
- Remove your egg whites for the yolks and place the yolks in a medium sized bowl and put them aside. Put the egg whites on a platter, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate.
- Place a large pan on medium to high heat. Heat the oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves and cumin seeds then stir together. The seeds will start popping after about two minutes and this is when you can add your onion and 1 ½ teaspoons of salt. Stir this until the onion is browned and then add a ¼ cup of water, stirring the bits of onion at the bottom of the pan into the mixture. Stir in half of the jalapeños with the sambar powder and cook. Stir this together until the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan and then transfer the mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks.
- With a fork, mash the egg yolks and onion mixture until it’s nice and smooth. Stir in the mayonnaise and crème fraiche. Mix this with the cilantro and lemon juice then season to taste with salt. Refrigerate this for a minimum of an hour or ideally overnight.
- Use a spoon to scoop this mixture into your egg white halves and enjoy.
Drink ideas for picnic baskets
Ingredients: 2 bottles of a dry red wine of your choice, 1 cup of Triple Sec, ½ a cup of brandy, ½ a cup of orange juice or 2 juiced oranges, 6 strawberries, 4 purple plums, 4 red plums, 2 sticks of cinnamon and some ginger ale.
- Grab a large container and mix together the wine, triple sec, brand and orange juice. Then add the fruit and cinnamon. Place this mixture in the ridge and chill for at least four hours or overnight.
- Once chilled you can pour this straight into a chilled glass with ice and top it off with the ginger ale.
Ingredients: 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, ½ cup of fresh basil leaves, 2 cups of unsweetened cranberry juice, ¼ cup of fresh lime juice, 1 Liter of chilled club soda, 4 slices of lime, 1 cup of fresh cranberries and ½ a cup of basil leaves.
- Grab a medium sized saucepan and place over a medium to high heat, boil the water add sugar, you may have to stir in the sugar to dissolve it properly. Add the ½ cup of basil leaves then take the pan off of the heat and let steep of 20 mins.
- Run the syrup through a strained then let it cool for an hour. Combine the syrup, unsweetened cranberry juice, and fresh lime juice into a big container or pitcher.
- Then fill the container/pitcher with the chilled club soda. Then combine the lime slices, fresh cranberries and basil leaves. Pour this into glasses with ice, garnish with basil and serve.
Picnic food ideas for main courses
Buffalo Chicken Wraps
Ingredients: ½ a cup of crumbled blue cheese, 1/3 cup of low fat buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 1 clove of fresh garlic, salt, pepper, 4 stalks of celery, 1 cup of grape tomatoes. 3 cups of chopped lettuce, 3 tablespoons of Buffalo style hot sauce, 1 tablespoon of butter, five cups of shredded cooked chicken meat, 4 sundried tomatoes and wraps.
- Mix together the blue cheese, lemon juice, buttermilk, garlic, 1/8 of a teaspoon of black pepper and 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt. Blend these together well and add your celery, lettuce, tomatoes and coat them all in the mixture.
- Grab a separate bowl and mix together the buffalo hot sauce with the butter. Mix in the chicken and coat the chicken with the mixture.
- Lay out your wraps and divide the chicken and vegetable mixture along the side of the wraps and fold them tightly. You might want to roll instead of fold.
Broccoli and Tomato Pizzas
Ingredients: 2 cups of small broccoli florets, 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 2 naan breads or 3 whole grain pocket less pitas, ½ a cup of marinara sauce, 1 cup of lowfat ricotta cheese, 1 quartered cup of grape of cherry tomatoes, ½ a cup of shredded mozzarella.
- Preheat your oven to 245 degrees Celsius
- Using a steamer basket placed inside a big skillet, add water till it touches the bottom of the basket and bring to a boil. Add your broccoli then cover and simmer for 3 minutes until the broccoli is tender and crispy. Lift the basket and drain off the water then add olive oil and garlic to your skillet. Now add the broccoli and toss over a medium heat for 1 minute.
- Now put your naan or pitas on a baking sheet and spread each with sauce and then sprinkle the vegetable mixture on top with mozzarella on top of that.
- Bake this for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
There are literally hundreds of amazing picnic basket ideas so please feel free to search the internet for some more amazing picnic food ideas. If already have picnic basket ideas that work great then comment on this post and let us know about them. If you are in need of a picnic basket then Junk Mail is definitely the place to look. We also have a wide range of other picnic necessities like umbrellas for sale and a gazebo for sale here and there. Junk Mail has you covered this summer. Selling your picnic baskets and essential picnic supplies? Place your FREE AD on www.JunkMail.co.za!