The heat is on! It’s time to get outdoors for sun and fun, and there’s nothing that says “Summer!” more than a picnic. Grab a blanket and some friends, and pack your mosquito repellent, sun block, bat, ball, and Frisbee. And don’t forget the picnic!
The perfect summer picnic always features avocados, which offer all sorts of fast, easy, and delicious options for delectable, memorable outdoor meals. Here are a few picnic-friendly dishes that will have your pals raving!
Fill glass preserving jars with your favorite salad ingredients, keep them cool in an ice chest, and serve when it’s time to eat. Start by layering a homemade dressing, like a green goddess vinaigrette made with sour cream or yogurt, your favorite fresh herbs (chives, tarragon, or perhaps some parsley), lemon juice, and avocado pulsed in a food processor. On top of a base layer of salad dressing, add hard veggies, such as grated carrot, celery slivers, cucumber slices, and crunchy radishes. Then, sprinkle the salad with some crumbled feta cheese or grated cheddar, and finally, your choice of lettuces. When you’re ready, give everything a good shake or use a fork to mix it up before digging in!
Pack a sealable container full of fresh veggie crudité — carrots, broccoli and cauliflower florets, celery, jicama, bell peppers, and whole cherry tomatoes — for a colorful and varied appetizer. You can’t have veggies without dips, though! Try making your own avocado hummus with canned chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, and, of course, avocado. It’s smooth, cool, creamy, and has enough heft to stick to the veggies.
Another great accompaniment is homemade avocado-ranch dip, a blend of parsley, dill, avocado, sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, paprika, black pepper, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. It’s the perfect dip for just about any vegetable. Remember to keep your dips in your portable ice chest until you’re ready to snack on them.
You could go British-style, preparing your favorite sandwiches on crustless bread triangles if you have the time. If you’re feeding a larger crew, grab a package of tortillas and let the hungry hoard make DIY-wraps. Bring ripe avocados ready to slice, pre-sliced cheese, alfalfa sprouts, and chicken salad for a tasty combo. If you have vegans or vegetarians in the crowd, skip the chicken salad and replace with marinated, cooked tofu cubes, or amp up the greens with spinach, your favorite micro greens, and a generous dollop of the avocado ranch dressing.
Deviled eggs are a picnic staple, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment! Spice things up and mash the cooked egg yolks with some avocado, Greek yogurt, fresh dill, chives, your favorite hot sauce, and some sea salt before re-stuffing your egg halves. You’ll thank us later! For fresh spring rolls, use rice paper wrappers (found at most Asian grocers), and stuff with a rainbow of shredded vegetables, smoked salmon, and avocado slices. Keep cool, slice at an angle, and dip in some soy sauce for a quick, fresh snack.
If you can’t have a picnic without a potato or pasta salad, make sure to dress it up with avocado cubes or slices. Farfalle pasta is a crowd-pleasing shape that tastes great tossed with fresh lemon juice and zest, oregano, Feta cheese, spring peas, and cubed avocado.
For an out-of-the-ordinary potato salad, dress your spuds with apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, celery salt, paprika, lemon juice, and diced cornichons (French baby pickles). Add slivers of avocado and fresh herbs, then toss and serve. Keep both cool in your portable ice chest.
The creamy smooth texture of avocados makes them the perfect stand-in for dairy and avocado can play a star role in a number of desserts. You can whip up terrific puddings using avocado puree. One of the best is a chocolaty affair, made with raw cacao powder, avocado, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and a natural sweetener like agave or maple syrup. Whip up a batch in your food processor, portion out in individual, sealable containers, refrigerate, and you’re good to go! You can play around with the flavors by adding nut butters, mint extract, fresh berries, or banana slices — whatever you fancy.
After lunch (and a siesta?), get up and go for a swim or bike ride. Breathe deeply and, most of all, enjoy summer wherever you are!
Looking for more avocado recipes? Avocados from Mexico has plenty of them right here!