“Picnics should be a prescription for health,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and TV host Annessa Chumbley. “They accomplish three amazing things needed for healthy living: nourishing the body, focusing on relationships and soaking up the benefits of being surrounded by nature.”
Consider stepping up your picnic game with a refreshing option like seafood. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming the equivalent of 8 ounces of seafood a week (based on a 2,000-calorie diet). Seafood can provide unique health benefits as a lean protein and is a good source of omega-3s, healthy fats that are beneficial for your heart and your brain.
To make it easier to create picture-perfect picnics, try these tips from Chumbley.
- Pack bottles of cold or even frozen water in the picnic basket to help keep everything chilled and fresh so it’s ready to devour.
- Plan to eat fresh and healthy foods like this Crab Salad for an easy-to-make option.
- Create a dip nearly everyone can enjoy. Seafood can be added to almost any dip, and can be enjoyed with fresh, crunchy vegetables.
- Jars can be a lifesaver when packing a picnic. Tape utensils to the sides of the jars for easy access to your favorite foods.
- Don’t bring your phones, tablets or any other device that can distract you from family time. This is a time to relax and socialize with one another.
- Try taping a thermometer inside your bag or cooler so you know the food is at safe, cool temperatures.
- Place a small cutting board and knife in your pack, which can come in handy for chopping up fruits and vegetables when it’s time to chow down.
For more seafood recipes and meal inspiration, visit seafoodnutrition.org or follow #Seafood2xWk on social media.
Recipe courtesy of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership Eating Heart Healthy Program
- 1/2 cup plain non-fat yogurt
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp green onions
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 ounce walnuts (about 14 halves)
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1 bag (8 ounces) spinach
- 1 can (6 ounces) crab meat or fresh lump crab
- 1/2 cup lentils, cooked
- 1 grapefruit, cut into sections
Heat oven to 300 degrees.
To make dressing: Mix yogurt, lemon juice, green onions and olive oil. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Toss walnuts with cayenne pepper, to taste, and bake 4-5 minutes. Make sure walnuts do not burn. Remove walnuts from oven and let cool.
Toss spinach with dressing. Toss with crab meat. Sprinkle lentils on top and add walnuts. Place grapefruit pieces around edge.