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The Ultimate Healthy Beach-Day Picnic Menu

June 18, 2015

The sun, the seafoam, the soft, warm sand—those halcyon summer days are finally back. But all that swimming, sunning, and running around works up an appetite, so you need to come to the beach prepared!

Beach snacks should meet a few crucial criteria: They’ve got to be quick and easy, healthy, refreshing, portable and—let’s be real—anti-bloating, because everyone wants to feel good rocking a bikini.

Certain ingredients were made for this. High-potassium foods such as bananas can offset sodium that causes bloating. Water-rich foods like cucumbers are hydrating, as well as helpful for cleansing the body of sodium. Nuts can restore energy that the sun sucks up, and fresh herbs are infused with antioxidants that fight free radicals and protect the skin.

With these recipes, snack ideas and tips, a day at the beach will be as easy-breezy as it should be.

Appetizer

Shrimp and Kelp Noodle Spring Rolls with Almond-Tamarind Dipping Sauce

These finger foods are substantial, packed with nutritious vegetables (carrot, radish, avocado, lettuce), protein and fresh herbs. Plus, they’re extremely light without compromising on flavor.

Salad

Cucumber Seaweed Salad

This recipe uses a type of alkaline seaweed called wakame, so this dish basically has the beach in its DNA. Combined with hydrating cucumber, it couldn’t be more perfect. Pack individual servings in compostable paper snack.

Mains

Kelp Noodles With Avocado Cream Sauce

Another refreshing dish with plenty of vegetables and herbs. It’s gluten-free, too. Pack this in compostable paper snack bags as well.

Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches

Thin slices of fresh cucumber on a spread of cream cheese between two slices of sprouted grain bread is a light, yummy snack. Cut them into finger sandwich-sized portions.

Peanut Butter And Banana Sandwiches

Energizing peanut butter and banana combine to create the most harmonious fun-in-the-sun snack. It’s ideal for kids who are not so into cucumber or kelp noodles, and super easy for them to make on their own.

Snacks

Brussels Sprout Chips

This recipe couldn’t be easier. There’s no guilt at all in eating a pound of these healthy “chips.”

Homemade Trail Mix

Mix any combination of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, grains, and chocolate chips together for a customized energizing and healthy trail mix.

Dessert

Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit evokes that sweet summer feeling. Choose any seasonal summer fruit that you like, such as blueberries, asian pears, cantaloupe, cherries, honeydew, strawberries or peaches. To give it an added dimension, dissolve some raw honey into fresh lime (also in season) juice and sprinkle it on to make a fruit salad in a pinch.

Walnut Date Candy

This sugar-free “candy” has a Moroccan vibe to it. Sweetened with dates, walnut and sesame round out the flavor, with floral orange blossom water giving it a fragrant decadence.

Drink

Coconut Water

Hydration is essential under the sun. Coco Hydro packets can turn plain old water into a beachy beverage with five essential electrolytes and vitamins and minerals galore. Just empty a packet into a bottle of water, shake, shake, shake, and stay cool forever.

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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Dana Poblete

Dana's love for all creatures under the sun (bugs, too) drives her in her advocacy for ethical eating, environmental sustainability, and cruelty-free living. A natural born islander, she surfs when she can, and writes, always.

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