Vegetarian, Organic 4th of July Picnic Ideas (Minus the Bugs).

Via on Jul 4, 2013
picnic
Photo: Adolph B. Rice Studio

What are you doing this Fourth of July?

Whether hanging solo in the park or hosting a crowd in your backyard, get ready to declare your independence by purging chemicals, additives and preservatives from your plans.

Throw a cruelty-free picnic—make it organic, if possible.

Whip up some tasty treats in less time than it takes Martha Stewart to say ‘insider trading.’

Here are some fresh new takes on traditional favorites:

What are you doing this Fourth of July?

Whether hanging solo in the park or hosting a crowd in your backyard, get ready to declare your independence by purging chemicals, additives and preservatives from your plans!

Whip up some tasty treats in less time than it takes Martha Stewart to say ‘insider trading.’

Here are some fresh new takes on traditional favorites:

1.) Portobello Burgers

Tired of hotdogs, hamburgers and Boca burgers? You have other options, my friend.

Try portobello mushrooms, marinated in vinegar, water, garlic, olive oil and whatever combination of herbs and spices you find appealing.

Marinate for approximately one hour. Grill for several minutes on each side, being careful to keep portobellos moist. (City dwellers or those with sweltering summer kitchens may wish to attempt this on a Foreman grill.) Serve on grilled buns with your choice of fixings—avocado, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard or pickles.

2.) Seasoned Roasted Seaweed Laver

Try this Korean favorite in place of potato chips or Doritos. Be careful once you start—roasted laver is highly addictive! Google ‘seasoned roasted seaweed laver’ for brands. It can be purchased at many specialty grocery retailers.

3.) Watermelon ‘N Herbs

Chunk up a watermelon and adorn with a handful of fresh herbs—think mint, basil, or oregano (whatever appeals to you)—from the garden or grocery store. Toss in a few pinches of feta cheese and a handful of nuts. Slivered almonds, pine nuts or walnuts (toasted, if you really want to get fancy) taste great. Squeeze a lemon juice upon your concoction for more of a kick.

4.) Chocolate Cocoa Smoothie

Skip the rich cookies and desserts and opt for something healthfully decadent! Combine organic cow’s milk or soy milk (1 cup per person) in a blender with frozen bananas, raspberries or blueberries (whatever is lying around). Add a few scoops of organic cocoa and one tablespoon per person of natural peanut butter and you’re golden! Other healthful additions can include chia seeds, wheat germ, matcha powder, honey, agave syrup or vanilla protein powder. Experiment, experiment!

5.) Homemade Bug Spray

You’ll enjoy the evening fireworks even more with a batch of this natural bug spray, taken directly from here.

Fill spray bottle (I used 8 ounce) half full with distilled or boiled water.

Add witch hazel to fill almost to the top.

Add half s tsp vegetable glycerin if using.

Add 30-50 drops of essential oils to desired scent. The more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be. My personal favorite mix is rosemary, clove, cajeput, lavender, cinnamon and eucalyptus. It works great and smells good too!

 

Bon appetit!

 

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Ed: B. Bemel

About Marthe Weyandt

Marthe Weyandt is a Pittsburgh-based yoga instructor and freelance writer. She enjoys traveling and spending time in the great outdoors. She is currently learning to play guitar, albeit badly and at frequencies only dogs can hear. She believes in the power of the word, creatively and lovingly rendered, to create positive change in the world. She has a Bachelor’s in English and Religion from Dickinson College and a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University. She spent two years as an English instructor with the United States Peace Corps in Madagascar. Check out some of her other work here.

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