Spring is almost here! The weather is warming and it’s the perfect time for a picnic on the beach. One thing most Floridians are proud of is our year round warm weather. One of the greatest benefits of this, as far as I’m concerned, is being able to eat alfresco.

Whether you are entertaining visitors from out of town, spending a family day together, or taking that special someone on a date, a well planned picnic on the beach is always a hit. We compiled this simple guide to packing the perfect bites to make it simple, fun and delicious! So prepare and pack these items into your most stylish (insulated) bag, grab a blanket, and let’s hit the beach!

SNACKS ARE A HIT

Individual, bite sized snacks are the way to go for a beach picnic. They are key to staying satisfied but not overly full and you can bring a little something to please everyone. We packed away a large amount of tasty snacks to munch on throughout the day; many you can prepare at home the day before. Some of our favorite snacks include: herbed crostini for spreads like pesto or olive tapenade, cheeses like manchego or brie, olives, both dried and whole fruits, meats like salami or prosciutto, and we also went to the bulk section at the supermarket and created our own trail mix.

SHAREABLE SALADS & SIDES

Salads are light and fresh, easy to prepare, and best of all, shareable! Picnic salads and sides should be kept simple and not use any cream based dressings. Think vinaigrettes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and lemon and lime juices as alternatives to traditional salad dressings.

Try a simple pasta salad with a light sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, a layered salad with corn, black beans, and quinoa, or a tomato, basil and mozzarella salad. We also love chilled sides like roasted potatoes, grilled chicken, or steamed and curried cauliflower.

LIGHT AND BUBBLY BEVERAGES

We like to keep our drinks light and bubbly when we are at the beach. Having plenty of water on hand is also important.

Bring along some refreshing favorites to wash it all down. Drinks like juice spritzers, lemonade, and ginger ale are perfect and can be made or bought without too much sugar. Chilled coffee for an afternoon pick me up is our favorite.

Some great ‘adult’ beverages to sip on at the beach (where legal) are light beers, a moscato, ciders and meads.

DESSERTS

Our favorite course is the dessert! For a picnic on the beach, desserts should be simply sweet. Pick items that won’t easily melt. Cookies like oatmeal raisin or pecan sandies are perfect. If you can keep them chilled, brownies are also a good, individual, non-messy dessert that everyone loves!

The key to any picnic this spring is to keep the food simple and delicious. Individual servings of foods that don’t easily spoil and are easy to clean up or recycle are best. Be a good citizen and clean up when you are done – only leave your footprints in the sand.

Don’t Forget

  • A corkscrew and bottle opener
  • Napkins or paper towels
  • Utensils, cups and paper plates
  • Salt & pepper
  • A sharp knife and small cutting board
  • Extra bags for trash and recyclables

*Special thanks to the fine folks at Lucky’s Market for their suggestions and inspirations for this article:

www.luckysmarket.com or visit them at 3130 W New Haven Avenue. Tel: 321-405-0398