For a flour-free dessert, create a sweet and healthy twist on traditional kabobs by cutting up a variety of fresh fruit, such as pineapple, apples, peaches, strawberries and bananas. Keep the chunks around cubic inch or less in size, and stack them on skewers, alternating among the different types of fruit as you go. To give the kabobs an extra kick, before you head out, use the microwave or stove to melt some dark chocolate. According to a study published in the European Heart Journal, eating a little more than one small square of dark chocolate per day can reduce a person's risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure as well. Once melted, transfer the sauce it to a small container and try to keep it from cooling too much so it doesn't harden (this works best on a warm day). Then, just drizzle the chocolate over the dessert kabobs right before you serve them for the perfect end to your outdoor meal.
Creating a healthy picnic menu requires some advance planning, a few adjustments and maybe even a little creativity, but you and your guests can still enjoy a full and satisfying picnic experience without all the extra calories and fat. Your waistline and arteries will thank you.
- Bowman, Nancy. "Life's a Picnic." Alive. 08/01/2007.http://www.alive.com/6232a15a2.php?subject_bread_cramb=7
- Galeano-Zalutko, Stephanie. "New study touting health benefits of dark chocolate." Philadelphia Health Care Examiner. 04/02/2010.http://www.examiner.com/x-24352-Philadelphia-Health-Care-Examiner~y2010m4d2-New-study-touting-benefits-of-dark-chocolate
- Kentucky Fried Chicken Nutritional Guide. 05/06/2010.http://www.kfc.com/nutrition/pdf/kfc_nutrition.pdf
- Picnic-Basket.com. "The History of Picnicking." 05/06/2010.http://www.picnic-basket.com/History-of-Picnicking_ep_28.html
- Piscatella, Joseph C. The Road to a Healthy Heart Runs Through the Kitchen. Workman Publishing, December 2005.
- Sixwise.com. "Instead of Fritos, Doritos, Cheetos, or Tostitos ... Consider Edamame." 10/05/2005.http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/05/10/05/instead-of-fritos-doritos-cheetos-or-tostitos--consider-edamame.htm
- United States Department of Health and Human Services. "Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2005)." 05/06/2010.http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/document/default.htm
HowStuffWorks explores whether posting calories on the menu helps consumers make better food choices.