Hi and welcome back.
I hope you have had a lovely week and enjoying the time to relax. For me, nothing quite beats spending my weekends wandering round one of the many National Trust Sites with family and friends. I have previously posted a blog on Eating Out at the National Trust when you are gluten free so please feel free to check out that blog post for information on snacks and food I have found at their many cafes. While I love Eating Out as a coeliac, I find nothing quite beats a picnic with food bought from home. I love sitting out in the countryside with a good family picnic enjoying amazing food. It just always seems to taste better if you eat outside, or is that just me? Picnics for a coeliac can be challenging with the risk of cross contamination form the non-gluten containing food. I have posted other blog posts on this topic so feel free to check out my Top Tips for Celebrating as a Coeliac or my Eating Out mini-series and my Top Tips for BBQ goes live later this month so stay tuned for more tips. Today ,I am sharing my top tips for enjoying picnics as a coeliac. I hope you enjoy. C. -x-
1. Do your research
I know this tip has been branded around a lot when it comes to living life as a coeliac, but it is so important. Trust me, there is nothing worse than turning up at a place and enjoying your day and then getting really hungry because there are no gluten free options available. I always check the website or blog posts on the place I am going before I visit to ensure there are plenty of food options available for me. My Eating Out mini-series is a good place to get started. I also always bring my own snacks when I travel so I can always nibble on something. A treat I enjoyed in my childhood were Fruit Bowl youghurt flakes and I am so happy to find they are gluten free.
2. Bring your own food
Definately the best part of the picnic is to bring your own food. I love creating simple snacks I can bring along with me to share at a picnic that are gluten free. If you are looking for inspiration, why not try my Gluten Free Flapjacks, Vanilla TrayBake or Gluten free Waffles dipped in chocolate for a special treat? I also love making sandwiches using gluten free Tiger Loaf for a special treat. I add sliced cucumber, cheese, mayonnaise and diced onion for my take on a Cheese and Onion sandwich. Another treat I enjoy is cooking a Genius gluten free sausage roll and taking that with me. Alternatively for a special treat, why not pick up a gluten free sandwich from Tesco – my favourite is the Cheese and Onion. Marks and Spencer have some great options too.
3. How to avoid cross contamination
So you have your amazing gluten free food ready to go and have found the best spot in the park for a picnic. Now its time to sit down and enjoy the food. The problem, only you are gluten free and everyone else is enjoying the gluten containing options. So how do you avoid cross contamination? I have two suggestions for you; the first being you make a gluten free lunch that everyone can enjoy – such as a chicken salad so you can all enjoy the food without worrying about about cross contamination. This is great fun to do and means you can get stuck in with the food without running the risk of cross contamination. The other suggestion I have is keeping your gluten free food options seperate from other members in your party. This can feel a bit like an exclusion from others but is the safest way to avoid gluten. When I have a picnic with my family and friends, I often sit on the edge of the blanket and keep my food away from the rest. I recently invested in a bamboo lunchbox which I use to keep my food safe.
4. Bring your own cutlery
I feel this next tip is something I always get caught out on when it comes to Eating Out at picnics. In terms of food, I am pretty good at preventing cross contamination until I realise I need a spoon, knife or fork. You can always use the disposable cutlery you can find at many places but these are often not bio-degradable so harmful for the environment. I have recently taken to carrying a reusable fork, knife and spoon with me wherever I go. It is helping me reduce my plastic waste, a definate win in my books, as well as preventing cross contamination form gluten food. Your cutlery doesn’t have to be expensive, I often take a spoon form my cutlery drawer, but by getting into the habit of taking your own means you can enjoy all the gluten free food options available without the hassle. And in the end, isn’t that what it is all about?
There you go! My top tips on how I enjoy a picnic as a coeliac without the hassle of cross contamination. I hope you enjoyed this post. If you have any other tips to help other coeliacs, please let me know in the comments below. If you re-create any of the recipes mentioned, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram using #livingcoeliac so I can see. Newsletter is live. Don’t forget to subscribe so you do not miss any future blog posts.