What to do in winter?
Have your winter picnic in the great indoors, as part of a day out to a museum perhaps, on a train journey or just on a blanket spread on the floor at home.
There are still fresh, seasonal foods to try in winter and lots of ways to use them. Make your winter lunch a One Planet Picnic for a low waste, low cost, low stress, great taste option. Here are some tips and ideas to help.
Local and seasonal food in winter
Choose local and seasonal fresh foods for them to be at their best. Locally grown, seasonal food will have fewer food miles too.
The winter months in Scotland have great tasting fresh foods; vegetables, top fruits e.g. apples and pears, herbs, fish and seafood. Lots of these are very versatile. For example, how many ways have you tried beetroot? Grated raw in a salad? Pickled? Roasted? As vegetable crisps? In a soup?
Where to eat?
The great indoors provides lots of shelter from the elements. It could be at home or at an indoor visitor attraction, or while you're on the move. You can eat when it suits you and you wont need to queue up in busy cafes. Some visitor venues such as Riverside Museum in Glasgow have tables indoors where you can tuck in.
If you're heading outside, a flask of warm soup or hearty stew is a welcome comfort. Find a wall, a hedge or trees for some shelter from the wind. Remember to tidy up afterwards and take any waste away with you.
Reduce single-use plastic packaging
A re-usable lunch box is very handy to help avoid individually wrapped items. Some lunch boxes have different compartments to keep your sandwich, savoury snack, and fruit separate in one container. Dig out a re-usable container from the cupboard or treat yourself (or someone else) to a new lunch-box and create your packaging-waste-free lunch.
Avoid single-use plastic drink bottles and cups to reduce even more waste. There are lots of re-usable options and some outlets offer a discount if you bring your own cup.
What is in the fridge?
Give yourself time for a special shopping trip to look for foods to try that have less packaging, or that are local and seasonal. Make them part of your regular shopping list. Then they'll always be there, ready to choose from the fridge or the cupboard. Some food comes in its own eggcellent packaging, such as eggs and citrus fruit.
Make some left-overs on purpose. Prepare some extra portions when you're cooking and put them aside for home-cooked deliciousness for your picnic. A little planning can go a long way.
Soup is a great winter warmer and can be made from all sorts of winter ingredients. It can be easy and inexpensive to make. Look out for root vegetable recipes and mix up your flavours for loads of different souper soups.
Here's some ideas to play with: Hearty turnip, carrot and beans; Carrot and garlic winter broth; Spiced parsnip; Creamy celeriac and onion; Leek and potato; Cullen skink; Pumpkin; Lentil and carrot; Carrot and ginger, and Beetroot of course!