Healthy Picnic Ideas

Pack your hamper with lighter, summery treats, from low-fat salads to healthier scotch eggs and sandwiches.



  • 250g dried chickpeas or dried split broad beans
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stick, roughly chopped
  • 1 small chilli, roughly chopped (deseeded if you don’t like it too hot)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • good handful chopped coriander
  • good handful chopped parsley
  • 80g gram flour
  • 100ml vegetable oil

To serve

  • houmous, tabbouleh and pickled red onion & radish (see goes well with), flatbreads, shop-bought or see goes well with (optional)


  1. Soak the chickpeas in cold water for 8 hrs, or overnight.
  2. Drain the chickpeas and pulse with the bicarb in a food processor until roughly chopped. Remove 3/4 of the mixture and set aside.
  3. Add the garlic, vegetables, spices and herbs to the remaining mixture in the processor and purée to a paste. Stir the paste into the rough purée of chickpeas, add the gram flour, season and mix well.
  4. Heat oven to 110C/90C fan/gas 1/4. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add some of the oil. Use your hands to form the mixture into patties (there should be enough to make about 16). Fry for 2 mins each side until crisp. Keep in a warm oven while you fry the remainder of the mixture, continuing to add a little oil to the pan with each batch. Serve wrapped in flatbreads, if you like, alongside the houmous, tabbouleh and pickled red onion & radish.

Avocado hummus & crudités

Healthy, low-calorie, vegan recipe that works as lunch or a starter. Enjoy deliciously creamy hummus made with avocado.


  • avocado, peeled and stoned
  • 210g chickpeas, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • pinch chilli flakes, plus extra to serve
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • handful coriander leaves
  • 2 carrots, cut into strips
  • 2 mixed peppers, cut into strips
  • 160g sugar snap peas


  1. Blitz together the avocado, chickpeas, garlic, chilli flakes and lime juice, and season to taste. Top the hummus with the coriander leaves and a few more chilli flakes, and serve with the carrot, pepper and sugar snap crudités. Make the night before for a great take-to-work lunch.

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