National Picnic Week, founded a decade ago, encourages people to get together over a picnic. Picnicking is one of the UK’s most enjoyable summer traditions and is a great way to take advantage of open spaces in the local area during the warmer months of the year.
Timed at the peak of picnicking season, radio, TV and social media channels are all heralding the importance of spending time outside eating something tasty!
There are many benefits to be had from enjoying a picnic in the great outdoors. By spending more time outside, rather than indoors looking at a screen, you have the advantage of fresh air and sunlight – helping to aid mindfulness, good sleep and extra vitamin D. With conscious eating and good food on our menus more than ever, a picnic is the perfect opportunity to enjoy all manner of healthy, plant-based and exciting cuisine. Couple this with some breath-taking scenery, and you’re sure of a lip-smacking experience!
Five Picnic Facts
- The average person enjoys a picnic three times a year
- On average, according to research, families spend £26 per picnic
- The French started the modern fashion for picnics after the revolution of 1789, when they opened their royal parks to the public
- The most popular picnic snack used to be the humble cheese sandwich. It is now a packet of crisps
- The most popular day for picnics in the US is 4th July. In Italy it is Easter Monday. In France it is Bastille Day. In the UK (weather dependent), it tends to be National Picnic Week!
Vegan Sausage Rolls
Fancy taking some vegan treats to your picnic? Why not make these super simple vegan sausage rolls, from the book ‘So Vegan in 5’ by Roxy Pope and Ben Pook.
6 vegan sausages
20 fresh sage leaves
1 x 320g sheet of puff pastry
- Defrost the vegan sausages (if frozen). Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 356°F.
- Chop the mushrooms and whizz well in a food processor. Peel and chop the onions, then add them to the processor along with the vegan sausages, sage leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Process until all the ingredients have been well mixed.
- Heat a frying pan on a medium heat. Once hot, transfer the mixture to the pan and fry for 30 minutes, or until almost all of the moisture has evaporated. Be sure to keep stirring, so as not to burn.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to a plate. Leave to cool completely.
- Line a large baking tray with baking paper and roll out the sheet of pastry onto the tray and cut the pastry in half both lengthways and widthways, to create 4 equal-sized pieces of pastry.
- To create a lattice effect, make small incisions along the top and bottom edges of each pastry square at 2cm intervals. Note: the top and bottom incisions need to line up. Where there is an incision, make two more incisions directly vertically below (one below the other) roughly 2.5cm long each. Between the incisions, make three vertical cuts into the pastry (2.5cm long each). Repeat steps 5 and 6 for all pastry rectangles. Tip: watch a video on YouTube to assist if you’re not sure!
- Spoon a quarter of the mushroom mixture along the length of each rectangle of pastry and shape the mixture into a log. Seal the pastry by wrapping the ends around the mixture and pinching them together. Then turn the sausage rolls upside down so the pastry join is on the bottom.
- Brush the sausage rolls with olive oil and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.
If you still need some inspiration for National Picnic Week, head to PE1’s stores. From al fresco recipe books in The Works to outdoor tableware in Van Hage and camping equipment in Cotswold Outdoor to summer styles in Roman Originals, we’ve got you covered!
To find out more about National Picnic Week.