Organic Beyond Food: Summer Entertaining
Organic Beyond Food: Summer Entertaining
Who doesn’t love summer? The weather is perfect and there’s no shortage of fun activities to do outside with friends and family. If you are planning a cookout, potluck, or family picnic you might worry about staying true to your organic lifestyle during the festivities. Luckily we have some tips to help you plan an organic summer bash.
We hope you take away at least one idea to make your summer entertaining a little more organic.
Party Planning 101
Any good party starts with deciding on the basics. Where will you host your party, who will be invited, and lastly, what will the theme be? Is it a backyard BBQ to celebrate summer, a holiday get together, a birthday party, or just a gathering of friends?
To include others in your organic lifestyle, try throwing a garden party and invite your friends to help you plant a bee or butterfly garden. This is a great opportunity to educate family and friends of all ages about the importance of organic farming and the dangers facing the bee and butterfly populations. Afterward, you can relax with a spread of organic BBQ food in your new garden!
Organic Decor and Supplies
When it comes to dressing up your party, there are a lot of organic options you can use from streamers to tableware.
Decorate with some organic bouquets or eco-friendly flowers. If you’re interested in organic blooms for your summer picnic or to decorate your home, try Organic Bouquet, California Organic Flowers. Your local farmer’s market is also a great place to get consciously grown flowers while supporting your community too. Of course, the most environmentally conscious way to decorate with flowers is to grow and cut your own! But, we know not everyone has a green thumb.
To keep the decor earth-friendly, choose reusable and up-cycled items like mason jars, picnic baskets, and cloth napkins or table coverings. If you don’t already have some, check out the local thrift store for secondhand tablecloths or picnic blankets that will last you for years! You can also create DIY paper lanterns, streamers, banners, and other decorations that can be recycled or composted after your party.
To keep your supplies environmentally-friendly, look for biodegradable plates, cups, and cutlery made from plant-based plastics or recycled paper. Check out these brands:
Eating organic doesn’t mean you can’t imbibe in the occasional adult beverage, especially when throwing a party! There is a growing number of organic beer, wine, and liquor options available online and in stores. We’ve picked a few of our favorites out for you to try.
Of course, you can also serve up organic soft drinks for the kiddos too, such as organic iced tea, organic lemonade, and organic sodas from your local natural foods store. Try some of these recipes, making substitutions for organic fruit, organic cane sugar or other sweeteners, etc.:
- Perfect Lemonade from Simply Recipes
- Coconut Lavender Lemonade from Confectionalism
- Simple Peach Iced Tea from Minimalist Baker
- Herb and Fruit Infused Water from Wellness Mama
We know this series is about being organic “beyond food,” but it can be overwhelming to plan a whole party with organic food. We hope these tips help you share your love for organic food with your party guests.
Firstly, check the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list to find out which foods are the most important to buy organic. If you’re grilling, choose organic and pastured or grass-fed meats, organic tofu or veggie burgers, and organic fruits and veggies for the grill. For sides, try organic potatoes in your potato salad, organic and pastured eggs for deviled eggs or egg salad, and organic fruit and veggie trays. You can find organic chips and crackers at most grocery stores and can make your own salsa, guacamole, and dips or buy pre-made. Organic options are everywhere!
Wary of the veggie options? We have some tips and recipes to help you impress your veggie lovers:
Here’s the scoop from Serious Eats on how to perfectly grill tofu to wow vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike. . Here are a few more recipes that are sure to please your guest’s palates:
- Balsamic Vegetable Skewers from Serious Eats
- Grilled Asparagus from Allrecipes
- Grilled Corn from Allrecipes
- Grilled Romaine Lettuce from Simply Recipes
- Spicy Grilled Watermelon from Serious Eats (omit or replace honey for vegan version)
Did you find one organic idea to use for your next summer cookout? Tell us about it in the comments below or tweet us @Naturepedic.