At the Beach — March 5, 2014 at 5:00 am

7 Beach-Friendly Lunches to Pack in Your Beach Bag

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Picture this: You’re enjoying the perfect day at the beach. The sun is shining, the water is perfectly refreshing, and you couldn’t be more relaxed. Everything is just right, except for one thing: you’re starting to feel hungry. If you’ve ever found yourself in this position, chances are you’ve experienced the rather underwhelming sensation of rooting through your beach bag to find a smushed sandwich or a sand-covered snack. Not ideal, to say the least. Avoid interrupting your idyllic beach day with these beach bag-friendly lunch ideas.

It’s a Wrap
When it comes to beach fare, wraps trump sandwiches in just about every way. Wraps will resist sogginess much better than sandwich bread, and you can still pack in your proteins and veggies. A wrap might get a little smashed up, but it should still hold its shape nicely. Tuck it into your beach bag vertically so that it will get less beat up.

Avoid spreads that might go bad—instead of mayonnaise, opt for mustard or hummus. If your wrap contains meat, pack it in a cooler or next to a frozen water bottle.

Fruit Salad for the Win
Bruised apples and pears are a thing of the past: fruit salad is where you want to be. Prepare a large batch at home so that you have enough to feed all the beachgoers in your party. Squirt lemon juice on top of the fruit so that it doesn’t brown, and separate the salad into small plastic containers that won’t get squished.

If you’re keen on a cool treat, freeze your fruit salad overnight. By the time lunchtime rolls around, your fruit salad will be perfectly thawed.

Juice Box Slushies
For a special treat, freeze your juice boxes ahead of time. Be sure to unwrap any plastic casing and separate the boxes, or the middle ones might not get frozen. Let the juice boxes thaw in the sun (or in the shade, if they’re melting too quickly) until they get perfectly slushy. As a bonus, the cold juice boxes will keep other foods chilled until it’s time to eat.

Classic Cheese and Crackers
Some cheeses are much tastier cold, but others, like brie and camembert, taste just as good when they’re a little warm. Treat yourself to a more sophisticated cheese and crackers by packing some of these creamy cheeses into a plastic container along with your favorite crackers. The container will prevent the crackers from getting pulverized into crumbs. Toss in a few grapes and almonds to make it a proper feast.

Brownies: The Perfect Dessert
Cookies crumble. Chip bags take a beating. Icing melts onto cupcakes. But when it comes to beachy desserts, brownies pass all tests. Dense enough to withstand a bit of a beating, brownies taste just as good if the sun heats them up a little. Perfectly shareable, there’s no doubt about it: brownies are the ultimate beach treat.

Learn to Love Leftovers
Certain leftovers translate perfectly into beach meals. Pasta is a great example: as long as it’s not in a mayonnaise-based sauce, pasta tossed into a plastic container will taste just as good the next day. Tomato-based sauces are a great option. Load on veggies, which keep well even when unrefrigerated and will give you plenty of energy throughout the day.

Veggies and Dip
Carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli and radishes are just a few veggies that are solid enough to withstand a little tossing around in a beach bag. Keep them in a sealed container or plastic bag and pack along a small container of dip, like hummus. Grab a few veggies when you’re feeling peckish, or serve as a side for your lunch.

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