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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Fuss-Free Foods for Outdoor Eating: Local Markets Offer Healthy Options

Jul 01, 2012 08:37PM

Making the most of Southwest Florida’s languid summer days, perfect for poolside parties and backyard picnics, may require a few more applications of insect repellant and sunscreen than do other areas of the U.S. While these precautions can easily be taken by anyone, some picnic-goers face more pesky challenges: finding delicious party foods that are healthy; contain only organic ingredients; or are free of allergy-sparking wheat, gluten, dairy or nuts. To help provide some tasty options, Natural Awakenings turned to local healthy restaurants and markets for suggestions. Several remove food preparation from the entertaining equation, leaving more time to enjoy moments spent with family and friends.

Truly Organic Pizza

Order ahead for pick-up or have healthy pizza delivered right to the door. Jason Chang, owner of the nation’s first 100 percent, USDA-certified organic pizzerias, says his traditional New York-style Classic Cheese pizza is a safe bet for anyone that doesn’t have a wheat or gluten allergy. Veggie-lovers find sublime satisfaction in the Tree Hugger’s eight different fresh vegetables, including roasted rosemary potatoes, garlic and peas.

Food & Thought

At Food & Thought 100% Organic Farm Market, produce is either picked at their own farm or purchased from other certified organic sources. Good picnic choices—all made from scratch—include the Bunny Wrappit, a raw vegan lettuce wrap with sprouts, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, tomato and cucumber; Costa Rican Slaw; Black Bean Corn Salsa; Quinoa Salad; and Key lime pie. Food & Thought’s café accepts call-in orders for pick-up.

Wynn’s Market

Meats, cheeses, fruits, juices and dairy products are among the organic offerings at Wynn’s, and new organic delicacies are now featured at the deli counter. Multi-grain breads, ready-made meals, appetizer party trays and a large assortment of warm and cold entrees and freshly prepared side dishes are also available.

Skinny Pantry

Anyone seeking gluten-free picnic foods will find a large selection at The Skinny Pantry. Customer favorites include Adzuki Bean Burgers, Buffalo Burgers and hotdogs. The store also offers Lean Box meals, which are portion-controlled, nutritionally balanced and prepared fresh locally, and it even stocks healthy insect repellant.

The Loving Hut

Loving Hut restaurants are created with the vision that all beings can live in peace, love and harmony with each other and the planet. Their gourmet cuisine is created with wholesome, vegan ingredients and offers an accessible starting point for individuals making the transition to a plant-based diet. For picnic foods, the restaurant suggests appetizers and wraps, including spring or Saigon rolls, which can be prepared gluten-free; crispy soy protein drumsticks; and Asian Chick’n Wraps.

Truly Organic Pizza, 1016 Immokalee Rd., Ste. 204, Naples. 239-598-8888.

Food & Thought 100% Organic Farm Market, 2132 Tamiami Trail N., Naples. 239-213-2222.

Wynn’s Market, 141 Ninth St. N., Naples. 239-261-7157.

The Skinny Pantry, 11356 S. Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers. 239-935-5093.

The Loving Hut, 975 Pine Ridge Rd., Naples. 239-254-9490.

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