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The Ultimate Guide To Grain-Free Picnics & BBQ’s

Affiliate Disclosure | in Recipes | by | with 19 Comments

Have You Resigned Yourself To Those Sad Little Imposters . . .

We call “bunless burgers”? Do you secretly want to throw spitballs at the ice cream truck driver when he drives by? Do you dread going to family cookouts because you’ll be drowning in a sea of food that’s off limits? Well then, this post is for you!

Today I’m sharing my absolute favorite recipes for summer feasting: pulled pork, “potato salad” that tastes legit, baked beans, slaw, chocolate pudding, ice cream, margabuchas and more! Shall we get started?

First Up . . .

Are these grain-free hamburger buns from Danielle of Against All Grain (pictured above). I’m planning to serve them with old-fashioned bacon burgers this weekend. Because seriously, who has a cookout without burgers?!?!?

Pork Carnitas With Tomatillo Salsa

For those of you who like a little more variety, these crockpot pork carnitas with zesty tomatillo salsa are the way to go!

To make this recipe GAPS-friendly: Use these coconut flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas, and by all means make extra to smear in butter and eat straight. They’re great for breakfast burritos the next day, too!

Find the recipe here.

Grain-Free Pigs in a Blanket

Oh. my. goodness. Throw a little cheese in the mix and I am on cloud nine. Oh oh, and some jalapeno, too!

Check out the recipe here.

Or for an easy peasy alternative, try bacon-wrapped dates or scallops!

Jalapeno Popper Dip (GAPS-Friendly)

This one takes a little planning since you have to make your own cottage cheese, but YUM! Not that I’m really surprised considering the recipe calls for almost an entire stick of butter. :) Check out the recipe here.

Bacon “Potato Salad”

My friend Whitt recently gave me a sign that says “Bacon makes everything better ” And she’s right!

Bacon definitely makes this recipe a success. To make it GAPS-legal just replace the potatoes with lightly steamed cauliflower (they should be cooked but not too soft). Seriously, try it. We use cauliflower for mashed fauxtatoes all the time – the texture is a little different but the flavor is spot on!

(Pssst! If this is your first time to make mayo this tutorial might help)

Baked Beans

Need to bring a dish for lots of folks? Baked beans are inexpensive and oh-so-yummy! This GAPS-style version from Cheeseslave uses date sugar and there are conflicting reports on whether that’s “legal,” so we’re going to use honey instead.

Is Your Mouth Watering Yet? Let’s Talk Condiments!

There can be no talk of grassfed burgers without lacto-fermented ketchup, thick and creamy mayo and  honey-dill mustard (watch out, it bites! A little goes a long way!). And of course if you’re going to make potato salad you’ll need some old-fashioned pickle relish. Bubbies makes a GAP-legal option or you can make your own with this recipe. Jenny over at Nourished Kitchen has a BBQ sauce that is not technically GAPS legal, but I think we just might live a little and whip some up (subbing honey for cane sugar but leaving the molasses in!) Now that we’ve got that covered lets talk slaw!

Broccoli Grape Slaw

My friend Whitt brought this to me after Micah was born and it was an instant favorite.

Your littles will beg for it.


Find the recipe here

Spicy Carrot Salad

This one is destined to be another family favorite, but don’t take my word for it!

“This salad is so good! We just made it for a bridal shower, my whole family loves it, Jack loves it, and we are going to modify it for fermentation. So delicious!” ~ Zeffie

“Oh YUM! We had this with dinner tonight. I will be making it again. Even hard-to-please DH liked it. :) Thank you!” ~ Coreen

Find the recipe here.

And now . . . . dessert!

Grain-Free “Oatmeal” Creme Pie Cookies

LOVE these Little Debbie knockoffs from The Urban Poser. They taste even better than they look! Find the recipe here.

Dairy-Free Chocolate Pudding

If you’re looking for something on the simpler side, check out this decadent pudding from Real Food Forager. Thick and creamy with a silky finish, and your guests will never guess the secret ingredient!

(Note: Jill says to chill for at least two hours. I’ve found that the flavors meld even better overnight in the fridge)

Check out the recipe here.

Yellow Coconut Cake With Cocoa Buttercream

Kendahl over at Our Nourishing Roots has really outdone herself with this absolutely sumptuous coconut flour cake.

I’m making it Americana-style this weekend with vanilla frosting and red and blue berries on top!

Drool over the recipe here

And What Goes With Cake?

Ice cream, of course! So what’s you’re style: coconut milk vanilla ice cream or Cheeseslave’s chocolate version?

Either way, you’re bound to have some happy campers following you from the freezer to the picnic table. :)


Peanut Butter Brownies

Quick, easy and deeply satisfying, these brownies are definitely getting made this weekend!  If you want to make your own coconut cream check out this tutorial.

Get the recipe here.

Now, When I Asked You . . .

What your BBQ essentials were on my Facebook page you all said beer! Clearly, we had some non-GAPster input there. But it got me thinking about GAPS-friendly options, like um, MARGARITAS!

Yes, margaritas. Or actually, margabuchas. You see, according to Dr. Campbell-McBride “”Tequila is a distilled product like vodka, and if nothing else has been added, it should be OK occasionally and in small amounts.” (source)

Seriously how much do you love me right now?

Okay, here’s the recipe. How much do you love me now????

For the kids, try a berry-lime ice or hibiscus tea!

Want to try it all? Why not share these recipes with your friends and then meet up at the park?!?!? Happy Feasting!

Photos courtesy of Against All Grain, LexnGer, Real Food Forager, saucesupreme, I Believe I Can Fry, Lynn Gardner, The Urban Poser, Timothy K. Hamilton

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19 Responses to The Ultimate Guide To Grain-Free Picnics & BBQ’s

  1. Whittney says:

    All looks yummy!

  2. Angela Campany says:

    I noticed the Broccoli Grape Slaw has mozzarella in it. That’s not GAPS legal is it? We’re just getting ready to start GAPS, so I don’t have all the no-no’s memorized yet! :)

  3. Danielle says:

    Everything looks amazing!!

  4. Anitra says:

    these all look amazing! thank you for putting this extensive list together! i am book marking it for future summer bbqs!

  5. Rose says:

    yikes, what did your friend say about the potato salad and bacon? :)

  6. Food Renegade says:

    WOW. I don’t think it’s possible for my mouth to be watering any more than it already is!!!!

  7. zeffie says:

    My heart is pounding; you used my quote in your new post!!! My friend said “the love is mutual” when she saw it :) We had spicy carrot salad again last night and Jack ate it mixed with popcorn. Interesting combo but he thought it was pretty great!

    • Heather says:

      Awww, well you are awesome for leaving a comment! I know I personally use tons of recipes without ever thinking to comment and let the person know how much I enjoyed it cause dinner is a busy time, but oh how I love to know when things are working well for others!

  8. Anna says:

    You had me at margabucha. I’ve so got to try that.

  9. Reflections – May 2012 — Holistic Kid says:

    […] Planning on kicking off a grain-free summer with this great list of picnic and BBQ foods.. […]

  10. Sara Chambers-Moss says:


    You always go way beyond expectations when you write a post! This collection of recipes is simply amazing!

    I’m including this post on my Facebook page on Friday, April 12, 2013, at 4pm PST.

    Thanks so much for your excellent posts!

  11. Avalie says:

    Love these ideas!! Can’t find a link to the “Potato Salad”…I’m dying to try it (love the Mashed Fauxtatoes link, though). How do I find the recipe? Thanks for all you do! My children are much happier now that I have your recipes in my GAPS cooking arsenal. :)

  12. Rebecca says:

    I love all the recipes! My big question, and maybe you have this somewhere on the blog, is what type of grill do you use? I keep hearing about how the grilling of foods can add toxins and carcinogens to the meat, fish, etc. I LOVE BBQ, and really don’t want to give it up if there is a healthy alternative. I have tried grilling on the cooktop in a grill pan and also a tabletop panini type grill. Neither gave me desired results, but if that is as good as it gets I will take it over nothing. Any insight would be appreciated.

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