Inside the Beach Bag: Edible Edition

July 12, 2013    |    By +
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cooking and entertaining tipsWhen you’re going to the beach, the first thing you think of is sun, surf, and sand. Then, you assume that there is going to be plenty of food to choose from when you get a hankering for a snack surf side. But chances are that you’ll have to schlep off the beach just to get some decent grub. Leave your perfect spot in the sun? Who wants to do that? This could potentially ruin a perfect beach day! Don’t worry, I am going to help you pack the ultimate beach cooler so you can eat, tan and be merry without sacrificing your taste buds.

What do you like to pack for your beach eats? Share your essentials and recipes with us!

The Cooler:

There are a few types of coolers to choose from when it comes to picking the perfect one! The Skymall London Cooler for 4 includes thermal shield insulation, wine glasses, place settings, cutting board, salt and pepper shakers, and napkins!

cooler for four

Another great cooler is Lands’ End Canvas Cooler that makes it easy to bring to just about anywhere!

lands end cooler

The last cooler is the coolest of all coolers! The Cooler Speaker Tote  has a modern style that is fun to show off, and it allows you to play your favorite tunes where ever you are straight from your phone.

speaker cooler

The Basics:

There are some basic cooler packing rules that will go far in making your food last and taste great all day.

-        Don’t make anything mayo based or anything that looks or tastes weird after two hours (I doubt you will be eating right away when you arrive)

-        Pack lots of ice packs or ice to keep everything inside the cooler cold

  • Frozen bottles of water act as great ice packs that you can drink later

-        Put everything in air tight packaging so that the melted ice and condensation doesn’t make your spread soggy

-        Avoid anything that can melt like ice cream or popsicles

-        Pack bags for garbage and dirty dishes

The Food:

Now it is time for the good stuff! You can still have a delicious meal on the beach without grilling up hamburgers or hot dogs. These first two dishes are all about not using forks, spoons, or knives on the beach.

The first thing you should make is Shrimp and Vegetable Summer Rolls, shrimp can last through the transportation and if you put this on the bottom of the cooler everything will still stay fresh until you eat it.

shrimp summer rolls recipe

An alternate unique dish to bring with you to the beach is Vietnamese Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce, lettuce actually travels well and can still stay crisp when kept in the cooler until you are ready to eat!

lettuce wraps recipe

Couscous Salad will require some utensils but it is worth it! The recipe has feta cheese in it but my advice is to keep it in a separate container and then sprinkle it on when you are ready to eat it.

 couscous recipe

It’s that simple to have a gourmet meal at the beach without worrying about leaving your perfect spot or having to settle for a hotdog.

See what else we think is hot this summer too.

See our other beach bag gift ideas for the whole family.



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Meet the Gurus


Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at Gifts.com. She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at Gifts.com. In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.