If you’ve been on TikTok at all in the last year, you’re probably aware of the “cottagecore” trend, a fashion aesthetic inspired by idyllic visions of life in the countryside—think English gardens, flowing prairie dresses, and rustic homemade treats. It also involves elements of communing with the natural world by enjoying picnics in meadows or harvesting homegrown fruits and vegetables from the garden. While the aesthetic is mostly about fantasy, you can still incorporate certain aspects of it into your everyday life—choosing to eat vegan foods, for example, can help you nurture your relationship with the Earth and the other animals who share it with us. So, next time the weather is right, why not throw on your favorite cottagecore outfit, pack a picnic basket with vegan goodies, and spread out your wool-free blanket?
Here are our picks for a cottagecore-themed vegan picnic:
Light and Savory Foods
Grab some fresh European-style baguettes from your local bakery, some vegan butter, and your choice of fresh vegetables for these simple sandwiches.
An English-inspired afternoon tea is the perfect opportunity to cultivate cottagecore vibes, and these cucumber sandwiches will make you feel posh and proper. Serve them alongside a thermos of Earl Grey tea and your favorite dairy-free milk.
Air-Fried Eggplant Katsu Sandwich with Japanese Tofu ‘Egg’ Salad
Served on soft, crustless white bread, these Japanese-style sandwiches can easily be packed for your picnic. By using vegan mayo and a tofu-based filling instead of egg, you can help prevent hens from suffering in the egg industry.
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Delicate and Delightful Sweets
Sure, you can decorate your picnic with flowers—but why not decorate your food, too? These simple shortbread cookies are made with only four ingredients: vegan butter, flour, sugar, and edible flowers.
Forget the egg whites. Aquafaba—the liquid from a can of chickpeas—is the secret ingredient to making gorgeous, puffy vegan macarons. These ones are filled with vegan strawberry buttercream and strawberry jam and drizzled with vegan white chocolate.
Fruit salad is refreshing, healthy, and easy to transport. This one has a lime-mint simple syrup for some extra bee-friendly sweetness.
A lemon custard–filled tart is a lovely summery treat. This recipe can also be slightly modified to make a vegan strawberry tart if fresh strawberries are in season.
If your picnic is for a bigger celebration, you might want to serve an impressive cake instead.
These are just some examples of the many delicious vegan recipes out there that don’t use ingredients that harm animals. Ditch meat, eggs, dairy, and other nonvegan ingredients today and start saving more than 200 animals per year by going vegan: