Healthy Festival Food

Lukewarm evenings, funky music, nice people, great atmosphere, a sense of freedom: yes, it's that time of the year again - the coolest time of the year. Festival season! Be it the Poolbar Festival, the Donauinselfest, the Urban Arts Form Festival, the See-Rock Festival, the FM4 Frequency Festival, the Lake Festival or the Two Days a Week Festival, all of them mean summer, friends and live music!

Personally, my most amazing festival experience was in Sydney, Australia, on a beautiful summer's day, two days after New Year's (it's summer in Australia then), dancing to Gotye wearing flowers in my hair. It was an experience I will never forget!

What I love about festivals is all the palaver around it. It starts early - the planning of the trip with friends, who rides in whose car and whether it wouldn't be smarter to take a train. Then you're talking about the lineups, which band is a must-see, which ones can be given a miss and who the interesting newcomers are. Then you check Facebook to see who else is going and who you'd like to meet up with. Or who you'd like to ride or share a tent with. Which brings you to the next discussion about how many tents to take, who bunks with whom and what to do with Wolfi, who snores.

But how could it be any different. Mostly, trip organisation falls to me. Being coeliac and not being able to tolerate gluten, I'm an ace when it comes to takeaway food. When you're a coeliac, you're never sure if and where you can get gluten-free food, so I always have some food on me - stuff that keeps for a while in my backpack. I'm always prepared - if I'm not it'll lead to chocolate bars, too much fruit (which doesn't really fill me up) and junk or tinned food.

A festival lasting several days saps your strength, so I'm planning ahead: with a festival survival kit. No matter where I am, I can't forego good food. Only when you eat well can you really enjoy an event properly.

Here's my top ten list of festival essentials:

1.) Sunglasses

2.) Ear defense

3.) Enough fluids

4.) Camera/smartphone

5.) Chewing gum

6.) Deodorant

7.) Sun protection

8.) First aid kit

9.) Flashlight

10.) Rain protection

And here, for all the other coeliacs and health food nuts out there, is my ultimate food packing list. With superfoods like almonds, oyster mushrooms and avocados in the bag, you're guaranteed to have energy to dance for 72 hours and have juice to spare at the end. The reason? Avocados have the highest fat content of all known types of fruit and vegetables but due to their optimal molecular structure, they're incredibly healthy. Avocados provide energy because their unsaturated fatty acids support the absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Almonds are incredibly nutritious: they contain carbohydrates, proteins and almond oil. They, like the avocado, are rich in essential fatty acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6. Tip: almonds provide a veritable energy boost in combination with bananas or dried fruit.

Also on my list of food essentials: homemade energy balls and cereal bars - these will keep you going and are good for you at the same time!
By the way, have you seen the great new Merkur Blog? There are amazing recipes for every taste on there, including some of mine.




Millet Salad in a Jar or Wrap

2 glasses


  • 120g organic millet
  • 500ml water
  • ½ cucumber
  • 150g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 TBSP unpeeled almonds
  • 1 packet tortilla wraps (Schär has gluten-free ones)
  • ½ bunch of mint
  • ½ Hokkaido squash
  • 1-2 TBSP sesame seeds
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 TBSP oil for the mushrooms
  • 3 TBSP good quality olive or coriander oil

Optional to take away:

  • 1 jar of savoury vegetable spread (one that doesn't have to be cooled, such as Verival's Bio Delikatess Aufstrich)
  • 1 bottle of Kim Kocht Spicy Apfel Kren (radish) Dressing or olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (upper/lower). Wash the squash and cut into 1cm cubes. Line a baking sheet with parchment, put the squash cubes on it, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and sesame seeds and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
  2. Bring lightly salted water for the millet to a boil in a pan. Pour the millet into a fine sieve and rinse with hot water until it runs clear. Drain well.
  3. Put the millet into the water and cook over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then let it sit for 10 minutes until all the water has been absorbed (depending on the millet, this might take a bit longer - please check the package instructions).
  4. In the meantime, carefully clean the mushrooms and heat up some oil in a pan. Fry the mushrooms on all sides and season them with salt. Peel and cube the avocado. Wash and halve the cherry tomatoes. Chop the almonds and wash, shake dry, pick and finely chop the mint. Clean the beans under running water and wash and cube the cucumber.
  5. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt, pepper and oil. Fill the salad into jars or tupperware containers and cool until the start of the festival. For the event itself, I like to take some wraps or bread with me, also some savoury vegetable spread and some amazing readymade dressing, like the one by Kim kocht. Just put the spread onto the wraps when you're on location, top with salad, drizzle with the dressing and dig in. Don't forget your picnic cutlery and napkins.