Surviving Canadian Winters




I decided to write this article because in my first year of going vegan, I Googled this very topic and guess what came up? Nothing. Well, not nothing nothing – there were some articles that were about ‘surviving winter’ but they didn’t do anything. Apparently, no vegans in Canada wanted to pass this oh-so-important wisdom down so I was basically on my own.

You may be wondering: why such worry about making it to the store? That’s a good question. Having to rely on public transit is not always the easiest during winter. Between the closures/detours due to weather and some routes not being driven altogether, you don’t really want to go through that on top of the freezing weather.

My top two suggestions for making these stock-up trips:

  1. Stretch multiple trips out over the fall months (Sept.-Nov.) and try to remember this has to last you until you’re able to walk outside again (around/after Feb.)
  2. Get these before it’s too cold to leave your house. Trust me, you really don’t want to go out in the middle of December when it’s -40C because you forgot bread.

So, for my fellow Canadian-vegans, when the snow banks are 4ft. tall and your door locks are frozen shut, fear not! I’m here to make those last trips to the store easier for you.

Obviously, you don’t need to get everything on this list. This is just a list of foods you may want to stock up on for the colder months. If nothing else, these should (hopefully) lessen your worry about getting through winter, even if they’re not exactly ‘essentials’. Also, who wants to get a hot chocolate craving only to find they’re out?

I recommend checking out my Vegan Staples list first, since that lists all the food essentials*, then come back here to see what else from this list you might want to stock up on.

Pantry

  • Hot Chocolate (I like Castle Kitchen’s Classic Caramel)
  • Marshmallows (Dandies)
  • Mr. Noodles (Mushroom and Vegetable)
  • Daiya Mac N Cheese (Alfredo Style, Cheddar, White Cheddar with Veggies)
  • Gravy (I like Road’s End Savoury Herb)
  • Mashed Potato Flakes (if you don’t/can’t lug a whole bag of potatoes home)
  • Kraft Peanut Butter with Chocolate (yes, it’s vegan, and it’s amazing)
  • Hummus/Salad Dressing/Some type of spread so you don’t eat dry sandwiches all winter
  • Shake N Bake/Bread Crumbs
  • VeganEgg
  • Winter Holiday baking supplies (cocoa powder, flour, sugar, egg replacer/applesauce, etc.)

Cans: (Check out my Surprising Vegan Soup post for more!)

  • Amy’s Alphabet Soup (my favourite!)
  • Amy’s Organic Vegetable Barley
  • Amy’s Fire Roasted Southerwestern Vegetable
  • Amy’s Black Bean Vegetable
  • Habitant Garden Style Vegetable Soup
  • Hunt’s Manwich Original Sloppy Joe

Snacks:

  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Crackers (Triscuits, Vegetable Thins, Ritz, Premium Plus)
  • Cookies
  • Popcorn Kernels (and ketchup powder!) or Skinny Pop
  • Chocolate (chips, bars)
  • Licorice (Twizzlers as a stir-stick in hot chocolate = amazing)

Freezer

  • Butter/Margrine 6 months
  • Seitan 1yr
  • Tofu** (can give it a ‘chewier’ texture, drain and place in Ziplock) 3-5 months
  • Daiya Products (cheese blocks/pizza) 6 months
  • Tofurky Products (sausages/deli slices/pizza/pizza pockets) 1yr
  • Gardein Products (7 Grain Crispy Tenders, Mandarin Orange Chick’N, Pizza Pockets, etc.) 6 months
  • Field Roast Products (burgers, sausages, deli slices, etc.) 1yr
  • Yves Products (pepperoni, deli slices, ground round) 1-3 months
  • Fries (smiley/crinkle/straight-cut)
  • Hash Browns
  • Taquitos (Starlight Beef are good)
  • Burritos (Amy’s Black Bean Vegetable and Bean and Rice are good)
  • Perogies
  • Tortillas (place parchment in between to prevent tearing) 6-8 months
  • Ice-cream (I know it’s gonna be cold, but some days…)

*I don’t yet have a non-food essentials list, but I’m working on it! I’ll be posting it hopefully sometime next year, but I’m hoping you don’t really need me to tell you to stock up on non-food essentials (toilet paper).

**Tofu may change from white to a yellow or amber colour. Don’t freak out, it’s still perfectly safe to eat. Let it thaw and cook as usual.

Keep in mind, that some of these items are heavy, so you might want to buy one of those shopping carts on wheels, or bring a luggage that has wheels on it with you and fill that up – instead of making eighty-seven little trips to the store. (But hey, if that’s your thing, you go right ahead).

As stated above, this isn’t really an essentials list, so don’t feel like you have to buy everything on here. This list isn’t a be-all, end-all of winter stock up foods. These are just (hopefully) enough to get you thinking in terms of, ‘What will I be craving three months from now when I’ve been stuck inside all day?’

Also, keep in mind that winter not only brings cold, but also holidays. So, you may need to add some holiday specific items to your list as well. Usually, I try to plan in advanced what I’ll be making, but I know that’s not always plausible.

If all else fails, you can always get groceries delivered.

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