Top 5 Winter Canadian Foods You Must Try

 

Everyone has a favourite thing about winter. Even if your favourite thing is when it ends. But, even if the leaving of winter is what sparks joy in your heart, chances are you have another favourite part of winter… comfort food!

 

Warm, fragrant, comforting dishes, often with crispy golden crusts, melty cheese, aromatic spices, or sticky sweetness are one of the best parts of winter. Even better if you can enjoy it with people you love, or snuggled up on the couch with cozy socks and a whole lot of Netflix.

Here are the best Canadian Comfort Food Dishes to Get You Through the Winter

So without further ado, here are 5 foods to eat in a Canadian winter that’ll warm your heart, comfort your soul, or even bring loved ones together:

 

  • Swedish meatballs

    Swedish Meatballs

    Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash

    Winters are typically cold, dry and dark in Sweden, but the Swedes are known for embracing the season by enjoying outdoor activities, chilly walks, and even commuting by bike year round. There is even a Swedish saying that “there is no bad weather, there are only bad clothes.” So they bundle up and head outdoors! But, they also fully embrace the coziness of being indoors on a frosty evening. While this is obviously not a Canadian dish, it’s one Canadians should really embrace… beyond the infinite walls of Ikea.

    Swedish meatballs are hearty, comforting and even a bit festive with a hint of allspice and nutmeg. Paired with a dollop of leftover cranberry sauce, it almost feels like Christmas dinner.

    The Recipe Critic has a fantastic, heartwarming recipe for Swedish meatballs. Although making meatballs from scratch instead of using frozen can be time consuming, these are totally worth it. You can even make them in large batches and freeze, then make the gravy on the day you plan to serve them.

    If you want to make a vegetarian (though not vegan) version, add a pinch of allspice to cooked or canned lentils, then make just the gravy for the meatballs and add in the lentils. Add a diced carrot and a few handfuls of fresh or frozen kale, simmer slowly until carrots are tender and serve over creamy mashed potatoes. Yum!


  • Butter tarts

    These classic Canadian cups of decadence are to die for with a cup of coffee or milky tea, or dare we say… a little spiced nog? Despite the name, they don’t have a whole lot of butter in the tart filling (plenty in the pastry though), but they do have a buttery, caramel-y yumminess that just seems to melt in your mouth.

    Adding chopped pecans to the filling is AMAZING. Raisins are optional, and if pecans are too pricey, chopped walnuts are great as well. Some recipes suggest chocolate chips, but as far as we’re concerned, that’s a big no-no. It just makes them overly sweet. So, if nut allergies are a concern, just leave out the nuts altogether. Sans nuts they’re still delicious and if you aren’t used to that nutty flavour, you probably won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything.

    The Food Network has a great roundup of 26 butter tart recipes with a few unique takes including butter tart squares, pinwheels, cheesecake (totally non-traditional, but very yum), bacon butter tarts (intriguing) and more.

    butter tart

    Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash


  • French Canadian baked beans

    Not to be confused with Boston baked beans! Which are also good, but nothing beats slow cooked baked beans flavoured with maple syrup, thick sliced bacon (or not, for a veg version), molasses and brown sugar. Even better, beans are insanely nutritious, wallet-friendly, and as a cultivated crop they have a pretty low carbon footprint. What’s not to love?

    Traditionally, baked beans were simmered with chunks of fatty, salted pork to add flavour and much needed calories in those early days of our country’s colonization when food was about survival. Today, you can skip the pork without skipping on flavour. Just be sure to keep the maple syrup and molasses to get that hearty flavour unique to the French Canadian style of baked beans.

    Now, if you’ve had canned baked beans and you’re thinking, “What’s the big deal?” Well, trust us when we say they just don’t hold a slow cooking candle to homemade!

    This is a great recipe to try that includes a dash of worcestershire sauce to give a delicious depth of flavour. These are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, are amazing as a side to fried eggs, baked ham, tourtiere or even sauteed greens. They reheat amazingly and even freeze well. Enjoy!

    Baked Beans in Canada

    Photo by Jacob Stone on Unsplash


  • Beaver Tails

    Beaver Tails

    Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/B45QBo_gPfq/

     This is the quintessential treat to eat outdoors (always outdoors!) during Canadian winters. If you’ve never had one, what it is is fried dough (roughly in the shape of a beaver’s tail) that’s been dipped in cinnamon sugar. Kind of like a fresh, flat doughnut, Beaver Tails have a crispy outside with a soft, doughy inside. Although they are fried, because they’re fried at a high heat, they aren’t super greasy. Instead, the light frying melts with the cinnamon sugar when you bite into it for pure deliciousness. But it’s not all crispy fried dough and sugary yums. Beaver Tails are classically made with whole wheat flour. So.. you know… fibre!

    There are now several permanent Beaver Tail kiosks around Montreal, but the very best are the pop up stands and food trucks you’ll often find around winter carnivals and skating rinks. On a crisp, cool afternoon, nothing beats grabbing a Beaver Tail along de la Commune in the Old Port and taking a tasty stroll through the old city. For a truly Canadian experience, grab your skates (or rent when you get there) and take yourself to Ottawa to skate along the Rideau while enjoying your Beaver Tail.

    Although getting Beaver Tails to-go is the classic way to enjoy them, if you have a deep fryer at home, you can also try making them yourself!

 


  • Indigenous Foods


    No winter table in Canada should be considered complete without honouring the indigenous people of this land who have known for thousands of years how to thrive during our harsh winters. Indigenous recipes have slowly been working their way into the mainstream spotlight and there is so much deliciousness and powerful history to discover within them.

    From caribou stew and bannock, to three sisters soup and wild rice with mushrooms, winter can be filled with warmth, comfort and discovery.

    Check out these recipes from the CBC for salmon with garlic and sage, wild rice stuffing, and apple, cranberry and wild sage crisp. Make a hearty three sisters soup and share the beautiful story and message of growing together with your family. Or try wild blueberry scones and invite a few close friends for coffee and a catch up.

     


What’s your favourite typically Canadian dish for winter? Please share it in the comments! Recipes are more than welcome ;-)

Looking to go to the outdoors this winter, make sure to check out Best winter shoes brands in Canada and the best winter jackets to keep you warm in a Canadian Winter.

Also here is some general advice on how to dress for winters in Canada.

Sho-Dan is Showing Up for Montrealers! | Montreal Tips Community

Sho-Dan sushi restaurant has been a downtown favourite for locals, tourists and business travelers for many years. It’s upscale, but still inviting and has a great atmosphere for a fun night out or a romantic evening for two.

It’s vegetarian friendly, accommodates groups through private rooms, and the creative menu can only be described as a work of art. Delicious, delicious art.

 

Now this Montreal fixture is really stepping up for Montrealers by participating in two key events happening this Fall:

 

YES Montreal – Tune Into YES13

 

YES was founded in the mid-90’s in response to the flow of young, aspiring and English-speaking Quebecers leaving the province for better career and business opportunities. Their goal is to help English-speaking Quebecers find gainful employment in-province, build and expand meaningful careers, and even start or grow their own Quebec-based businesses.

 

Their annual Tune Into YES event is a benefit and silent auction to raise funds for this incredible nonprofit organization. The event is always a lot of fun and this year’s is looking especially exciting with live circus performances from the amazing Le Monastère, as well as complementary wine and beer, and delicious bites from local restaurants including Sho-Dan. Sho-Dan will be donating a selection of their famous and scrumptious dishes to the event to support the cause and make for a truly unforgettable evening.

 

MTLàTABLE – Local chef, local ingredients, local awesomeness

 

For the first time ever, Sho-Dan will be participating in the annual and eagerly awaited MTLàTABLE.

 

If you love food (who doesn’t?) you have to love MTLàTABLE. With 150 restaurants throughout the city participating, you can sample just about everything the city has to offer. Every participating restaurant offers a table d’hôte at a flat rate of $23, $33 or $43 (a select few have brunch offerings at $17). These are all high end restaurants where a typical evening out would cost much more, so the event offers a unique opportunity to sample the menus without breaking the bank.

Presse conference Montréal à Table.

Presse conference Montréal à Table.

Because of that, the event is extremely popular so reservations are a must.

 

This year, Sho-Dan is offering an impressive menu at just $33. The three course menu is built around local ingredients and features halibut marinated in maple syrup and miso, shrimp tempura with ginger and lime, gyoza (everyone’s favourite), salmon tartar with fruit, mochi ice cream and so much more.

 

Sho-Dan is located in the heart of Montreal’s downtown on Metcalfe between Sherbooke and de Maisonneuve. 

Branche d’Olivier - Organic and natural shopping with a twist | Health

Branche d’Olivier – Organic and natural shopping with a twist

Healthy Groceries in Montreal

 

The world is changing. People are waking up to where their groceries and household goods are coming from, what goes into producing them and the impact they have on health, well being and the environment. Because of this, consumers are demanding more choice, which has led to a rise in alternative shopping experiences throughout Montreal.

Accessible and affordable to everyone

We recently checked out Branche d’Olivier and fell in love. Their belief is that organic and all-natural products should be accessible and affordable to everyone. As such, they offer a wide range of products to suit organic, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, fair trade and sustainable diets and lifestyles. 

A family-owned business

This family-owned and operated chain saw its first location open in 1992 by the Habib-Haidar family. They now have five locations across the city in Verdun, NDG, St Henri, the Plateau and Griffintown. The family came to Canada from Iraq in the 80’s and bring elements of their culture to their stores through wonderful products like Arabic coffee and mate tea.

Branche d’Olivier products

Branche d’Olivier locations carry a variety of grocery products like fresh produce, dry and canned goods, prepared foods, spices and more. You can also buy some items in bulk to cut down on product packaging, as well as household cleaning products, personal care items and a range of vitamins, supplements and other natural care products.

They really seem to promote a more aware lifestyle by stocking their shelves with items you won’t find in most grocery stores or pharmacies. It opens up a world of possibilities for people on restricted diets, with certain product sensitivities or who just want to be more conscious of what they’re consuming. The staff is also quite knowledgeable, so if you’re looking for something specific or even looking for help creating a new lifestyle or healthier habits for yourself, they can answer your questions and guide you towards products and ideas that will help you.

 

Want to check them out? See all current Branche d’Olivier locations. Happy shopping!