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Winter. It’s that time of year when we often find ourselves hibernating indoors, cozying up beside a warm fireplace while trying to find motivation to venture out into the cold. A winter picnic is the perfect reason to emerge from that cozy spot! With a little planning, an afternoon retreat to dine with loved ones alfresco can be a wonderful way to spend a refreshingly crisp winter day!

Often picnics are thought of as a cooler full of cold drinks and food spread out under the summer sun on a hot day. But picnics can also be mugs of hot chocolate or warm soup enjoyed wrapped in a warm blanket amid the still solitude of a snowy day. Whether it’s a quiet and cozy meal for two or a family fuel-up, food always tastes better outdoors in the brisk, clean air! 

Winter picnics are exciting but rarely spontaneous. Intentional packing and meal planning for warmth and weather is essential. To make the most of your day and to lighten your workload, pack the picnic necessities and prepare most of your food items at least a day ahead. Try out these prep-forward and picnic-worthy hot and cold recipes that may be the perfect fit for your next winter picnic basket!

Remember, winter brings wide-open picnic tables and empty parks and beaches. Take advantage: you have a front row seat, so find your perfect spot and enjoy!

01

Chai-Spiced Hot Apple Cider

Creamy Mushroom and Leek Soup

Full flavoured yet easy to make, this simple but refined soup is cozy and rich in earthy mushroom flavours and cashew creaminess. It’s a plant-based spinoff of an age-old family favourite that is sure to please! 

Pear, Fennel, and Arugula Salad with Citrus Dressing and Blue Cheese

Each salad component is unique and distinct in flavour—from fennel’s hint of licorice to tart and fruity pear, peppery arugula, and smooth, salty blue cheese—it’s all brought together with a sweet and tangy citrus dressing. Elegant in appearance yet simple to create, this light and fresh salad is great for any occasion or as a perfect side for a winter picnic. Try adding chopped walnuts or pecans for another layer of crunch!

Grilled Garlic and Rosemary Chicken Lollipops

With very little effort, chicken drumsticks are transformed into a fun and flavour-filled tasty treat! Enjoyed hot or cold, these meaty lollipops pack well and are fantastic on their own or will complement just about any side dish.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad Wraps

Roasted sweet potatoes and zesty Dijon mustard transform a classic picnic salad concept into a new and fresh menu item for your basket. 

Oat and Walnut Ganache Bars

Decadent and rich, this picnic-packable bar will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. A hearty mixture of oats and nuts is bound together with sweet dates and maple syrup, creating a tasty base that’s topped with a luscious layer of decadent, rich, and dreamy chocolate.

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