When snow strikes, skip the bread and milk. Reach for these healthy, satisfying, versatile foods instead, whether or not you’ve got power at home. 

By Hannah Klinger
Updated January 28, 2019
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Claire Spollen

You know the drill: as soon as snow is headed your way, a nonsensical frenzy for sliced bread and milk wipes the supermarket shelves clean. But these foods aren’t ideal for bad weather: milk will spoil quickly if the power goes out, and processed bread won’t keep you full for very long. There’s not enough protein or healthy fats in bread and milk to keep you satisfied, and unless you really love French toast, meal options are limited.  Instead, stock your larder with whole grains, hearty fruits and vegetables, and heart-healthy fats. You’ll make it through the storm like a pro and eat deliciously along the way.

Whole-Grain Pasta

Jennifer Causey

Just about any meal can be made with whole-wheat pasta and the pantry items you already have on hand. If you can’t boil water, bulgur is an excellent alternative; it just needs to be soaked overnight.

View Recipe: Bulgur Chili

Nuts and Oats

Jennifer Causey

Nuts have the healthy fats and protein you crave in cold weather and bulk up any dish with satisfying crunch. Try unsalted roasted almonds and cashews. Old-fashioned rolled oats make a great rib-sticking oatmeal or base for granola.

View Recipe: Pistachio Granola With Yogurt

Canned Tuna

Photo: Colin Price

The fact that it’s shelf stable and delicious cold or warm makes tuna a no-brainer. The fact that it's a hearty-healthy food is just a bonus. Opt for albacore tuna packed in water for big flakes of fish and a cleaner flavor.

View Recipe: Tuna-Quinoa Toss

Canned beans

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Claire Spollen

Packed with protein and fiber, no-cook, and so versatile, canned beans should be the first thing you grab when you hit the store. Toss with any vegetables that remain in your fridge and a sharp vinaigrette to create a satisfying main.

View Recipe: White Bean Vegetable Bowls With Frizzled Eggs

Apples and Citrus

Lukasz Pabian/Getty Images

Gray days will have you craving crisp, bright, juicy fruit. Apples and oranges are packed with Vitamin C and fiber. They’re also one of the most shelf stable produces for if you lose power.

Related: These 7 Foods Could Help Fight Seasonal Depression

Nut and Seed Butters

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While we don’t recommend PB&Js for sustenance, natural peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter have good fats and protein. Use in savory applications like satay sauce or vegetable sandwiches.

View Recipe: DIY Nut Butter

Dried Fruit

Caitlin Bensel

Super concentrated and naturally sweet dried fruits will help you get through a sugar craving. We love pitted dates, dried figs, and apricots. Think of it as nature’s dessert.

View Recipe: Cashew-Apricot Bars

Good Whole-Grain Bread

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When everyone else heads over to the sliced bread aisle, make your way to the bakery section. A hearty whole grain loaf can yield plenty of piled high toasts for breakfasts and ideal grilled (or cold) cheese sandwiches.

Related: Why It's Actually Worth Buying Bread From a Bakery

Leafy Kale, Carrots, and Brussels Sprouts

Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Lindsey Lower

Hearty vegetables will last longer than tender lettuces and other delicate produce. None actually need to be cooked: massage kale leaves until wilted and tender, slice and marinate carrots in vinaigrette, or shred fresh Brussels sprouts with a sharp knife or mandoline. 

View Recipe: Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Dark chocolate

Jennifer Causey

Yes, we would consider a good dark chocolate a crucial snowstorm staple. You’ll benefit from the subtle caffeine boost and can savor each intense square rather than binge on old Christmas candy. 

View Recipe: Spicy Dark Chocolate and Tahini Bark