Stock Your Pantry
In today’s lesson, you’ll learn the basics of stocking a vegan pantry so you can have all the most common plant-based ingredients ready in your kitchen when you need them. We’ll go over these items in two sections: staple items that have a long shelf life (that you will likely purchase once a month or less) and perishable fresh ingredients you’ll need to purchase on your regular grocery store trips (perhaps once a week).
These items are not all non-perishable, but they all have a long shelf life. Many of these ingredients can be purchased in bulk.
Frozen veggies: Keep these in your freezer for quick use in stir fries.
Frozen fruit: Great for smoothies!
Grains: Keep a selection of these on hand, including oats, quinoa, rice, popcorn kernels, and barley.
Pasta: Focus on whole-grain options like whole wheat pasta, as well as rice noodles for Thai dishes.
Meat analogues (frozen): A selection of frozen veggie burger patties, faux chicken, or “meat” balls are great in-a-pinch vegan protein options. Gardein and Yves are popular and delicious brands.
Dried/canned beans and lentils: Useful for everything from chili, Mexican dishes, soups and stews to making hummus, keep dried and/or canned chickpeas, kidney beans, navy beans, red and green lentils, and split peas on hand.
Oils: Olive oil and coconut oil for cooking, plus extras like flaxseed oil for salad dressings.
Nuts and seeds: Fantastic sources of plant-based protein and healthy fats, choose your favorites: almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds), flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.
Canned and jarred goods: The options are endless. Canned fruit, coconut milk, tomato paste, pickles, kimchi, jam, applesauce, etc.
Condiments and sauces: Many of these are probably already in your pantry! Ketchup, salsa, hot sauce, vinegars, soy sauce, mustard, curry paste, etc.
These are perishable items you’ll need to buy on your regular grocery store trips, perhaps weekly.
Fresh produce: Most of your shopping cart should be filled with fresh veggies and fruits. Whenever possible, choose produce that’s organic, local, and in season.
Plant-based milks: The selection is huge. Creamy soy and coconut milks for coffee, tea, and cereal, light almond and rice milks for baking or smoothies, and others such as hemp, oat, or flax milk.
Tofu/tempeh: An important and healthy source of plant-based protein, tofu and tempeh can be used in countless recipes.
Bread products: You can find vegan versions of virtually any bread product you currently eat. Just make sure it doesn’t contain eggs or dairy ingredients. Bagels, tortillas, regular sliced bread, pita, naan, etc.
Nut butters: Peanut butter and almond butter are versatile (and satiating) ingredients to have on hand for spreading on toast or apple slices, using in homemade baked goods, and adding to smoothies.
These ingredients will get you well on your way to completely plant-based eating! Tomorrow, we discuss ingredient and nutrition labels.
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