Veganuary may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a go at a vegan diet. If you don’t know where to start, stock up your pantry with these staples. Having these on-hand will inspire you to cook and eat more plant-based meals.
Herbs, Spices, and Condiments
An arsenal of herbs, spices, and condiments are essentials for every pantry. Aside from the standard salt and pepper, vinegar, and oil, gradually add other seasonings like onion powder, garlic powder, chilis, nutritional yeast, and dried herbs to your collection. These will elevate any plant-based dishes you cook at home.
Carbohydrates get a bad rap, but they should be included in a balanced meal. The key is to prioritize carbs that are rich in fiber like whole grain rice, quinoa, or cereal, and limit the consumption of refined carbs. Whole grains are a good source of energy and promote heart and gut health.
Canned or Dried Beans
Always having a variety of beans at home is a terrific way to switch up your recipes and add iron and protein to your diet. Lentils and chickpeas are common ingredients, but feel free to include black, cannellini, kidney, and pinto beans to the list. Throw them in soups, salads, or pasta dishes. You’d be surprised that some desserts can also be made with beans.
Nuts, Seeds, and Nut Butters
Not only are they a good source of fats and proteins, but some items like walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds also have Omega-3 fatty acids that are usually found in fish. Use them in salads, oats, smoothies, or baked goods. Ground flax or chia mixed with water are sometimes used as an egg substitute in vegan recipes.
Despite cutting out dairy, getting calcium on a vegan diet is still possible. Buying non-dairy milk that is fortified with calcium and vitamins will help you get those nutrients. Almond, oats, and soy are popular variants, but you can also get calcium from consuming dark green leafy vegetables.
While honey is not an option on a vegan diet, other natural sweeteners like maple or agave syrup are suitable alternatives. Some recipes even substitute for Medjool dates when baking. Now you don’t have to worry about having bland pancakes.
While you do not have to buy everything on this list, use this as a guide to stock up your pantry on your next grocery run. Also include perishables like fruits, vegetables, and soy to ensure you’re eating a healthy, balanced plant-based diet.