Are you new to veganism? Or maybe you just want to start eating healthier? Welcome to my pantry!
Here is a non exhaustive list of ingredients that should always be in your pantry (or fridge!). Most of these ingredients will keep for a long time and can be used to make healthy dishes pretty quickly. In addition to the ingredients below, fresh fruits and vegetables should still remain your base.
GrainsQuinoa, brown rice, millet, oats, buckwheat. Whole grains give you energy, keep you full for hours and are quick and easy to prepare. I like to make a big batch and use the leftovers in salads, baked casseroles or risottos. Quinoa is one of my favorite grain, it’s packed with protein and can be cooked in under 20 minutes.
PastaI recommend buying gluten-free, whole-grain pastas, they are easier to digest and less processed. My favorite pastas are soba noodles, which are thin buckwheat noodles usually eaten cold with a soy dressing.
LegumesLentils, beans or chickpeas are high in protein, highly nutritious and extremely versatiles. They can be used to make hummus, curries, dahls and many more dishes.
Flax seeds are a good source of fiber, you can buy them whole or ground. Flax seeds add a nice, nutty flavor to baked goods. Combine 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds with three tablespoons water and let sit 15 minutes to make an egg substitute. You can then use it to replace eggs in muffins, pancakes, cookies or waffles recipes.
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Nutritional YeastNutritional yeast is my secret ingredients to add a cheesy flavor to recipes. It is a deactivated yeast that has a salty and nutty taste, it can be used in dressings, soups or even as a topping for tofu scramble, stir-fry vegetables, etc.
Chia SeedsJust like ground flax seeds, chia seeds can be used to replace eggs in most recipes where the eggs act as a binder. Chia seeds absorb about 10 times their volume in liquid, they are mostly used to make chia puddings, delicious for breakfast.
SweetenersMy current favorites are date syrup, coconut nectar and maple syrup. Stevia is another good alternative to sweeten your coffee or tea, just be aware it can have an acquired taste. Even if these sweeteners are healthier than white processed sugar, I still recommend using them sparsely.
MisoOh miso…what would I be without it? As soon as I discovered miso I fell in love with its sweet, salty and full of umami flavor. I use it for sauces, marinades, soups and basically everywhere I can incorporate it. There are different types of miso, the darker the saltier, I prefer white miso (shiro miso).
Flours Again, try to always buy whole-grain flours, they are less-processed and contain more vitamins and minerals. They are also higher in fiber which helps lower cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar and improve digestion.
Nut ButtersPeanut butter is a staple for me. It is so versatile, you can eat it for breakfast on top of oatmeal (my favorite way), use it to make savory sauces or even eat it by the spoonful as a snack. There are a lot of nut butters out there, peanut and cashew butters are on top of my list followed closely by almond butter. Tahini is mandatory if you want to make a tasty hummus.
SpicesSpices make wonders in sweet and salty recipes, they enhances the flavor of most dishes and can add a subtle sweetness to desserts. Whole spices are more flavorful than ground ones but you will have to use a coffee grinder or a mortar to grind them.
Coconut OilCoconut oil is extracted from the meat of coconut, it is solid below 76 degrees F. and considered healthier than other refined oils. It can be used to replace butter in baked goods, stir-fry vegetables or whipped to make coconut cream frosting.
NutsAlmonds, cashews, hazelnuts and peanuts just to name a few are good sources of healthy fats. Roast them in the oven to increase their flavors, make homemade nut butter or use them raw to make icecream, cheesecakes, sauces and more.
DatesAlso known as nature’s candy, medjool dates make a great snack but can also be used pureed to sweeten oatmeal, cakes, muffins and a lot more. Fill them with peanut or almond butter and you have one of the tastiest snack ever!
Plant-based Protein PowderProtein powder is completely optional in a vegan diet if you consume enough nuts, legumes, tofu and vegetables. Like they say, eat your greens! Still, I like to use protein powder to make protein bars that I can eat as a snack or cut into chunks to use as an ice cream topping for extra protein. Sunwarrior’s products are the best tasting protein powders I could find. They are made with high quality ingredients and their natural blend has a really neutral taste compared to many other plant-based protein powders that have a bitter aftertaste.
Why not start by checking my most popular posts or browse the recipes page?