Before we jump to talking about the vegan staples you need to have in your kitchen, let's play the game! Look at the picture above. Can you mentally connect each cloud with the name to the jar with the right content?
If you accomplished this task without any difficulty, then you are pretty familiar with the vegan pantry, this blog will serve you as a source of couple new ideas you might pick up and implement into your kitchen routine. If the task was pretty intimidating, no need to worry! It means that you are about to start a wonderful journey into the vegan diet. The most important thing is to enjoy this adventure, learn new things everyday and apply it to practice, improvise and search for what you personally like. Don't be afraid of trying new things!
Probably being inspired by watching the latest movie "The game changer", you are ready to take a leap of faith and try this new life style. Veganism has come a long way. Interest in a totally animal-free diet is heavily promoted with many celebrities like Beyonce, Jaz-Z, Billie Ellish etc.... The most popular concern amongst beginners is will I get enough protein, iron, calcium, B12?
You can obviously choose the path of taking the supplements, just keep in mind that many researches and studies worldwide proved that the vegan diet is substantial and safe and it has the wide range of foods that can provide your body with the balanced nutrition.
If you are on a plant-based diet, don`t underestimate the importance of nuts, seeds, legumes and grains. That`s when the pantry comes in handy.
The choices of what to keep in your pantry are limitless. You decide what you use the most. Once, you make the plan, you can go to the supermarket and stock up on the ingredients. It might be costly initially but they will last for a long time.
This article will help you to define your needs and the quantities you will be purchasing.
Grains contribute lots of fiber and are good source of minerals in vegan diet. They are also hearty and appealing. You don`t have to buy a huge variety, just commit to four grains, stock up on them and you can rotate and change your selection every couple months. Currently I have quinoa, white rice, couscous and buckwheat in my pantry. Grains will serve you as delicious sides, a base to curries, a part of the salads, the sticky ingredients for your homemade burgers, soups etc....
✅ NUTRITIONAL YEAST
I think this mystic ingredient is responsible for oh so many questions. What is it? What are the benefits? How do I use it?
There are couple things you need to know.
❗️ Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, sold commercially as a food product.
❗️It`s a significant source of some B-complex vitamins and contains trace amounts of several other vitamins and minerals.
❗️IMPORTANT Nutritional yeast DOES NOT contain B12 but it can be fortified with it. Be careful when you choose the brand. Make sure that the brand you pick contains B12.
❗️Nutritional yeast has a salty cheesy flavor which makes it perfect for:
1. Topping on your salad, baked potato, steamed broccoli, any side dish
2. Spinach or artichoke dip. Nutritional yeast is commonly use as a substitute for cheese in the recipes such as dips, spreads, casseroles etc...
3. Vegan cheese sauces. If you are a Mac and cheese lover, no need to give up this wonderful soul warming dish. There are many vegan-friendly recipes only that will most likely include nutritional yeast.
Legumes is the main source of protein and iron for the vegans. If you are seriously considering the plant-based diet, you should heavily invest your time and effort into mastering lentil curries, beans burgers, pea soups, hummus recipes.
Personally, I always keep a beans mix that you can buy ready or make it yourself. I use it for my own lentil/bean soup recipe that you can find here. Click on the image
✅ SEEDS AND NUTS
My advice to you is to get into this wonderful habit of adding nuts and seeds to your smoothies and salads.
Nuts and seeds should always be on your vegan diet list providing healthy fats and protein.
Choose three types of seeds and nuts and stick to them for couple months, then rotate.
My pantry currently has:
🌿 Grounded chia seeds. It`s rich with fatty acids, protein and has anti-inflammatory qualities. Perfect for salads dressing, avocado toast topping, chia puddings, smoothies.
🌿 Grounded flex seeds or flex meal. Good source of fiber, contains anti-oxidants, gluten free, promotes healthy digestive system, reduces blood pressure. Perfect for salads dressing, avocado toast topping, smoothies. Serves as a food binder and egg replacer.
🌿 Hemp hearts. Keeps your active throughout the day, drives away fatigue, lowers the stress levels. Perfect for salads dressing, avocado toast topping.
🌿 Sesame seeds. Has anticancer properties; contains zinc, a vital component in the formation of collagen which is essential for your skin; promotes hair health. Perfect for tahini, hummuses, salad dressings, smoothies.
🌿 Pumpkin seeds. High in antioxidants, linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers, very high in magnesium and fiber. Perfect for salads toppings, avocado toast toppings, a snack.
🌿Cashews. One of the main vegan staple that is rich in heart-healthy fatty acids, protein rich, excellent source of antioxidants, contains no cholesterol. Perfect for vegan cheesecakes, vegan cream cheeses, spreads, dips.