Essentials for your larder and fridge
1. Nuts and seeds
Go nuts! Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts, or pine nuts. The plant fat sources in nuts and seeds are so beneficial for the body. Nuts and seeds are also a delicious way to get in some essential minerals and fibre too!
Tip: best not to buy in bulk as risk of going rancid. Store nuts and seeds in the fridge to keep them lasting longer
2. Nut or seed butters
Nut and seed butters help make for a wholesome meal or snack that’s filling and equally satisfying. Try peanut butter (try and buy 100%) or sunflower seed butter. Hazelnut, almond and brazil nut butters are delicious on toast or added to a breakfast smoothie. Tahini is a sesame seed butter, add to salad dressings, drizzle some over falafel wraps, and use it to make some delicious hummus.
Tip: Store nut and seed butters in the fridge once opened to keep them lasting longer.
3. Coconut milk
Coconut milk is a great staple to keep stocked. Aside from curries and soups coconut milk can also be used to make desserts, baked goods, and smoothies. Chia seeds soaked in coconut milk make a delicious dessert or breakfast meal.
4. Whole grains
Grain staples are brown rice, wild rice, steel-cut oats, old-fashioned rolled oats, barley, quinoa, and millet. Popcorn for fun!
5. Canned, frozen and jarred vegetables
Fresh produce is great and best but isn’t always available. Some canned or jarred veggies to stock include tomatoes, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, butter beans, artichokes and roasted bell peppers. When in a rush, there’s no need to miss out on the veggies! Many frozen fruits and veggies are picked at peak ripeness so we’re not necessarily losing out on nutrients by purchasing frozen items. Stock frozen peas, edamame beans, broad beans, mango and mixed berries.
6. Beans and lentils
Pre-cooked legumes in cans or jars are helpful when we’re in a rush. They can be rinsed and added to just about anything in less than 20 seconds. Both beans and lentils are a tasty way to get in some extra fibre, protein, and antioxidants.
Tip: When choosing canned or jarred beans, rinse them under water before adding them to dishes.
7. Dried fruits
Looking for something sweet that offers all the benefits of fibre, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Then stock up on goji berries, dates, prunes, dried cranberries, dried figs, dried mangoes, and raisins. Enjoy them as a snack, or add them to granola, into desserts, into tagine or even sprinkled into salads for some added natural sweetness.
8. Bouillon cubes, Miso and vegetable stock
Bouillon cubes and vegetable stock are an essential addition. Add to vegetable and lentil soups, tagines, dahls, or add to whole grains while they cook to give them some extra flavour. Also drink as a simple broth.
Vinegars are a wonderful way to add some zing to a dish. Use them in sauces, dressings, dips and as a condiment to give these foods some more depth. Stock apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and rice vinegar.
Cooking with herbs and spices will enhance the flavour of foods without adding excess oil, salt, or sugar. As with the other ingredients, pick a few that you think you’ll use often, and stock up on those first and build up over time.
11. Tofu and tempeh
Tofu and tempeh are delicious meat alternatives loaded with protein and nutrients, both of these superfoods are derived from soybeans creating a flavor and texture that’s incredibly versatile. These foods can be added to stir fries, curries, salads, smoothies and kebabs.
12. Eggs and milks
Milk is practically everywhere. From silky lattes to creamy macaroni cheese. A handy addition to sauces, coffee, tea, cakes and puddings.
Luckily, the once niche vegan milk market is now brimming with choice. From oat and pistachio to pea and potato (yes, milk made from spuds), you’ll find an ever-expanding smorgasbord of substitutes to try.
If you decided to adopt a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet that includes eggs (ovo) and dairy products (lacto), but eliminates meat, poultry, fish and seafood, then generally eat sustainably sourced organic dairy and free range eggs.
It’s your choice!
Remember: We can pick out what works well for us or what we’d find pleasure doing. Feel free to even modify some of the tips based on what’s accessible and appealing.
Most importantly ENJOY your plant based diet and holistic lifestyle!