Must-Have Vegan Pantry Staples

Struggling with what vegan items to keep stocked away in your pantry? This week we continue our key vegan food staples series by highlighting some items we can't live without.

By: Allegra Pearl

If you're looking to incorporate more plant-based foods in your life, set yourself up for success by stocking up on a few of these key food pantry staples. These make a great base for a variety of tasty vegan recipes.

1. Grains

It's important to have a variety of grains on hands at all times in your pantry. Rice is one of my favourites - it's a hearty, cheap base to have with almost any meal - from curries, chilis and stir fries. If you're not a fan or rice, or you're looking to switch it up then quinoa or barley are also great options. Oats are another good one to have on hand - if you're a big oatmeal fan like me you'll want to keep a pretty big jar on hand. Pasta is always good to have in a pinch on those days where you run out of time or ideas. Did you know? Almost all dried pastas are naturally vegan? You just need to be sure to double check the ingredients when it comes to fresh pasta, since that usually when they use eggs.

2. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes an important parts of a balanced plant-based lifestyle! Legumes such as lentils, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans and chickpeas can be found at an affordable price at any grocery store and can last YEARS unopened in the pantry! They can either make a great base or addition to soups, curries, stews, wraps and salads. Not only are they cheap and delicious, they're also super healthy. Beans are a great source of protein and are rich in fibre, B vitamins and iron. Legume consumption has been associated with increasing healthy gut bacteria and reducing high cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

3. Canned Goods

Canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth (also comes in cubes) and coconut milk are some other great canned ingredients that are used in most meals. I always have a few of each of these on hand so I can quickly whip up pasta sauces, soups and curries at any time.

4. Root Vegetables

Garlic is one of my absolute favourite cooking ingredients, and I think most would agree you won't get far without it. A clove will last about a week in the pantry, but it'll likely be gone in no time since it's in the base of ever pasta, soup, stew recipe out there. Potatoes are another great thing to have on hand. There are a lot of misconceptions around this vegetable, but they're cheap, they last a couple weeks in the pantry and they're filling. Contrary to popular belief, potatoes are good for you - they've got 5 grams of protein/potato and are packed with potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B. Whether they're baked, boiled or fried, remember that potatoes are your friend.

5. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are great sources of protein, iron and Omega-3s, which are very important to watch when you're eating plant-based. Walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds are amazing sources and you should aim to incorporate them into your diet daily - so make sure to always have some on hand! My favourite sneaky way to eat them is to add them to my oatmeal, my smoothies or to sprinkle them on top of toast or even salads. Cashews are another nut that's great to have on hand - when soaked and blended it has an amazing texture that's a great base for creamy pasta sauces and dressings. Nuts and seeds can be expensive, so make sure to grab them in bulk when you can.

Next time you head to the grocery store, make sure to stock up on some of these key vegan pantry items! Check out our previous blogs to get an idea of what to stock up on in your fridge or freezer. Looking for some recipes? Download our free PlantEd Project ebook today to find some fun ways to use some of your newfound ingredients.

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