The 6 Plant-Based Staples That Should Be in Everyone’s Pantry
If you’re new to vegan eating, figuring out how to stock your pantry might seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there are vegan versions of nearly all your favorite foods, and pretty much every grocery store has the important plant-based staples. Always having them on hand can save shopping and cooking time.
I’ve been vegan for nearly a decade, and there are a few things I make sure to always have in my pantry (and fridge). While your must-haves will likely be a little different, these vegan pantry staples are a great place to start:
From veggie chicken nuggets and cold cuts to hamburgers and hot dogs, you really can have it all. Stores around the world now carry an array of savory meat-free foods. Some of my favorites include products from Gardein, Field Roast, and Beyond Meat.
And don’t forget the original meat replacements—tofu, tempeh, and seitan are all protein-rich foods people have enjoyed for hundreds of years!
Fruit and Veggies
This one should be fairly obvious, but it took quite some time for me to learn to like veggies. I grew up eating very few veggies, but now I can’t enjoy a meal without them! Vegetables I always have on hand include carrots, romaine lettuce, onions, broccoli, spinach, and—of course—potatoes. Fruits that always come in handy include lemons and limes, bananas, and apples.
There are so many delicious dairy alternatives on the market. For me, the most important dairy replacements to keep around are unsweetened dairy-free milk (I like almond) and butter. These can be used in a wide variety of recipes.
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Beans and Legumes
These hearty foods add substance to any dish and are packed with protein and other essential nutrients. Keeping canned beans or legumes on hand is a must. My favorites are lentils and chickpeas (read hummus).
Snacks and Sweets
Everyone deserves a treat now and then. Grab some pretzels, popcorn, or your favorite sandwich cookie for quick snacks. Especially when it comes to snack food, remember that even if something isn’t labeled vegan or sounds like it isn’t vegan, it never hurts to check the ingredients.
Grains like brown rice, quinoa, and barley bulk up dishes and are easy to prepare. And don’t forget pasta, bread, tortillas, and cereal. You’re probably already used to buying these, but a lot of people don’t realize that these products are usually vegan. Just double-check the ingredients to be sure dairy and eggs aren’t used.