Vegan Pantry "Must-Haves"



Transitioning into a vegan, or plant-based lifestyle can seem intimidating. Even the thought of following, and maintaining a healthy diet is overwhelming, at times, especially at the beginning. The key to maintaining a healthy habit is efficient planning.


There are so many vegan options to buy nowadays, as the vegan diet is becoming more common. The bad news is, that most of those options are heavily processed, and full of fat and added sugar. Vegan junk food is a culprit. Indulging in it, every once in a while, and in small quantities, shouldn’t pose a problem. The problem begins when people forget about the essentials. Which the vegan diet is abundant.


Creating a list gives us a better understanding of what to have in our arsenal. This will provide us with the building blocks of our vegan pantry. In order for us to eat healthfully, we must go back to the basics. A nutritious vegan diet consists of consuming enough protein, and enough lightly processed/ complex carbohydrates, as well as consuming fat, sodium, and added sugar sparingly. Combining nutrient-dense vegan food items, with exercise, hydration, and adequate rest will ensure our success.


Each category is important. If it is not the main one, it is one that complements your dishes. Oils and added sugar are not nutritious and contain empty calories. Meaning; they are high in calories but are not satiating. Too much salt contributes to health problems, such as high blood pressure. On a brighter note, your palate has the ability to change, hence it adapts to less salt. Lemon juice is an excellent substitute for table salt.


Fruit


credits: Jonas Kakaroto, source: unsplash.com

In-season produce is always best. It’s more nutritious, and more often than not, fresher. Dried fruit is an awesome snack. Mixing them with oats, and some nuts or nut butter makes a complete meal. Let’s not forget about frozen fruit. They are the backup fruits. If stored properly they can last for a long time.


​apples

cherries

frozen berries

mandarins

pears

​raisins

​apricots

dates

mangoes

persimmons

raspberries

grapes

bananas

​dried

in-season fruit

oranges

pineapple

strawberries

blueberries

kiwi

plums

watermelon

figs

​kiwi

Vegetables


Credits: Peter Wendt, source: unsplash.com

This is, by no means, a complete list of all of the vegetables that exist. I picked these because they are the most versatile.

asparagus

brussels sprouts

​carrots

​corn

garlic

okra

​red-leaf lettuce

​spinach

avocados

butternut squash

celery

cauliflower

green onion

​romaine lettuce

​sweet potatoes

broccoli

bell peppers

​button mushrooms

​cherry tomatoes

​cucumbers

iceberg lettuce

​oyster mushrooms

shiitake mushrooms

tomatoes

cabbage

collard greens

​frozen vegetables

​kale

potatoes

spaghetti squash

zucchini

Pickles

Credits: Little Plant, source: unsplash.com

Pickles always add that extra zhuzh!

black olives

giardiniera

manzanilla olives stuffed with pimento

cocktail pickles

kalamata olives