as a vegan momma of (almost) two who loves to cook, keeping a well stocked plant based pantry is a must. there are just a few ingredients that i have to have on hand at all times! they make dinners easy to throw together and textures like 'creamy, cheesy and meaty' oh-so-possible.
>> not sure what we eat? check out the plant based recipes library and years of 'dinner ideas' posts that share what we eat each week. want to dive in a little deeper? you can read more about my vegan pregnancy, why becoming vegan is the best thing i ever did, how i make it easy, my tips for traveling vegan, and advice on grocery shopping.
my top 10 vegan pantry must haves:
raw cashews. raw cashews are a vegan's best friend. i use them to make everything creamy - from pasta sauce to soup! they have a very mild flavor (not very nutty at all), and are really easy to use.
>> to make cashew cream: soak the cashews overnight, then drain and rinse. add enough fresh water to just barely cover the nuts and blend in a food processor. now, let all the things be creamy!
nutritional yeast. we use this every day, and if you haven't yet, you must try it! nutritional yeast is packed with nutrition, particularly B-vitamins (like B12), folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein. we primarily use it for it's rich flavor though, which can be described as cheesy, nutty and savory. we add it to grits, soups, sauces, gravies, and just about any other dish we want to amp of the flavor of!
chickpeas. chickpeas in particular are another 'bean' staple in our pantry. i make homemade hummus several times a week, and this is by far the most delicious (and affordable!) way to do it. my staple recipe is: 1 can chickpeas, 2 tbs tahini, 2 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs lemon juice, 2 garlic cloves and salt to taste. from there, you can start experimenting with fresh herbs, olives, sriracha and more!
coconut milk. another great way to make things creamy is by using coconut milk. i love to use them in both deserts and savory dishes like curries and soups. i have to admit, i indulge in the full fat variety for the ultimate creamy experience!
flax seeds. flax seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, so we add them anywhere we can. but our favorite way to use them is as an egg replacer for cookies and baked goods (here's the recipe)!
plant based proteins: of course, we keep a stock of plant based proteins. we try to limit the amount of soy we eat, so we only stick to whole food soy sources like tempeh and tofu. we also love to occasional indulge in some specialty items like field roast apple sage sausage and no evil foods prepper seitan.
beans. beans are always on hand (both canned and dried) so i can add them to just about any dish we're making. they're a great way to add protein and one of bear's personal favorites! some of our favorites are adzuki beans, white canneli beans, garbanzo beans, black beans and kidney beans.
grains. we love to experiment with different grains. i use them for stir fries, sides and additions to meals like soup and burritos. our favorites are quinoa, kamut, pearled barley, amaranth and millet.
nuts. in addition to cashews, we sprinkle nuts on just about everything. i love to top our meals with pecan parmesan, taosted almonds and chopped walnuts.
almond milk. finally, almond milk is our go-to dairy free milk. it's delicious, nutritious and works well for both savory and sweet cooking.
what are are a few of your favorite plant based pantry staples?