My Top 20 Vegan Kitchen Staples

1:50 AM

If there is one thing I love it is grocery shopping. I love planning our meals, writing my colour coded shopping lists, grocery shopping and meal prepping when I get home. The whole experience is calming to me and I feel like the more thought I put into my food shopping the better my body feels at the end of the week because I have filled it with goodness.

Eating a more vegan style diet now means that my kitchen has seen many changes in my pantry and fridge and it has been quite a journey getting it to where it is now. When I first started I had to get used to new flavours and find new staples, most of which I had never even heard of before. This week I thought I would share with you all my top 20 vegan food items that are now essentials in my house. 

When I shop now I get ingredients from a few places including Coles, Health Stores, Markets/Green Grocers and Vegan Specialty Stores. The majority of the products I buy can be bought use from Coles but I like to shop around to get the best quality items as Coles doesn't have a huge variety. If I have plenty of time I sometimes go to Foodland which has an awesome range, although slightly more expensive. 

So here we go:

1. Fruit and Vegetables

Okay so technically I was buying fruit and veg waaaaaay before I adopted the new way of eating, however I was NEVER buying as much as I do now. I can't really write exactly what I buy because it changes depending on season, however I always buy a few kgs of bananas now no matter what. If the bananas are really cheap I buy a whole bunch more and freeze them to make banana smoothies or vegan banana muffins etc. I like to buy whole rockmelons, watermelons, pineapples etc and dice them up when I get home ready for everyone to snack on.

2. Non Dairy Milks

In the beginning I was just buying a couple of soy milk cartons just while we were adapting but now I purchase Soy, Almond, Rice and Coconut Milk. I love the variety and we use them for breakfasts as well as baking and much more. I love to have almond milk in my chai lattes, coconut milk is super yummy in smoothies and the kids like rice and soy in their cereals. We also recently started trying Macadamia Milk. 

3. Massel Stock Cubes

These guys are awesome! I always have chicken, beef and vegetable in my pantry at all times. You never know when you will need some stock and these ones have no animal content YAY!!

4. Nutritional Yeast

I use Nutritional Yeast or 'Savoury Yeast Flakes' as it is called here in Australia, in most of my cooked meals. They add a cheesy/nutty flavour to dishes soI am always using it in my lasagnes, dips and recently in my scrambled tofus. It has so many uses that I always have it in my cupboard.
Nutritional Yeast is a deactivated yeast that is very popular in the vegan world because it is a great source of Vitamin B12 and Protein, which as most of you know is usually lacking in a plant based diet. I purchase mine from my local health food store.

5. Coconut Yoghurt

When I was consuming dairy products I was a huge fan of yoghurt! I would always have tubs in the fridge. Now that I have cut dairy out of my diet I went on the hunt for something to replace it so that I could still enjoy my fruit and yoghurt bowls or just have for snacks on the go. I found these yummy soy yoghurts in Coles in the beginning and they were great but it just seemed like all my alternative solutions for products were all soy based and I didn't want to consume too much of the stuff. This is where 'No Udder Yoghurt' came into my life. I was browsing the supermarket one day and found these AMAZING coconut yoghurts. Let's just say i'm a little bit hooked. They taste amazing in my fruit bowls and I happily sit in front of the telly snacking on it. YUM! Sometimes I still get the soy yoghurts for a little change but the coconut yoghurt has become a staple!

6. Beans 

I always stock up on cans of beans from the supermarket. My cupboard is usually full of red kidney beans, cannelini beans, butter beans, chickpeas, black beans etc. They are always good to have on hand ready to throw into a casserole or burritos.

I also keep varieties of beans dried as well for when I have more time. They are so cheap and you can just soak them for a few hours or overnight.

7. Lentils

Another super cheap staple I have is red and green lentils. Great for soups and a meat alternative in bolognese or shepherds pie. So far I have only really gotten used to the basic red and green variety but I would love to explore lentils more and see what other varieties there are and how to cook with them.

8. Agave Syrup

Always in my cupboard, Agave syrup is what I use in my smoothies and sometimes on top of my porridge if it needs a sweet kick. Usually vegans use Agave Syrup to replace honey but as I have mentioned previously I do still use honey occasionally but sometimes I find Agave Syrup to give a milder taste. I am always using it in my baking as well.

9. Brown rice

Pretty simple, I choose to limit the intake of white foods etc because I feel like the less processed my foods are the better. I think carbs are great for you so I am always eating rice dishes and pasta dishes. I just choose the more wholegrain varieties. Brown rice is one of my favourites so I always have it on hand.

10. Bio Cheese

I don't eat a lot of this one but I always have it in my fridge because it is great to slice up for my burgers and to top my lasagnes as a dairy free alternative to cheese.

11. Rolled oats

Ahhh one of my all time favourite breakfast's is a bowl of warm porridge oats topped with my favourite fruits and drizzled with a little bit of honey! YUM! I have rolled oats on hand ALL the time. They are so cheap and can be used for muffins, muesli bars, porridge, smoothies and the list goes on. I couldn't live without my oats.

12. Herbs

When I am cooking up a storm in my kitchen I have recently been making things up as I go. This is scary for me because I used to rely so much on recipes thinking that I didn't have the talent to create my own amazing dishes.......well, guess what?? I can and I am!! Because I am always playing around with ideas I love to have a variety of herbs on hand at all times. I buy so much herbs I am actually thinking of just getting my gardening gloves on soon and starting my herb garden outside (i'll keep you all updated) At the moment I pretty much always grab rosemary, thyme, coriander, parsley and mint. On the odd week I might grab more varieties but they are my basics.

13. Tofu

I always have a couple blocks of tofu in the fridge. I used to not be a fan pf tofu but then I discovered the oh so many ways that you can use it and now i'm hooked. I use it for burgers, scrambled 'eggs', tacos, stir fries, cheesecakes (yep, you heard right), curries and more. Seriously tofu is the best!

I even found an already marinated tofu in Coles the other day which I now buy just to have on hand in the fridge and i fry it up and chuck it in a sandwich with spinach, biocheese and tomato.......oh my gosh guys you do not understand the joys!

14. Coconut oil

Great for frying, sauces, baking, moisturising your hair, moisturising your skin, it is seriously good for everything. I always have some in my kitchen and in my bathroom. It is the best! There are so many health benefits it really needs to be in everyone's pantry!

15. Maca Powder

I always have a packet of Maca Powder to add to my smoothies. It is a little bit pricey but so worth it. It is a great supplement packed with vitamin C and Iron and it really helps to boost the immune system.

16. Tea

The little english girl in me loves her cups of tea from english breakfast to peppermint. I have an awesome tea box that is always full of a huge variety of teas. Some of my favourites include:
Ginger & Lemon

17. Lemons

I always have lemons in my fruit bowl not only to add awesome flavour to many of my home cooked dishes but also to add slices of lemon to my water in the mornings. Starting your day with a glass of lemon water is one of the best things you can do. It helps cleanse your body, boosts your immune system, helps with digestion and fights viral infections.

18. Sriracha Sauce

Ahhh one of my favourite sauces to cook with, Sriracha adds an awesome kick to dishes that otherwise might be a little plain. My husband loves this sauce so it has now become a staple.

19. Spices

Spices are always a must! I have the biggest collection of them but some of my favourites would be:
Ground Cumin, Paprika, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Turmeric Powder and All Purpose. It took me quite a while to collect so many but i'm pretty happy with my collection now.

20. Nuts and Seeds

Another must in any kitchen are a good variety and nuts and seeds. We always have almonds and cashews on hand but sometimes we get a bit more fancy with hazelnuts, macadamias etc. I use cashews a lot for dishes and for cheesecakes. They are also great for making creamy dips. Almonds we snack on all the time and use for breakfast dishes.
The seeds we usually have are sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds. 

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