Having your cupboard and freezer well-stocked is essential, especially as a vegan. This way, you have the ingredients to make a nutritious and delicious meal in no time! All of these ingredients can be mixed and matched to create a wide range of dishes, although of course, it is always good to have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies in the house too.
These staples are affordable, diverse and taste amazing with a bit of love and care, so for a list of healthy vegan food staples, look no further!
Herbs and Spices
The first staples you need in your cupboard are a variety of different herbs and spices. As with any food, to make it delicious and exciting you need to give it a bit of flavour. The essentials are paprika, garlic powder, chilli powder, mixed Italian herbs and of course salt and pepper. With these things you can completely transform the flavour of any dish!
The first proper food staple is quinoa. Quinoa is considered to be a grain that contains a wide variety of health benefits. It is extremely nutritious, as it contains high amounts of fibre, protein, amino acids and it is also gluten free. Additionally, it is very filling, making it a wonderful ingredient to have on hand.
You can make wonderful fresh salads, use it as a main ingredient in plant-based burgers, add it to stews and soups and even use it for porridge if you would like! By adding a few of the flavours above, it tastes delicious!
The next ingredient on the list of healthy vegan food staples is nut butters. Although some nut butters can contain a lot of sugar, there are non-added sugar options that are actually very good for you. Organic nut butters are full of healthy fats, they are high in protein and they taste delicious. They also contain a good amount of magnesium, although sometimes magnesium tablets are also required!
The best thing about nut butters is that they are so diverse. You can eat it on toast or with fruit, or add it into savoury dishes. Mixing peanut butter with coconut milk makes a delicious satay sauce that is amazing with noodles and pasta. Plus there are so many different nut butter options out there, from almond to peanut and cashew to walnut, meaning you are sure to find something that is to your taste.
Having a couple of different nut butters in the house will make sure you always have access to a quick and easy snack!
As the main element of a meal, tofu is one of the healthiest options. It is a condensed soy milk product that is high in protein, amino acids, calcium and iron, as well as many other important nutrients. It is a healthy, low calorie and nutritious option that will keep you full.
Tofu can be used in so many different ways, with silken tofu working wonderfully in desserts. Firm tofu is the obvious choice for savoury dishes, as it absorbs flavours really well when it is marinaded. Wrap the tofu in a piece of kitchen towel and press it between two heavy books to remove the excess moisture. Then, chop it into pieces and leave it to marinade in soy sauce, paprika, garlic powder and chilli powder for a few hours.
Then you can pan fry it or oven bake it for a delicious, high protein addition to any lunch or dinner!
Another staple for any vegan household is nutritional yeast. It is deactivated yeast that is in the form of yellow flakes and it is a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals. It can boost your energy and help with the immune system. Additionally, it is really simple to add it to a wide variety of dishes.
Nutritional yeast has a very savoury flavour that is quite cheesy, so it can be sprinkled on pasta, added to scrambled tofu or used to make cheesy sauces. This can add so much flavour and much needed nutrients to any dish, so it is always worth having on hand.
Chickpeas are an affordable protein source filled with nutrients, making them a wonderful meat replacement in any dish. They are fantastic for your digestive system, so implementing them in your diet is important as a vegan.
You can make curries, roast vegetable pittas, houmous and even desserts with chickpeas, so keeping a few tins or a dried bag to re-hydrate in the cupboard is always a good idea.
Another vegan food staple to have in the freezer is frozen fruit. It is affordable, delicious and a really simple way to access a boost of vitamins and minerals. Keep a few different bags of frozen fruit in the kitchen so that you have different options to keep things exciting!
You can use frozen fruit in smoothies, add them to your cereal, use them in baking or for jams. Smoothies are a fantastic way to up your calorie intake as a vegan, not to mention they taste amazing.
Fortified Dairy Free Milk
Fortified dairy-free milk is another staple you should always have at home. Opt for unsweetened versions that are fortified with calcium and B12, as they are often nutrients that vegans are deficient in.
The ways that you can use fortified dairy free milk are endless. From baking and cereal to drinks and desserts, you will probably find you use it most days! Again, there are so many different options when it comes to dairy free milk. Oat, almond, soya and coconut are just a few options, and pea milk is now a thing too! Try a different milk each week to find your favourite.
So, there you have it! 8 healthy vegan food staples that you should always have in your home. With these ingredients you will always be able to put together a delicious and nutritious meal to make you feel great. Whether you want something sweet and savoury, you will be able to make a delicious dish!