Wednesday, 7 February 2018

My Vegan KITCHEN STAPLES! | Cupboard/Pantry

I get asked quite a lot about what types of things I eat on a vegan diet. What essentials do I make sure my kitchen is always stocked up on? What do I snack on? What chocolate do I eat? What protein source do I use? Do I bulk buy things? And so on. 

We all need certain ingredients we stock up on to make sure we can create delicious meals or snacks. I know especially if you're just setting off on your vegan journey, suddenly having to change your usual staples can be overwhelming. I thought I would share some of mine with you, I'm going to split the cupboard/pantry and the fridge/freezer! Starting with the cupboard essentials which hopefully you can get some inspo from!

Beans/Legumes - Any canned beans and legumes are a staple in a Vegan diet! They're so versatile and provide lots of nutrients, fibre and protein to any meal. There are a whole range you can pick from: 

Chickpeas - I love using these for hummus and falafels, roasting and adding to salads or throwing into curries and stews
 Kidney/Black beans -Add to chilli's or burritos (even brownies)  
Edamame - Great in salads or added to stir fries 
Butter/canellini - Great in soups or stews
 Lentils - Great for stews, soups of chilli's 

Nuts/Nut Butter - One of my biggest staples! I don't think I could survive without nuts or nut butter. I love to stock up on Almonds, Cashews, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts, Pecans which are all packed of healthy fats and rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc and phosphorus. Chop and add them to yogurt, oats or granola or add them to baking, trail mixes or smoothies. As for nut butter be sure to go for completely natural ones with no added sweeteners or ingredients. These are also great to add to smoothies, oats or yogurt! I also love to add nut butter with apple or banana or smeared on toast!  

Grains - I stock up on a variety of grains which add a great source of carbohydrates, energy and help bulk up a lot of meals. Good Sources are: 

Oats - Use for porridge, baking or add to smoothies 
Quiona - Also a great source of protein! Add to salads, curries, soups or even add dried quinoa to baking or granola
Rice - Great to add with beans and veggies for a complete protein, add to Mexican styles bowls or with curries and chilli's 
Buckwheat - A great alternative grains, high in fibre and great added to salads or with tofu and veggies.

Pasta/Noodles - Pasta and noodles are great to add to a variety of cuisines and dishes! Stir fries, pasta dishes, or bolgenese. It's so easier to whip up and batch cook, make your own tomato sauce with lots of veggies and a protein such as tofu or tempeh. I love getting various types but especially love Edamame pasta which is made from edamame beans and higher in protein that regular pasta.  

Chopped Tomatoes - I always make sure I am stocked up on chopped tomatoes as they're great to make a base for a huge range of meals. They're good to add to chilli's or curries or to make your own pasta causes with. 

Tahini - Like Nut Butter tahini, made from sesame seeds, is a big essential in my cupboards. I add it to soups, stews, stir fries and make dressings to add to salads or roasted veggies. It's also great to add to sweet dishes such as oats or apple rather than peanut butter. 

Tamari - A gluten free alternative to soy sauce! I use tamari in a lot of my dishes to add a boost of flavour. I especially love stir fries or marinate my tofu in it!

Coconut Oil -  I use coconut oil in a lot my cooking, add it to smoothies or use it in baking. It's a great source of healthy fats and known to have various health benefits such as keeping your skin and hair healthy, boosting metabolism, the immune system, and promote heart health. I also use coconut oil to remove my make up which has helped my skin loads! 

Spices - Using spices in cooking is a great way to add flavour in any dishes. It allows you to explore various cuisines and get creative with all of your dishes. Depending on which spices and herbs you use will also provide you with different benefits! Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory and known to help with digestion, Cinnamon boosts metabolism and helps prevent blood sugar spikes and chilli powder also boost metabolism and helps strengthen the immune system.