Vegan Pantry Staples

It’s easier to eat healthy when you have all your meals planned out. The best way to stay true to that is by stocking up on your vegan pantry staples.

These are foods you can quickly grab at any time and prepare a healthy and delicious vegan meal.

And although household pantry staples may vary with personal preferences, food allergies, and even ethnicity, it can be difficult for some people to decide which kinds of food to have. And I understand!

So I have put together this article with a list to help you make the right choices to ensure good health and wellbeing.

You might also like Gluten-Free Vegan Shopping List and Dr. Sebi Food List.

assorted grains and seeds, oatmeal, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds in paper sacks

Whole grains

Whole grains are full of fiber, minerals, and vitamins, and should definitely be top of your list. They make for a filling breakfast, and their high fiber may help keep you satisfied longer.

The fiber content may also help reduce calorie intake, thus helping maintain a healthy weight. Fiber also promotes digestive health, among other benefits.

Best whole grains to buy

  • Oatmeal
  • Millet
  • Bulgur
  • Buckwheat
  • Sorghum
  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Amaranth
  • Barley

You don’t have to include all of them; just pick a few that you will likely use and enjoy.

Assorted beans, pinto, kidney, mung beans, black beans, adzuki

Beans and other legumes

As a vegan or someone on a plant-based diet, beans and legumes are your primary source of protein, so they’re a must-have in your pantry.

Regular consumption of legumes also provides a great addition to your fiber intake, which promotes digestive health, prevents inflammation, and boosts the immune system, among other benefits.

They are also fairly priced and can be found easily in any cereal or food store. Furthermore, legumes are versatile in their recipes and exist in different varieties giving you the power to choose.

Best beans to buy

  • Garbanzo or chickpeas
  • Black beans
  • Pinto
  • Lima
  • Kidney beans
  • Navy beans
  • Lentils
  • Peas

Though beans are highly nutritious and good for you, they contain raffinose, a complex carbohydrate that the body cannot fully digest. This may cause gas and other digestive disturbances. To minimize these effects, ensure you are soaking your beans before cooking them.

Here are some soaking methods to choose from:

Traditionally soaking beans: 8-12 hours

  • Clean, rinse, and soak beans for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Drain and discard soak water
  • Rinse the beans with fresh water
  • Let them boil

Hot water soaking beans (preferred): 24 hours

  • Clean and rinse the beans
  • Place the beans in a large pot and for every 2 cups of beans, add 10 cups of hot water
  • Bring the pot to boil for an additional 2-3 minutes
  • Remove from the heat and cover them. Let them sit for up to 24 hours
  • Drain and discard the water
  • Rinse the beans with cool water and bring them to boil

This method provides the most tender and soft beans.

Quick soaking beans: 1 hour

  • Clean and rinse the beans
  • In a large pot, add six cups of water for every 2 cups of beans
  • Bring it to boil and let it boil for additional 2-3 minutes
  • Remove from the heat, cover and let them sit for 1 hour.
  • Drain and discard soak water
  • Rinse the beans with fresh water
  • Add a new batch of water and let them boil until cooked

This is the easiest method and can still provide tender and soft beans

The process of soaking and boiling can look tiresome, and the best thing is to boil a large portion of beans, portion them into your preferred serving sizes, and store them in the freezer to use whenever needed.

dried nuts, beans and seeds on a wooden background

Nuts

Nuts are a nutritious addition to keep you feeling satiated.

They also provide the needed omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and other important nutrients.

You can enjoy a handful as a snack or toss them on salads or baked goods.

Nut butter can also make a delicious addition to crackers and toast. Just ensure you read the labels carefully and avoid those with additives such as sugar or excess salt. Likewise, there are many recipes on homemade nut butter, and maybe you should give them a try.

Best nuts and nut butters to buy

  • Pistachios
  • Walnut and walnut butter
  • Cashews and cashew nut butter
  • Almonds and almond butter

Dried fruits

Dry fruit makes for a healthy snack when you need a quick energy boost.

They are also a great way to enjoy fruits all year round, even those out of season.

You can include dry fruits in different recipes such as savory dishes, desserts, and salads.

But remember to consume them in moderation, as dry fruits can be high in calories, due to their concentrated sugars.

Best dry fruit to buy

  • Apricots
  • Prunes
  • Figs
  • Cranberries
  • Currants
  • Grapes
nutritional yeast flakes in a glass jar on a white background

Nutritional yeast

With most vegans deficient in vitamin B 12, nutritional yeast is a great way to boost your intake.

It’s also a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Besides, it has a cheesy flavor, making it an excellent ingredient for vegan mac and cheese recipes.

You can also use nutritional yeast to coat tofu or sprinkle on popcorn, soups, and other dishes.

Pasta

Pasta is an essential pantry staple as you can easily pair it with any sauce, vegetables, or protein. Always go for whole-grain pasta to ensure you are getting lots of fiber and other nutrients.

There is always a gluten-free version for those on a gluten-free diet.

Best pasta to buy

  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Chickpea pasta
  • Brown rice pasta
  • Quinoa pasta
  • Black bean pasta
  • Red lentil pasta

Seeds

Like nuts, seeds are a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber and provide a feeling of early satiety and satisfaction.

Seeds can be eaten on their own, in bread and muffins or other baking recipes, in homemade trail mix, or be added to smoothies or yogurt.

Best seeds to buy

  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseed
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds

Oils

It’s good to have healthy oils in your pantry if you’re not on an oil-free diet.

Oils such as olive and coconut contain vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients that can make a great addition to your diet.

Just ensure you are going for extra virgin versions, so you are increasing your nutrient intake.

image of dried spices like cinnamon, cloves, on a wooden background

Dry herbs and spices

Herbs and spices not only improve the aroma and taste of food, but regular consumption may also provide medicinal properties.

Best herbs and spices to have

  • Cinnamon
  • Basil
  • Paprika
  • Oregano
  • Cayenne
  • Paprika
  • Cardamom
  • Cloves
  • Thyme
  • Sea salt
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Chili flakes

Final thoughts on my favorite vegan pantry staples:

Deciding on what to eat on a vegan diet can be pretty daunting, especially when you don’t have any supplies within your reach.

With these healthy vegan pantry staples, you can easily pull off a delicious vegan meal and prevent any temptations to compromise.

More Vegan Tips:

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