Guide: A Plant-Based Pantry

Guide: A Plant-Based Pantry

The complete registry of everything we stock up on to stay healthy, happy, full and sane. 

 

If you're transitioning to a more plant-based diet you might be wondering where to start in terms of shopping. Filling up your pantry can feel extremely daunting, especially with the growing number of superfoods and expensive products on the market which tend to be associated with a plant-based diet. “Do I need to go to Whole Foods?”, “Do I need to order powders online?” “Will this cost me an arm and a leg?”. The answer is no, no and no. Almost all of the beans, legumes, nuts, grains, sweeteners and extras which feature most in our kitchens can be bought at any supermarket. This is the list of what we like to keep in our pantry, but don’t feel like you need to buy everything from every category. If you're just starting out, choose a few from each section, experiment and then expand.  

 

 
Photo Credit: Raw Manda | How to Store Nuts and Seeds

Beans & Legumes:

The backbone of a balanced plant based diet. They provide the protein, vitamins and minerals you need with little to no fat, and without the cholesterol of common non-plant protein sources. Best of all, they’re cheap. Really cheap. Whether you’re buying them canned or cooking them from dry, there are endless delicious ways you can incorporate beans and legumes into your diet. From dips, to soups, to salads and even desserts, the bean world is your oyster.    

- Red lentils 
- Green/black lentils  
- Chickpeas
- Black beans 
- Kidney beans 
- Cannellini beans 
- Split peas 

Nuts, seeds and butters:

Nuts and seeds are definitely your friend. Maybe even your best friend. They are an incredible source of healthy fats and vitamins and best of all, are really filling. We try to incorporate these into our diet every day (in baked goods, dressings or on their own), so it’s useful to have a good variety on hand. We suggest you buy them raw (not roasted) and in bulk.

- Almonds 
- Cashews
- Walnuts
- Peanuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Flaxseeds 
- Nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew)
- Tahini (sesame paste)

Photo Credit: Fox and Briar | Toasted Coconut Almond Butter

Grains, flours and starches:

You could probably tell this one was coming up, by all the “grain bowls” on the menus of trendy vegetarian restaurants. But they’re actually not a trend at all: grains have been diet staples for tens of thousands of years, and our evolution can actually be attributed to these mighty starches. The amount of protein and fibre in each vary from grain to grain, but they all hold an important place in our pantry for their versatility.

- Rice (brown, basmati, risotto) 
- Barley 
- Quinoa
- Oats
- Couscous 
- Polenta 
- Pasta (regular, spelt, whole wheat)
- Chickpea flour
- Buckwheat flour 
- Spelt flour
- Almond meal/flour

Oils & Vinegars:

- Olive oil
- Coconut oil 
- Sunflower/Rapeseed oil 
- Apple cider vinegar 
- White wine vinegar 

Sweeteners:

We like to keep a variety of sweeteners in our pantry at all times. Maple syrup, coconut sugar and pure cane sugar are our favourites for baking, and all have a delicious distinct flavour. Dates are our go-to in raw baking (for things like energy balls and granola bars) and actually make a delicious dessert all on their own.  

- Coconut sugar and/or pure cane sugar
- Maple syrup
- Dates 

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit | What Is Coconut Sugar? 

Flavour boosters:

Missing some ‘oomph’ in your plant based cooking? These are the flavour bombs we like to keep in our pantry to add depth and umami to our cooking.

- Miso paste
- Nutritional yeast
- Mustard 
- Tamari/soy sauce
- Sriracha
- Tomato paste
- Balsamic vinegar

Spices, herbs and powders: 

Spice shops or isles can be a little daunting if you’re stocking up for the first time. These are a few good all-around spices that make the biggest appearances in our cooking and are good to have on hand.  

- Curry powder
- Smoked paprika
- Cumin
- Cinnamon
- Turmeric  
- Chilli powder
- Chilli flakes or whole chillis 

- Rosemary
- Thyme
- Oregano 
- Pepper 
- Cacao & cocoa powder 

Canned & bottled:

We like to keep these on hand at all times as they help pull a meal together in no time. Need some quick pasta? Use a can of chopped tomatoes. Want a creamy curry? Throw in a can of coconut milk, some curry paste and voila. Have no fresh fruit for your porridge? Cook some apple sauce in with cinnamon for some apple pie breakfast vibes.  

- Chopped tomatoes
- Coconut milk
- Curry paste (red and/or green)
- Apple sauce 

Photo Credit: My New Roots | Chocolate Chunk Nut Butter Blondies

Sweet extras:

- Coconut chips & flakes
- Dark chocolate 
- Dried fruit (mango, raisins etc.)
- Fruit jam 

 Savoury extras:

- Vegetable stock cubes
- Nori sheets  
- Crackers 
- Dried mushrooms  

 

Credits
Photo 1 (Cover Photo): Raw Manda | How to Store Nuts and Seeds
 Photo 2: Fox and Briar | Toasted Coconut Almond Butter
Photo 3: Bon Appetit | What Is Coconut Sugar? 
 Photo 4: My New Roots | Chocolate Chunk Nut Butter Blondies