I had been thinking of compiling a list of vegan staples for people who want to make more of the food on this blog or just more vegan food in general and the other day someone asked me to do just that, so I figured it was a good time to get compiling!
I’ve been a vegetarian for twelve years and vegan for just over four months! I made the change cold turkey, so to speak, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am so much happier and I have never felt or looked healthier in my life. You can find out what prompted my sudden switch in this post here
So here is a sample of some good things to have on hand if you want to get some kick ass vegan cooking/baking on!!
-nutritional yeast (must have for vegans! Make ‘cheese’ sauces with or for adding a cheesy flavour to pretty much anything and high in vit B, a vitamin that vegans are often low in)
-Tamari (gluten free, low salt version of soy)
-miso paste check out this link for why I love miso so much! shit load of nutritional benefits and so good in dressings and of course, miso soup!
-Tahini (I use tahini all the time in dressings, often in raw desserts, I add a scoop to porridge sometimes and even smoothies, here is a link for awesome tahini cookies
-coconut oil (I love this oil so much that I not only bake, fry and cook with it, but I also put it all over my face and body! Check out this link for info on it and an amazing raw chocolate recipe.
-tempehcheck out some fun tempeh facts here. I friggen love this stuff!!
-tofu firm and silken (firm for slicing and frying/baking and silken for desserts/yogurts)
-beans (chickpea, kidney, canelli beans, black beans)
-most of the desserts I make are ‘raw desserts’ which mostly all involve nuts, seeds and dried fruit…and no, I don’t have trail mix for dessert, don’t worry!! The desserts I make are off the fricken charts good, I’m not even going to be modest about this one so check out this link for an out of this world slice recipe; my raw cheese cake is another favourite, and who doesn’t love chocolate pudding tarts ?! Check out my dessert section for more of where those came from and make sure, as well as coconut oil, cacao and a natural sweetener, you’ve got a good supply of the following to get you started:
-nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, brazil nuts etc)
-seeds (pumpkin/sunflower etc)
-dried fruit (dates, figs, apricots, raisins, prunes etc)
-quinoa (complete protein. Use as you would Cous Cous or rice. Add to smoothies, porridge etc) there are even lots of recipes out there for quinoa cakes, muffins and cookies!
-lentils (really high in iron)
-brown rice/wild rice (great source of fibre)
Obviously wheat is acceptable for vegans but I have a sensitivity to it so I do all gluten free. Either way, there are SO many flours out there and a lot of people eat a crazy amount of wheat flour without thinking about it. Before I stopped eating gluten I would easily consume it for breakfast, lunch and dinner…Wheat bix, sandwich, whole wheat pasta. Our bodies crave variety and there are many flours that are not only much easier to digest but full of protein, iron and other essential nutrients that you can’t get from wheat. So try switching it up with flours such as:
-buckwheat flour (complete protein contains all the essential amino acids, great for baking, pancakes, crepes etc)
-brown rice flour (the goodness of brown rice in flour form! A very light flour ideal for anything really, I find it to be the most versatile.
-teff flour (very annoying but this flour isn’t available in Australia, at least I haven’t been able to find it and when I ask at health food stores they give me a weird look. It’s definitely available in north America though and is awesome because it is very high in iron. One serving of it is nearly your whole days iron intake :O )
-oatmeal ( have this on hand for porridge obviously, but you can also blend it up quickly into a flour to use in baking etc)
-chick pea flour (really great for pizza crust and chick pea fries !! As well as Indian pakoras and adding to home made veggies burgers to make them stick together better.
-cacao (like cocoa but raw which means it hasn’t been stripped of any nutrients. The flavour is much better then cocoa and it’s considered a super food!! I use it all the time for desserts and often add a scoop to porridge or smoothies for added nutrients and because it’s chocolate…and adding chocolate to things is generally a good plan.)
-honey (technically not vegan but I still use it) agave syrup, brown rice syrup, stevia
-spices (essential for taking your cooking from good to f&$@ing good. I stock tons of spices, my favs are paprika, tumeric, cinnamon and cumin though. Closely followed by ginger, nutmeg, cayenne, curry powder and dill.)
-nori sheets/dulce flakes (seaweed is really good for you, particularly the iodine in it is great for vegans)
-flax meal (full of omegas and mixed with water creates a binding mixture that you can use in baking instead of eggs)
-chia seeds (omegas/protein/fibre. Add it to smoothies, porridge, cereal or make chia seed pudding by adding about 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk to 1/4 cup of chia seeds, let it sit for about ten minutes, add some fruit, cinnamon, cacao etc and ta-da, chia pudding!
-corn starch (thickening agent, great for vegan gravies and making vegan mac n cheese which you can find a recipe for here
-last but not least, your going to want to have some fruit and vegetables on hand!! Lots of them! Every colour of the rainbow!!