Is there anything worse than making the decision to change your eating habits only to find that when you shopped for your new plant-based diet, you forgot a gazillion ingredients you need?
- Yes, there is something worse. You realize you forgot those ingredients when you're in the middle of cooking your very first ever deliberately vegan meal. It's not any different than forgetting ingredients for a non-vegan meal, right?
- It kinda takes the wind out of your sails doesn't it? Like, "Forget it, I'll start next Monday instead."
- Because everyone knows you can't start a new eating plan on any other day. ;-)
- We're here to help prevent these sorts of scenarios! Whether you're going vegan, vegetarian or just incorporating more plants into your diet, we've got 7 staples you're gonna without a doubt need in your pantry!
1. Frozen fruits
Frozen fruits are less expensive than fresh, keep longer, and are usually already washed and prepped. In some cases, they can even be better for you than fresh produce because they aren't covered in sprays and pesticides.
- Frozen fruit is a staple in almost every plant-based eater's diet. It's great for smoothies, toppings for oatmeal or desserts, and perfect in your favorite plant-based yogurt.
- Frozen fruit, particularly berries, are packed with antioxidants, fiber, and tons of immune-boosting nutrients.
2. Plant milk
Maybe you knew this already, but humans are literally the only species of mammal on this planet that drink another animal's milk. Plus, we're also the only mammal that drinks milk past infancy!
- Plant milk is an excellent replacement for traditional milk, and it packs more nutrients (and calcium) than regular milk does. You can use plant milk in equal parts as a substitute for regular milk in pretty much any recipe. You can buy it in bulk because it lasts longer than regular milk does.
- It's not necessarily a pantry staple, but it's definitely a staple you'll want to have hangin' around on the regular!
3. Rolled Oats
You probably already have a canister of these in the back of your pantry somewhere. Especially if you bake often!
- Rolled oats are a plant-based eater's best friend. They're great to use in breakfast foods, smoothies, oatmeal bars, cookies, muffins, granola, tons of things. You can even make your own oat flour.
- Oats are filling and you're probably already aware that oats have been proven to help lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure. They're definitely heart healthy! And cheap.
Bananas are like a superhero food for vegans! They're also incredibly budget-friendly foods.
- Not only are they nutrient dense, they're incredibly versatile if you're on a plant-based diet. Some no-brainer uses for bananas are in muffins, oatmeal, as a smoothie base and for pudding.
- But did you know bananas are a great substitute for eggs? Particularly in baking.
- Plus, bananas are high in antioxidants and can help with acid reflux, constipation, high blood pressure, and even depression!
Repeat after us. "Beans are our friends." Uncooked or canned, beans are definitely a budget-friendly pantry staple.
- Vegans, vegetarians, and all experienced plant-based foodies know that beans are at the center of any type of plant-based diet. Beans are high in protein, fiber, iron, and many other nutrients that are sometimes missed on a vegan diet.
- An they're soooooooo versatile. Garbanzo beans are used to make hummus. Black beans are often used in baking!
- Beans are used to make vegan meats as well. Black bean burgers are a yummy replacement for traditional beef patties. Or...need a cheap vegan meal? Beans and rice.
7. Brown rice
Whole grain brown rice is inexpensive and a staple food in many vegan dishes. Now, we get that most people don't exactly love brown rice, but hear us out.
- White rice is actually bleached to be white. Yes. With chemicals. It's also hyper-processed and has virtually no nutritional value.
- Brown rice is packed with fiber, necessary minerals, antioxidants, and can be mixed with other foods and spices easily. Brown rice is definitely a pantry staple you'll want to keep on hand.
8. Vegetable broth
Yep. Simple right? It's cheap. And it's useful.
- Veggie broth can obviously be used to make soups, but other uses are as a replacement for oil when stir frying vegetables or in the crockpot instead of water. Soak your dried beans in it to give them more flavor or cook your pasta in it. Vegetable broth is super versatile.
- Be careful when buying store bought broth though as they can be high in sodium and preservatives. Choose wisely and in bulk!
Applesauce is another hidden gem in many plant-based recipes and vegan diets! It's incredibly versatile as well.
- Unsweetened applesauce has a long shelf life, is very inexpensive, and can be a substitute for eggs, butter, or even oil in some recipes. It's low in fat and calories and is great for baking, as an oatmeal topper, in pancakes, or just as a snack!
- There ya go! If you have these in your kitchen, you've got the makings of an easy, budget-friendly plant-based lifestyle.
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