Having the right items in your pantry can make this lifesyle so much simpler, here are some items that I reccomend to ensure that you can have everything you need at your fingertips for vegan success.
Agave – this sweetner is dirived from the agave plant and is a great sweetener. It is very sweet and can be used to also substitute in recipes as well as over pancakes.
Vegetable Broth – this is the same as chicken or beef broth except no animal products are associated with this and you get that great soupy taste for a greater range of flavor in your recipes
Bouillon Cubes – this is simimalr to the veggie broth, but they put concentrated spices in a nice little cube that packs a powerful punch in your recipes.
Chocolate – sometimes you just need a little chocolate, being vegan doesn’t mean you have to give this up. Make sure to get the vegan variety which will be available at most health food stores.
Egg Replacer – there are a couple of options here for this. You can use flax, chia, or the actual egg replacer product called Ener-G which works great with warm water to subsitute an egg in any generic baking recipe.
Cocoa Powder – this is great in smoothies as well as for baking. It is best to get the Dutch variety to ensure you are getting a good quality. Check the ingredients and make sure there is nothing there that shouldn’t be there such as milk.
Flax Meal – this is very rich in omega-3’s and is used in smoothies and also it makes a great egg replacer. The formula is 1 tablespoon to 3 tablespoon of water for one regular egg replacement.
Spelt Flour – is closer to a whole grain flour than white and wheat flour, however, it is not gluten free.
Earth Balance Buttery Spread – this is a butter substitute that can be used as butter or margarine were used. It is completely vegan.
Oatmeal – very versatile because it makes the perfect hot breakfast ad also in smoothies and an enriching agent in many recipes.
Nutritional Yeast Flakes – is pretty much yeast that has been dried, it is highly nutritious so I think every vegan kitchen should have this. It is a great way to get your B12 and some people say the flavor is along the lines of a buttery taste.
Quinoa – this is a great grain that is highly nutritous and can be used in place of rice for a richer, fuller nutty flavor.
Milks – As regular milk is off the menu I like to use the following. I like to use Almond milk in cereals and smoothies, well pretty much everything. There is also Soy Milk, Rice Milk, Hemp Milk, Coconut Milk to name a few. Also if you are really into it you can even make your own milk of whatever you choose such as cashew.
Tempeh – this is a fermented soy product that can be used to add protein to meals. It is best when steamed first then marinated to the best flavor.
Tofu – this is also a meat alternative that is high in protein. It can be used in many dishes as well as smoothies in the silken version.
TVP – Texturized Vegetable Protein, this product is made from defatted soy flour. It cooks very quickly and has the consistency of ground turkey once rehydrated. It is super easy to work with and is a very versatile ingredeint in many savory dishes.
Vegan Cream Cheese – for those times where you just need a cream cheese bagel you won’t have to give up on that craving. Some versions are better than others so see which ones suit your taste the best.
Millet Flour – this flour is gluten free and can be used in place of certain baking recipes
Nuts & Seeds – keeping nuts and seeds on hand is a good way to make sure you have a good source of protein that is quick easy to pop in your mouth as a snack. Also you will end up using more of these in your recipes if you don’t happen to be alergic.
Food Processor – making your own meals, mostly from scratch requires a little more effort, as you will be cutting up more items a food processor is a great product to have on hand to make your life a little easier. You could get by without this item, but having one does simplify things.
Blender – having a blender is essential for smoothies which is a quick and easy meal, but also you will find that you use it more and more for a quick well incorporated smooth consistancy to certain recipes. The quality of blender you purchase depends on how often you plan on using it and for what intensity you plan on using it to chop. For example if you plan on a few smoothies here and there than you can probably get away with using a 30 something dollar blender, however, if you plan on making soups from scratch and processing nuts and dense items I sugget getting something along the lines of a Vita Mix blender.
Mixing Bowls – for mixing up various dishes and recipes with plenty of space for things to get well incorporated; I like to use glass and ceramic staying away from aluminum.
Pots & Pans – most kitchens already have this, but try to get good quality items if you can.
Measuring Cups & Spoons – again I think most kithens will already have this, but if you don’t, it is essential for baking and ensuring your recipes are acurate.
Stand Mixer or a Handheld Mixer – this is also essentail for baking up delicious goodies.
Strainer – a strainer is a very versatile tool. Canned foods have that syrupy stuff that you probably don’t want to consume. I like to make sure they are well strained before cooking with them and this tool makes it very simple.
Salad Spinner – this tool makes salad creation a breeze, so make sure you get one of these.
Knifes – having a good set of knives really makes a difference in your cooking prep time. Make sure they are nice and sharp to gaurd against injury.
Storage Containers – making the majority of your meals from scratch does have it’s advantages, but can be a little more time consuming, I like to prep things and keep them stowed away and ready to use in the fridge. Storage containers make this very easy and accessible. These are also great for taking your food with you on the go.
I hope you found this list helpful and if you think of something that I missed please share below in the comments section.
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