Vegan Pantry Staples

As we adapt to new ways of living, being vegan, you probably already know how to make meals out of less than traditional ingredients and, in this Covid-19 era, now is the time to choose your shopping items even more wisely to get the most out of it both nutritionally and economically.

With that in mind, guest blogger myveganhealthuk has some pointers for building up and sustaining a vegan pantry.

Take Inventory

First things first; you should start to make a list of the basic ingredients in your cupboard. Make sure you separate those items which have a shorter shelf life to incorporate into your meals first. You don’t want to be four weeks down the line and find a batch of soya mince out of date that could have contributed to multiple meals in the preceding month. Next, make a list of any food groups you are low on and make them a priority on your next shop.

Store Cupboard Basics

A well-stocked store cupboard plays a huge part in creating well balanced meals. Here are some ideas for basic ingredients to keep in good supply;

  • Canned beans and pulses are cheap, particularly own-brand varieties or you could opt for dried pulses, which have an extensive shelf life but identical nutritional value.
  • Baked beans are a pantry staple and a good source of protein – choose lower salt and lower sugar varieties if possible.
  • Tinned tomatoes are a basic ingredient in countless dishes, including pasta, stews and casseroles, so an absolute must have in your pantry.
  • Dried pasta is a delicious comfort food, especially when cooked with simple sauces and can also be used in pasta bakes, which will last for numerous meals. Or Noodles are easy to prepare, quick to cook and go well with stir-fried vegetables as well as meat alternatives that may be lurking in your freezer.
  • Similarly rice is a useful staple which can be used to create risottos, buddha bowls, jalfrezi and even sushi (if you’re feeling adventurous!)
  • Or choose Couscous which is ready in minutes and tastes delicious with roasted vegetables and a tomato puree paste.
  • Red lentils thankfully don’t require soaking before cooking and make a delicious and easy-to-prepare dahl that can feed multiple people (or one for multiple days!).
  • Dried soya mince can be used in many recipes – it’s great to use for a spaghetti bolognese, lasagne or a vegetarian chilli.
  • Rapeseed oil contains omega 3 fatty acids and can be used as an alternative to olive oil.
  • Lemon or lime juice can be used in salad dressings and is cheaper than balsamic vinegar.
  • Wholemeal flour can be used to make your own bread – it’s easier than you think!
  • Vegetable stock cubes are great for adding flavour to sauces as well as soy sauce, which is equally tasty with noodles or rice and stir-fried vegetables.
  • Yeast extract (such as Marmite) or nutritional yeast is a source of vitamin B12, which is paramount to a vegan’s diet as it cannot be found naturally in the vegan diet. You can also acquire this vitamin from B12-enriched foods such as vegan soya yogurts, vegan cheese, cereals and of course supplements.

If you have a window ledge, try growing some fresh herbs from scratch. It can work out cheaper and less wasteful than buying bunches from the supermarket. Furthermore, you can watch helpful videos for advice on how to take cuttings to grow further batches. If anything, this could develop into a welcome hobby to keep yourself busy while staying at home.

Key takeaways to keep your food supplies in check; shop smart, keep track of your inventory, plan meals and most importantly, stay positive.

@myveganhealthuk is a vegan recipe/foodie blogger followed by over 16,000 on Instagram. Check out her recipes for ideas. How many suggested store cupboard staples have you got left and what’s the most inventive thing you have created with them?

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Vegan store cupboard essentials