Making a lifestyle change isn’t easy and overhauling your diet can seem like a daunting task. One of the easiest ways to get started with healthy eating habits is to keep a few plant based staples in your kitchen that can form the base for a variety of simple, healthy meals.
Many of these items can be found throughout our meal kits as we believe that convenient, simple recipes are all you need to get started on a journey to healthy eating. Each of our ingredients is carefully selected to include as few fillers and artificial additives as possible. Here is a simple guide to getting your plant based pantry started:
It doesn’t matter what kind of cooking you’re doing, a great broth is essential for a wide variety of dishes. Make sure you have a great vegetable broth, or vegetable bouillon cubes, on hand to add flavor to rice dishes, pastas, curries, and more. To show you just how versatile it is, a nice light vegetable bouillon forms the base of both our Texas Chili and our Cranberry Pumpkin Risotto.
Almost everyone has a little bit of extra virgin olive oil in stock, but you can also turn to avocado oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, or coconut oil to add a bit of variety to your cooking. Whether you’re stir frying some vegetables, or whipping up a great salad dressing, keeping a few different oils on hand is a great way to add a subtle touch of flavor to your cooking.
Healthy Dried Goods
Quinoa, amaranth, lentils, oats, and other dried goods are an important part of a plant-based pantry. Not only do they provide a great base for cooking different types of dishes, some of these grains are super foods, full of proteins and nutrients necessary for a healthy diet. Grains like quinoa can also make for a great meat replacement in hearty sauces, like in our Cincinnati Spaghetti. Dry goods have a great shelf life so if you keep a healthy stock it will last you for a long time.
Canned Tomatoes and Beans
Flavor rich tomatoes are a great building block for sauces, stews and curries. Keep a healthy stock of canned tomatoes, and along with the rest of your pantry you’ll be able to whip up a delicious pasta with just three or four ingredients. Keep fiber-rich beans on hand to add a bit more substance to your meals. They’re also great for making plant-based dips like hummus or adding to some of our meal kits for a bit of a twist. Some of our favourites to keep on hand are chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans.
Great in cereals, or for making creamy sauces, nut-based milks are a key component to the plant-based pantry. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, nut-based milks are the perfect substitute for baking, or even making pancakes. They also make for a great base for your post-workout protein shake.
Coconut Oil and Milk
Coconut oil has a ton of practical uses, both in and out of the kitchen. For culinary purposes it can be used as a butter replacement, for roasting or sautéing vegetables, or as a key ingredient to sauces and dips. Coconut milk is the secret weapon of plant-based cooking. Keep a little on hand to add last minute richness to your dishes, especially when you are whipping up a curry or soup.
Nuts and Seeds
Whether you just need a quick snack, or you want to add some complexity to your dishes, nuts and seeds make for a great addition to your plant-based pantry. As a great source of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein, and fibre, they make for a great addition to salad and smoothies. For seeds, keep a stock of chia, flax, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds on hand. For nuts, our favourites are almonds, cashews, and walnuts.
Do you keep a plant based pantry? What items do you like to keep in stock? Let us know in the comments!