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Sticking to a well-balanced vegan diet can be achievable with a little bit of preparation. Having a well stocked pantry will give you options when you don’t have time for the grocery store and can save you time and money down the line. And, what better way to eat healthy than to stock your cabinet with only healthy options right? If you want to be prepared to make some healthy vegan meals, here’s what you gotta have.
Dried or in cans, beans are an absolute staple in the vegan diet. Plus, they are insanely healthy, filling and taste amazing. Use black beans for Mexican inspired dishes, chickpeas to make hummus and lentils to make a stew. Boil them down to make a bean dip or throw an assortment of them in a salad.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, nut butters are a healthy way to satisfy it. Try a jar of natural peanut, cashew or almond butter to add to celery, apples or rice crackers for a snack. Melt a spoonful of it into your morning oatmeal or use it to make Asian dishes like Pad Thai.
A healthier alternative to other oils, coconut oil also gives a unique flavor to every dish. Use it for stir fry, fried rice or drizzled on top of some veggies that you plan on roasting. It also makes a nice moisturizer so you can use it on your skin.
More nutritious and less calorie inducing, brown rice is a good staple to keep in the cabinet. Use it for side dishes, cold salads or for making your own veggie sushi rolls.
Another grain to include in the diet, couscous cooks much faster than rice and can be used in Mediterranean dishes. Use it for salads with olives and dried red peppers or fill a pita pocket with it for a sandwich.
Quinoa can be used as an alternative in any rice or couscous based recipe. Science says that it is packed with unique nutrients making it extremely healthy and important in a vegan diet.
Make your recipes a little more interesting by adding dried coconut flakes. You can put them in smoothies, on top of bananas/apples and peanut butter or sprinkled on top of morning oatmeal.
This all natural, chocolate tasting powder makes a healthy alternative to actual chocolate. Like the coconut flakes, you can add this to smoothies (especially banana or strawberry ones,) on top of oatmeal or dusted on top of some toast with cashew butter.
It’s healthy, delicious, and you can use it for pretty much anything. Keep a couple of jars or cans to make pasta sauce, soup, stir fry, curry or just throw it on top of a rice and vegetable mixture.
Fantastic sources of protein and typically filling, always keep a good variety in stock. Cashews, almonds, peanuts- they are good for homemade trail mix and in stir fry too.
You won’t have to worry about these guys rotting away in the back of the fridge. Keep a nice stock of dried fruit and you will always have something around to satisfy your sweet tooth. Try them in cereal, oatmeal and in granola mixes.
Oatmeal is a go to for breakfast and even lunch if you want to get crafty. Make a heaping bowl of it with your favorite fruits, nuts and sweet seasonings or turn it into something savory with cooked vegetables and some salt and pepper. Also, you can use the uncooked oats in granola mixes or on top of fruit with nut butter.
Boxed Nut Milks
The ones in the boxes don’t need to be refrigerated until you open them. Stocking your cabinet with them ensures that you will always have a new one to pop into the fridge when needed. Use them for cold or hot cereal, in recipes that have cream sauces or for mashed potatoes.
Corn and other vegan-friendly pastas are great items to keep in your cabinet. Utilize them for Italian night or to make cold pasta salads.