Staples for a vegan diet

Today’s post was supposed to be about how I stay organized but, ironically, I am a day behind (on my own challenge…). I thought since I am currently juggling many of my own projects at once, plus my actual work, I should review my organization routine closer to the end of this challenge, when maybe I’ll have some new light to shed on the topic. Plus, I have to catch up on yesterday’s post: staples for a vegan diet! AKA, foods I always have in my kitchen.

When it comes to fruits, vegetables, and other fresh food, I usually base my purchases on the recipes I plan to make that week. I also try to switch this up, just to get some variety in my diet. But these are some items that I almost always have.

The obvious: (to me anyway) — I always have grains and canned goods like rice, pasta, beans, quinoa, oatmeal, etc.

Fruits and vegetables: so I don’t just buy random fruits and vegetables when I go to the store and hope that I’ll use them; I am almost sure I would waste them that way. But, outside of planned recipes, there are a few things I usually have on hand: bananas, maybe dates (since they last a while), frozen strawberries, spinach, and frozen mixed vegetables.

The random: these are some of the more unique items that, while others may never purchase them at all, I am unsure if I could make it through the day without.

  • Stevia: the relation to the vegan diet is basically that white refined sugar is often not vegan (it can be processed with bone char), but I choose it instead of other alternatives because I like it and think it’s more natural than some others. I drink a lot of coffee and tend to bake or make other things requiring sweetener, so I always need stevia!
  • Silk soy creamer: I’ve tried many dairy-free creamers, and this one has to be my favorite. I used to be a big fan of the vanilla Coffee Mate creamer (if I did choose to taint my black coffee with any kind of cream), and I think the vanilla silk creamer is a decent alternative. The hazelnut flavor is always nice.
  • Almond milk: another thing I use in almost everything, or just drink on its own. I usually prefer it to other kinds of milk alternatives.
  • Nutritional yeast: if you haven’t heard of it, it is basically a type of yeast that adds a cheesy/ nutty flavor to foods. I really like it, but many people think it is completely disgusting, so I might be alone on this one…
  • Proteins: I always have some kind of protein, such as tofu, tempeh, or a meat alternative on hand.
  • Nuts/ Lara Bars/ other to-go snacks: sometimes, despite my best planning, my meal prep options don’t work out or I have a long day away from home and need something to bring with me. I like nuts and Lara Bars because they are calorically dense so I don’t need to bring a lot of them with me in order to have a healthy snack later in the day.
  • A billion spices: while everybody’s cabinet would probably ideally be stocked with spices, it doesn’t always work out that way. However, a vegan diet would be quite boring without an abundance of spices (to me, anyway) because that is where most of the flavor comes from in vegan food. Spices are the variety of life. Wait, I don’t think that’s how that goes…
  • Sriracha: like the spices, it makes some otherwise bland foods bearable or even great! I usually have many sauces for that same purpose.
  • Coconut aminos: similarly, I use these for added flavor, although I also use it sometimes for stir fry or even to replace soy sauce.
  • Coconut oil: while we are on the topic of coconuts, I should mention coconut oil, which is known on Twitter for being used for literally everything so it should be no surprise that I have it in my kitchen at all times.
  • Lemons: one thing that is oddly difficult to find is vegan salad dressings. Plus, who wants 174833298 bottles of salad dressing laying around when you could just make your own? Mixing lemon juice with some other ingredients (tahini + nutritional yeast, or olive oil, etc) can be a great alternative! On the other hand, they’re great to have in case you want to add lemons to your water, tea, etc.
  • Apple cider vinegar: this is usually my vinegar of choice for dressings and many recipes, but I also sometimes mix it in with water, stevia, and some cinnamon for a tangy drink in the morning that is supposed to be good for your digestion, among other things.
  • Popcorn: when I was a kid, I came home from school every day and ate popcorn. Now I tend to do more of an Olivia Pope thing where I eat popcorn for dinner with some wine… *shrugs*

What do you keep in your kitchen at all times — anything unusual?

-AK

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