When I first went vegan I became obsessed with every resource that could tell me how to stock my newly plant-based kitchen. From cookbooks to blogs to peering in the cupboards of my friend’s homes, I wanted to know exactly what I needed to make veganism not just possible, but easy. Over time I figured out what must-have staples I needed, what dairy and meat alternatives were nice to have on hand, and the best equipment to make any kind of vegan cuisine. Today I’m making that process easier for you. With 11 years of veganism and 5 years as a professional food blogger, I hope I can help you by sharing the insight I’ve gained in stock a vegan kitchen.
Welcome to My Darling Vegan’s official guide to stocking a vegan kitchen.
My kitchen is primarily a whole foods kitchen, meaning I don’t used much processed foods, other than tofu, tempeh, and some canned beans. And I don’t use dairy alternatives, with the exception of baking. However, I’ve gone through stages in my 11 years of veganism where I have really appreciated those foods, and so I have added my favorites to this list.
Click on the links to find my favorite recipes using these ingredients or where to buy them.
Grains & Legumes
I have a rotating supply of a variety of grains and legumes in my pantry. While I don’t have every one of them listed here, these are the ones I usually have on hand.
- red and green lentils
- split peas
- brown and white rice
- wild rice blends
- old fashioned rolled oats
- steel cut oats
Proteins & Dairy Substitutes
- non-dairy milk (soy, almond, cashew, coconut)
- non-dairy yogurt (I prefer coconut)
- non-dairy cream cheese
- vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
I enjoy both classic baking and raw dessert and have had professional experience in both. For that reason, my baking cupboard is a combination of super foods and raw baking flours and classic flours and sugars.
- all-purpose flour
- nut meal (almond, hazelnut, walnut)
- quinoa flour
- cacao powder
- maple syrup
- raw agave nectar
- cacao nibs
- sugar (brown and white)
- shredded coconut
- chocolate (chips and bars)
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are an important part of my kitchen. I add them to salads, dinner, use them in desserts, as egg replacers, cream bases, and create snacks using nut butters and spreads. They provide a healthy dose of protein, good fats, and tons of nutrients. The nuts and sees I always have on hand are:
Fruits & Veggies
I always have a lot of fresh fruits and veggies in my kitchen. While they are evolving depending on what’s in season, I have some fruit and veggie constants, such as:
- coconut oil and butter
- avocado oil
- nutritional yeast
- apple cider vinegar
- olive oil
- quality sea salt
- spices and fresh herbs
Besides having a stocked pantry and refrigerator, I have found several important gadgets that help me in my vegan baking and cooking. Below is a list of my favorite 10 kitchen gadgets that are especially helpful for plant-based cooking
- Vita-mix – a high-powered blender like a Vita-mix creates the perfect smoothies, nut butters, purees and is essential for creating cashew based cheeses, sauces, and desserts. I bought my Vita-Mix 4 years ago and use it nearly every day.
- Quality chef’s knife – spending a little extra on a quality chef’s knife goes a long ways. Last year for my birthday I was gifted a nice chef’s knife and it’s now the only knife I use. It creates a cleaner, quicker, and safer cut for all those fruits and veggies you are eating on a plant-based diet.
- Stand up Mixer – During baking season, I use my stand up mixer almost every day for cookies, cakes, doughs. It’s less messy and way less work. While they can be a bit expensive, they last a life time and make baking fun and easy!
- Immersion Blender – Immersion blenders are great for making homemade chai lattes, pureeing soup, salsas, pestos, even smoothies for a quick cleanup option.
- Food Processor – Another kitchen utensil I use nearly every day. Perfect for slicing, shredding, and pureeing. A high quality food processor should last you a several decades.
- Cast Iron Skillet – I have several cast iron skillets that I use every day for sautéing, cooking, and baking. I recommend getting a smaller one (6″ or 8″) and a larger one (12″). I recently got a lid for my 12″ which has made cooking in them so much better.
- Spiralizer – one of my more recent kitchen gadgets, a spiralizer allows you to make beauitful vegetable spirals as well as zucchini noodles for a healthy, gluten-free alternative to pasta.
- Air Fryer – This is a new product for me that I’ve been loving. Rather than deep frying, an air fryer fries with very hot air for a much healthier alternative to fries, doughnuts, onion rings and all your favorite fried foods.
- Instant Pot – Another newer gadget for me, the instapot is a multi-cooker that does the work of several different kitchen appliances: slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, and even yogurt maker. Keep you eye out for new Instapot recipes coming to the blog!
- Mandoline – I love my mandoline for raw cooking especially. The mandoline allows me to make thin, uniform slices of fruits and vegetables for picking, veggie noodles, and much more.
That’s about it for the My Darling Vegan guide to a well-stocked kitchen. But I’m sure I’ve missed some of your favorite kitchen items. Tell me what you love in your vegan kitchen in the comments below.
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