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Top 10 Must-Have Pantry Essentials for New Vegans

Vegan Pantry Essentials displayed on a shelf.

As a new vegan, the task of making your pantry 100% vegan-friendly can be a bit daunting. There’s no need to worry, though! It’s a lot easier than you think to transition to a vegan lifestyle.

You can get all of the nutrients you need on a plant-based diet while still being able to make your favorite meals! Here are our top 10 must-have pantry essentials for new vegans!

1. Plant-Based Milk

Milk is a staple for anyone, let alone new vegans. From baking to a good ‘ole bowl of cereal, tons of recipes call for this creamy delight!

If you don’t want to lose out on eating your favorite recipes, you should always have some plant-based milk on hand! Whether you like oats, almonds, coconuts, or soy, rest assured that you will find a plant-based milk alternative that keeps you running back for more.

Just like cow’s milk, plant-based milk is fortified with essential nutrients like vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin B12!

2. Nutritional Yeast

Who doesn’t love cheese? For a while, vegan cheese had a bad reputation, but there are several delicious, cruelty-free cheese alternatives to choose from these days!

On the flip side, some vegan cheese alternatives can be a little pricey if you want to adequately satisfy your cheesy cravings. That’s where nutritional yeast comes in!

Nutritional yeast – also known as nooch – is a cheap, must-have pantry essential for new vegans! Its nutty and savory flavor is capable of replicating the taste of your favorite cheeses with proper seasoning.

It’s also packed full of vitamin B12, which is something you definitely don’t want to miss when you’re transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.

3. Beans/Legumes

I’m sure you’ve heard the whole, “Going vegan is so easy and cheap! Just eat rice and beans!” You shouldn’t eat only rice and beans, but it’s true!

Going vegan can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be. Beans and legumes are great sources of fiber, protein, potassium, and iron.

I don’t think we could leave this off without addressing the elephant in the room. Yes, the rumors are true. The sugar and fiber in beans, and a plant-based diet in general, can increase the occurrence of…flatulence.

This shouldn’t scare you away from the vegan lifestyle, though! Your body will learn to adjust to the stark dietary change over time.

4. Potatoes

I bet you didn’t know how versatile and nutritionally dense potatoes are! One pound of sweet potatoes has 10x the daily requirement for vitamin A and nearly 50% of the daily requirement for potassium.

Not only can you pop these in the oven and have a nice baked potato, but you can also make yummy vegan cheeses, French fries, and potato casseroles!

Click here to whip up some of the best darn roasted potatoes you’ve ever had!

The Best Vegan Roasted Potatoes recipe served in a bowl with fork.

5. Nuts & Seeds

Getting enough healthy fats in your diet is extremely important for new vegans. A large majority of people who leave the vegan lifestyle attribute their choice to a lack of omega-3 fatty acids.

If you are committed to going vegan the right way, make sure you incorporate nuts and seeds into your diet. Chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts are all great sources for maintaining a healthy level of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in your body!

6. Bananas

Have you ever had banana nice cream? If not, you should try it as soon as possible! No, it doesn’t taste exactly like non-vegan ice cream, but it’s still a yummy, sweet treat!

Other than nice cream, you can use bananas as a replacement for eggs and in place of sugar for healthier baking dishes. Bananas are also high in fiber and potassium!

If you’re into fluffy banana pancakes that are bursting with flavor, you must check out this recipe!

7. Rice

Rice is one of the most obvious pantry essentials for new vegans. Even if you aren’t vegan, rice is probably a common staple in your household. Since it’s an awesome source of complex carbohydrates, it’s a staple food for over half of the world!

Click here to try this 20-Minute Miso Veggie Stir-fry! It’s one of the most simple rice-based dishes you could make.

8. Tofu

Tofu is naturally gluten-free and made out of soybeans. It’s a great option for new vegans because it soaks up whatever kind of spices you throw at it. It’s no different than eating chicken or steak! Would you eat unseasoned chicken? Yeah, I figured you wouldn’t.

Tofu gets a bad reputation, but it can taste way better than animal protein if you know what you’re doing! We got you!

Head over here to try this sizzling black pepper tofu! You won’t even miss the taste of turkey or ham.

Sizzling Black Pepper Tofu recipe served on a plate.

9. Veganaise

If you like to eat sandwiches, you might like mayonnaise. While mustard and ketchup are typically vegan, mayonnaise contains eggs.

You could make your own mayo, but not everyone likes to make all of their condiments from scratch! Pick up a big jar of veganaise so your sandwiches aren’t left feeling sad and dry.

10. Oats

I know, I know. Oatmeal isn’t usually at the top of anyone’s favorite foods list, but there are so many other things you can do with oats!

Oats are whole grains, so they are full of essential vitamins and minerals, such as fiber, manganese, zinc, and B vitamins. Plus, the soluble fiber in oats has been shown to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol!

Click here to try a healthy carrot cake recipe made with rolled oats. Try not to eat the entire cake in one sitting!

Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake recipe displayed on a wooden plate.

Feeling confident to tackle the vegan lifestyle? If you’re ready to dive deep into vegan cuisine, check out our eBook full of 75 delectable plant-based recipes! It is THE best vegan recipe book ever.

What pantry essentials would you recommend for new vegans? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Good Old Vegan inspires you to discover tasty vegan food! Plant-based cuisine is delicious and the benefits are endless. Not only are plants the more ethical option, choosing vegan also leaves a smaller footprint on our planet!

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