My Vegan Pantry

295 comments

IMG 1981 thumb   My Vegan Pantry

One of the requests I receive often is to write a post on building a vegan pantry, providing a list of the ingredients that I use the most. I’m a bit embarrassed by how long this post has taken me to put together, but as they say, better late than never. Or is it better never than late…heh.

This post is by no means exhaustive (nor do I think you need all or even most in your own pantry), but it does highlight many of my favourite foods that I have relied on for about 3 years now. Feel free to use it as inspiration for your own pantry. I also haven’t included vegetables or fruit because my favourites tend to change based on the seasons. Underneath each photo, I’ll list the name of the foods from left to right. You can also click on each picture to enlarge the photo if you wish to have a closer view of the product.

This post will also be linked from the top of the blog (see: “My vegan Pantry”) for easy access. You’ll find a printable PDF at the bottom of this post so you can print the list out and bring it to the store as a shopping list if you want. I hope you find it useful.

My best tip for building a pantry is to buy in bulk whenever possible whether in store, online, and/or via a buying club such as with ONFC (see my note below for discussion). One of the great things about eating a vegan or vegetarian diet is that many of the staple foods we enjoy cost just pennies per serving. Once you have a good base of grains, spices, and legumes built up the rest is just icing on the cake.

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Grains:

  • Pearled Barley
  • Couscous
  • Rolled, Old-Fashioned Oats
  • Short-grain brown rice
  • Millet
  • Wild & brown rice
  • Speltberries
  • Not shown: Farro, kamut & brown rice pastas

Some of my fav flours:

  • whole wheat pastry flour
  • light spelt flour
  • oat flour
  • almond meal or almond flour
  • kamut flour
  • brown rice flour

 

IMG 8906   My Vegan Pantry

Buckwheat is in a class of its own. It can be used just like a grain, but it’s technically a fruit seed (and often called a “pseudocereal”). I buy Raw Buckwheat Groats, which differ in flavour from kasha (toasted buckwheat). Personally, I prefer the flavour of raw buckwheat.

One of my favourite ways to enjoy raw buckwheat is in this raw, no cook breakfast porridge. It’s sooo good and fun for spring and summer mornings. You can also blend it up at night and there is no work in the morning, similar to vegan overnight oats.

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Beans/Legumes:

  • Quinoa (technically a pseudocereal, but since it’s a complete protein I list it here)
  • Black Beluga Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Red Lentils
  • Black Beans
  • Green Lentils
  • Firm or Super firm organic, non-GMO tofu
  • Not shown: Red kidney beans, navy beans, black eyed peas, split peas, edamame
  • You might also want to try cooking beans with a piece of kombu to aid digestion

 

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Nuts: (all raw)

  • Macadamia
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Cashews

 

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Seeds & Dried Fruit: (seeds are all raw)

  • Pepita Seeds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Whole Flax Seed
  • Dried & sweetened Tart Cherries
  • Dried & Sweetened Cranberries
  • Raisins

 

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Vinegars:

  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Organic Balsamic Vinegar
  • Organic Red Wine Vinegar

 

IMG 9091   My Vegan Pantry

Oils:

  • Spectrum cold-pressed Olive Oil spray
  • Cold pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Unrefined Safflower Oil or toasted sesame oil
  • Occasionally, soy-free Earth Balance in the red tub.
  • Not shown: cold-pressed organic extra virgin coconut oil

 

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Sweeteners:

(I stock a lot since I’m big into baking)

  • Raw Agave
  • Organic Molasses
  • Pure Maple Syrup
  • Brown Rice Syrup (unfortunately controversial right now, due to discoveries of arsenic in some syrups and other brown rice products)
  • Organic Dark Brown Sugar
  • Organic Sucanat sugar
  • Organic Cane Sugar
  • Raw Coconut Sugar
  • Medjool Dates

 

IMG 8911   My Vegan Pantry

At first glance, you might think that sugar is vegan, but unfortunately some brands use animal bone char to whiten the sugar. Yet another reason to move away from refined & bleached white sugar whenever possible.

I’ve also recently discovered coconut sugar, but I’ll be talking about that in another post.

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IMG 8914   My Vegan Pantry

Chocolate certainly deserves its own category!

  • Camino Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (I enjoy the mini chips much more than the chunks actually)
  • I often end up buying my chocolate chips in bulk though and just make sure they don’t contain dairy
  • Cacao nibs
  • Carob Powder (I buy from Bulk Barn)
  • Camino Cocoa Powder

 

IMG 9081   My Vegan Pantry

Odds & Ends:

  • Nut & seed butters: Sweetened sunflower seed butter, raw almond butter, roasted natural PB
  • Almond Milk (I usually buy “unsweetened, original” for ease of use in recipes)
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Full fat coconut milk
  • Light coconut milk
  • Not shown: Coconut Butter (I often make my own)

 

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Odds & Ends Part II

  • Nutritional Yeast
  • BPA-free Canned Beans
  • Strained Tomatoes
  • White Linen Collection Marinara Sauce from Costco
  • Low-Sodium Veggie Broth (or bouillon cubes for more cost savings)
  • Not shown: Low-sodium tamari, Aluminum-free baking powder, Cornstarch or arrowroot flour

 

Finally, my spice collection- which went from virtually nothing 5 years ago to a big and growing collection at present day. My love for spices grows as I experiment more in the kitchen. There is never any need to eat boring & bland food on a healthy diet.

IMG 9088 thumb   My Vegan Pantry

My spice collection:

(I put a star beside the ones I use most frequently)

  • anise seed
  • allspice
  • basil*
  • bay leaves*
  • caraway
  • cayenne*
  • celery seed
  • chili powder*
  • Chinese 5 spice
  • cinnamon*
  • cream of tartar
  • cumin*
  • curry masala*
  • dill*
  • dry mustard
  • Fine and coarse sea salt*
  • garam masala*
  • garlic powder*
  • ginger*
  • ground cardamom
  • ground cloves
  • ground coriander seed
  • ground nutmeg
  • Herbamare***
  • kelp granule
  • Kosher salt* (unbleached, better flavour than regular table salt)
  • marjoram
  • mustard seeds
  • nutmeg*
  • onion powder*
    • oregano*
    • paprika*
    • red pepper flakes*
    • rosemary
    • sage leaves*
    • smoked paprika*
    • star anise
    • thyme leaves
    • turmeric
    • Whole Black peppercorns*

     

    IMG 9089 thumb   My Vegan Pantry

    For a printable PDF of this list, click here.

    Finally, I’d love to have a discussion about vegan-friendly stores (both online and in person) to purchase food products. I think a list of resources would be wonderful for new vegans and long-time vegans alike, especially when price-comparing and trying to save a few bucks.

    If you’d like to join in on the discussion and offer your suggestions or even ask a question on where to find something, feel free to do so below! I will help as much as I can and I’m sure many of you have great pieces of advice too!

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    { 295 comments… read them below or add one }

    Gentry April 9, 2012

    Angela, Thanks for sharing all that you have learned. I have my raw buckwheat soaking for tomorrows breakfast. You probably have written about this, but right now I am on a strict ‘counting calories’ program to lose some weight. However, I have heard this before from greensmoothiegirl.com, but do you feel that when you eat healthy, whole, vegan foods, that your body takes care of the weight by itself? Does that make sense?
    I am excited about your cookbook, you are changing lives.

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 10, 2012

    Thank you so much for your kind words. :) I do think there is some truth to that. Since I stopped counting calories, I slowly learned how to listen to my own hunger cues and now my body found a place where it is happy to maintain. That will be different from everyone. A big thing for me was just accepting where my body was happiest instead of fighting myself to be a smaller size all the time. Also, eating whole foods never hurts. I find I have less cravings and more consistent energy levels than before. Goodluck with everything!

    Reply

    Richa@HobbyandMore April 9, 2012

    love your pantry! and this is a great post. i usually buy things online too.. there are always some deals on amazon, iherb or other online stores. A lot of the grains beans and lentils come form the indian store.

    Reply

    Anna April 10, 2012

    The best place to buy on the web is definitely http://www.iherb.com! The site doesn’t really look good at a first glance, but once you start browsing you realize that they stock tons and tons of vegan foods, protein powders, nut butters, flours, chocolate, oils etc… Not to mention all the vitamins that one could desire! If you’re a first time customer, you get a five dollar discount with the code KOS436.

    One protein powder I definitely recommend is Sunwarrior’s raw vegan vanilla protein powder. The protein bars by the brand Vega are another favourite. Another hidden secret of iHerb is all the natural cosmetics that they stock. There really is a ton of them! My favourites: the Hurraw brand of lipbalms (they contain stuff like cinnamon oil and are literally good enough to eat!) and the Badger brand of yummy smelling lotions and potions.

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 10, 2012

    Thanks for the tip Anna! Adding to my list :)

    Reply

    Kari @ bite-sized thoughts April 10, 2012

    This is such a helpful post Angela – and I can definitely see why it took a while to put together! Thank you for taking the time to do so.

    Reply

    Hayley @ Oat Couture April 10, 2012

    Fab post! Reminded me of a lot of stuff I haven’t seen in a while and some stuff I have never tried! :) Bookmarking so that as soon as I get back to the uk I ma doing a massive shop of all the things I haven’t been able to get out here in Cyprus! :)

    Reply

    LizAshlee April 10, 2012

    This is such a great list..thank you so much for sharing! I love so many of the same products!!

    Reply

    Kenda April 10, 2012

    Hi Angela. Great post. I was wondering how you keep track of expiration dates when you store the items in the glass jars.

    Thanks for your awesome blog!

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 10, 2012

    I usually don’t keep track by purchased date, but I just rely on smell to make sure it hasn’t gone bad before each use. I also go through things fairly quickly (like nuts with all the baking I do), so it hasn’t been an issue so far. I might store nuts in the fridge this summer though. I’m going to look into it more.

    Reply

    Autumn Tao April 10, 2012

    Hey Angela,

    Not sure if it was mentioned yet, but I was always told to keep nuts (and ground flax) in the freezer to preserve them. Good call on the wild rice blend too; I’ve already added it to my Whole Food bulk list.

    Cheers!

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 10, 2012

    Thanks Autumn, a few others mentioned this so Im looking into it today. Take care!

    Reply

    Hailey April 10, 2012

    This is absolutely wonderful…luckily I have most of these ingredients just from making your recipes. :-)

    Reply

    Somer April 10, 2012

    I love this post! I recently re-organized my pantry. It took going vegan to get me to get it in good shape! All those bulk bags lying around were just too messy and I just couldn’t find anything!

    Reply

    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers April 10, 2012

    Great pantry staples! You make me want to re-arrange my cabinets and go shopping.

    Reply

    Harriet Balhiser April 10, 2012

    Thank you so much for sharing this information with us.
    The pictures are very inspiring.
    I LOVE your blog. It is so helpful.

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 10, 2012

    Thank you Harriet!

    Reply

    Ali April 10, 2012

    Wow, tons of great nutritious items in your kitchen! Love your organization and storage.

    Reply

    Kate April 10, 2012

    I have just started eating and experimenting with some of these great foods. I was wondering if you ever use grape seed oil in any of your baking or cooking?

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 10, 2012

    Hey Kate, No I haven’t used it before. Is it something you use often?

    Reply

    Kate April 10, 2012

    I use grapeseed oil in place of other oils in things like muffins, pancakes, vegetables, and frying certain foods. It is a light oil that doesn’t change the flavor of the food. Sometimes olive oil can have a stong taste when used for baking. Grapeseed oil won’t do that. It is high in vitamin E and antioxidants.

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

    Thank you Kate, I will have to try it!

    Reply

    Sarah L. April 10, 2012

    I love grapeseed oil for cooking up swiss chard, but haven’t used it for anything else. Can it be used for frying other veggies too?

    Reply

    Kate April 10, 2012

    I use it mostly in baking but it can be used in place of most other oils for anything you would like.

    Reply

    Meghan @ Making Love In the Kitchen April 10, 2012

    Cute! We are big fans of the mason jar look here in my kitchen. Looks like you have all the essentials there- especially the Navitas Cacao powder. We also sell that in my kitchen shop- it can be difficult not to borrow from it once and a while when I run out of my own! Thanks for sharing, such a sweet post.

    Reply

    Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning April 10, 2012

    I love it- your pantry looks very similar to mine! I’ve been wanting to try Coconut sugar for a while now and wonder if it has a coconutty flavor to it at all…
    I just discovered pigeon peas this weekend, and I’m in love! My new favorite legume!
    Have you had freekeh? I had it for the first time last fall and it’s my go-to grain now. I use it instead of rice all the time.

    Reply

    Anastasia@healthymamainfo.com April 10, 2012

    Such a helpful post!!! Love your spice collection!

    Reply

    Anna @ The Guiltless Life April 10, 2012

    Thanks for the extremely thorough round-up. This is super helpful for the odd item I don’t have.

    Btw, I use that spinning stackable organizer from Bed Bath & Beyond for my spices too! haha. I was looking for ages for something to keep them organized that would hold more than about 8 and fit in my narrow kitchen cupboard – that was the only thing I could come up with!

    Reply

    TeenyLittleSuperChef April 10, 2012

    Wow, that was quite a post! Thanks so much for all the great information and introducing me to some things I’d never heard of before. I still have yet to find hemp seeds at any of my local grocery stores. Do they sell it at Whole Foods? Our closest store is over an hour away but it might be worth it if I know they carry hemp seeds.

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

    Yes I think hemp seeds are in the fridge with the oils at whole foods. Not the cheapest place to find them, but an option if you are in need.

    Reply

    Wendy Irene April 10, 2012

    I love how beautiful everything looks in the jars Angela. The hooks in the pantry are a great idea too. I think I’ll do that :) Thank you for the inspiration.

    Reply

    Helene April 10, 2012

    Here is an awesome link for do-it-yourself labels for mason jars. You can make your mason jars look even more fabulous.

    http://thepaintedhive.blogspot.com/2012/02/magic-decal-transfer-tutorial-with-free.html

    Let me know if you end up labeling your jars – better yet post a picture on your blog!

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

    so pretty!

    Reply

    Jaclyn April 10, 2012

    Awesome post Angela! So helpful. Question – I often find that I use a little bit of a can of coconut milk (for carrot cake oatmeal or something) and then the rest ends up going bad before I can use it up. Any suggestions as to how to keep the coconut milk ‘fresh’ after opening the can?
    Thanks!

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

    I store it in an air tight container, but I usually just use leftovers in smoothies to get rid of extra milk.

    Reply

    jill April 10, 2012

    love your post. where did you get the spice holders?

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

    A store called Solutions :)

    Reply

    Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out April 10, 2012

    This is a super useful post. I’ve thought about this so many times… Wishing someone would do it. And I envy your pantry!

    Reply

    Christie {Pepper Lynn} April 10, 2012

    I’m totally intrigued by the coconut sugar. Looking forward to that post! :)

    Reply

    Desiree April 10, 2012

    Great post! Are all organic sugars vegan?

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

    I want to say yes, but I’m not positive.

    Reply

    Britt April 10, 2012

    Love this! It was pretty much like looking inside my own pantry. You clearly have great taste, lady. ;)

    Reply

    Kristen @ notsodomesticated April 10, 2012

    Wow, this is overwhelming, but I love it! Thank you for sharing. I think I need someone like you to come be my personal shopper! ;)

    Reply

    Ashley Fasso April 10, 2012

    I absolutely love how you display your grains in mason jars! This is an awesome trick. Helps with knowing what you have and it is aesthetically pleasing to boot!

    Reply

    Quisha April 10, 2012

    Yeah… I’m pretty sure you have every spice IN THE WORLD. Haha. I’m printing this list for sure as I’m exploring “veganism”.

    Reply

    Sarah L. April 10, 2012

    Highland Farms in the GTA. You can find almost anything you could ever ask for here. Last week, I went looking for tempeh, and asked an employee who happened to be the manager if there was any in the store. He had never heard of it, but asked me to spell it and said he would “look into it”. I went back exactly one week later for another round of grocery shopping and there was TEMPEH EVERYWHERE, along with other new assorted vegan products. Talk about customer service! :)

    Thank you so much for this post, Angela! I love your spice lazy susans – perfect for short people.

    Reply

    Chelsea @ Chelsea's Health April 10, 2012

    Great post! I loved reading everyone comments. We try to eat vegetarian a few days a week for cost and health reasons so it is nice to get some new ideas! I really miss Costco and Bulk Barn but
    I love living by Whole Foods! I actually find most products at WF in the southen usa to be cheaper than Safeway in Canada! I also found Bob’s GF oats there for $1 cheaper than Walmrt down the street!

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

    yes, we noticed that prices were a lot cheaper in the US, specifically California when we were visiting!

    Reply

    Misha April 11, 2012

    What a great post! I’m not a vegan myself but I am really fond of raw food (does that make sense?) and this is such a great list! Thank you for taking time to put this together!

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

    Thanks Misha, I hope you find it helpful!

    Reply

    Jessica Johnson April 11, 2012

    Thanks for the shopping list! :) Very Helpful…Now I just have to learn how to use all of these things :-/ Let the research continue! ;)

    Reply

    Yasmine April 11, 2012

    Thanks for this interesting post!
    Angela, has your answer to this question “1. What do you eat in a typical day/How many calories do you eat a day?” in the FAQ change?

    Thanks in advance (and sorry for english mistakes, I’m French!)

    Reply

    AGS April 11, 2012

    I love that you highlight buckwheat groats. I ate these A LOT when we lived in Russia (and then when I later lived in Ukraine). They’re so tasty — it seems strange they still haven’t caught on so well in the US market. I’ve never tried them raw, though.

    Reply

    Isabelle April 11, 2012

    Hi Angela,
    Thank you for yet another amazing and interesting post.
    I was about to suggest Nature’s Emporium http://www.naturesemporium.ca/ but I see that someone already has. Wonderful store (it’s big.. like a No Frills kinda big) and you have sooooo much in there. I shop there every week. The staff is super friendly and helpful if you have any question. You can even have a tour with a nutritionist who will help you find all the products you need. I wish I had known that the first time I went when we were told nearly overnight that we could not have wheat, gluten, corn, dairy, and refined sugar anymore.

    Re coconut sugar: LOVE it, and I use it mainly in all my baking (and I bake everyday) since we found out that refined sugar -particularly cane sugar – was the reason behind my son’s (monthly) nasty migraines.
    Again, in Nature’s Emporium, you can now find the Madhava Coconut Sugar @ $5.99/pack when the other brands are $10 to $15 a pack (same amount)
    http://www.madhavasweeteners.com/coconut-sugar/organic-coconut-sugar/

    Did not know about Sucanat though, will have to find out more about it.

    Thanks again for everything Angela, LOVE your blog.

    PS: I never receive the follow-up comments via email even if I tick the box below :-/

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

    Hey Isabelle!

    Thanks so much for your suggestions :)

    I’m sorry you aren’t receiving reply notifications! I hope that isn’t happening for everyone. I will double check things on my end. Hope you get this reply ;)

    Reply

    Yasmine April 11, 2012

    I have the same problem about the follow-up comments via email!

    Reply

    Isabelle April 11, 2012

    I did! Got this one, but it was in the spams.
    Previous ones never showed though, spams or not…weird.

    Reply

    Jaclyn April 11, 2012

    Hi Angela :)
    I’ve been following your blog for awhile now, but this is my first post. Thank you so much for your awesome recipes and for sharing your personal battles with food and body image…I teach psychology and gender studies at the high school level and I encounter sooo many kids with the same issues so many of us faced at their age regarding how they feel about themselves and how they look at food and health. I’ve been vegan for a few years now, and I have to say, your recipes and Oh She Glows, in general, has become my favorite source of info and inspiration. This post was a huge undertaking…thank you for taking the time!!
    Jaclyn
    Marlton, NJ, USA

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2012

    Hey Jaclyn, Thank you for your comment! So nice to meet you. Your job sounds so interesting and I’m sure you are helping so many of your students. Thanks for your kind words about the blog, that means so much to me! Take care.

    Reply

    Willow April 11, 2012

    What a thorough list! I have a lot of these things in my own pantry, but so many I have yet to use and discover. Wheat berries, for instance – I’ve never played with those! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

    Reply

    Sarah April 11, 2012

    great post. I only started cooking vegan a couple of days ago and it’s nice to know that I haven’t just bought random items from the health food shop that I’ll never use again :)

    Reply

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