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

 

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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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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.

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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 }

    Jessica April 12, 2012

    Hi! I am starting a 30-day trial of vegan on Monday. I am only saying 30 days right now because I don’t want to set myself up for a lifestyle I can’t handle, and I want to track my results over those 30 days via my blog. I really like your blog, it has given me a lot of inspiration and I want to use a lot of your recipes. I don’t really know how to get started though! I am on a budget, and my husband doesn’t want to change his diet, which is fine by me, but I can’t spend hundred of dollars when I go shopping this weekend! I’m sure you have a post here and I just need to find it, but how can I get started in a healthy, complete way but on a budget?

    Reply

    Jill Collins April 12, 2012

    I absolutely love almond milk, but used soy for the longest time because it has protein. However, I recently found a So Delicious brand almond milk that has protein added! It has 5 grams, but 70 calories instead of 35. I’m not sure your reason for using almond milk, but the So Delicious one with protein is great! Now I have some extra protein in my Green Monsters!

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 12, 2012

    oh cool I will have to keep my eyes peeled! Hope they get it in Canada :)

    Reply

    mia d April 12, 2012

    Hi Angela-
    I have so many reasons to read your blog..and I thank you for all that you share!!!
    I have a question on the buckwheat groats (I had never ever heard of them before!) .. for your summer porridge recipe… does it have a gritty texture or am I doing something wrong, do you think? I had bought the toasted ones… now I know to buy the raw… so maybe that is why mine tastes pretty sandy? I liked it with raisins and pears on it anyhow!

    Also– after you prepare beans/lentils/grains.. do you store them in the refrig? Is there a rule of thumb timeframe on them?

    Thanks a billion!
    Mia
    *My son asked if you talk about hotdogs on this food blog..he’s 5. Very funny!

    Reply

    Meg | One Love Meg April 13, 2012

    This is an amazing post. It really provides all the essentials to live a healthy vegan lifestyle. My favorite breakfast to this day is the raw buckwheat. Delicious. I need to incorporate more of these foods in my diet. I feel like I have fallen off the healthy vegan lifestyle and stuck to foods that are easy and repetitive.

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 13, 2012

    I think that’s an easy thing to do Meg! I’ve been feeling that way a bit too. What better time than spring to bring in the variety again, right?

    Reply

    Meredith April 14, 2012

    This post is so helpful and informative! Thanks for sharing. I’ve got some work to do on my pantry now!

    Reply

    Karen April 15, 2012

    Such a helpful list! I also aspire to be as organized as you are!

    Reply

    eileen April 15, 2012

    Hi Angela,

    just wondering if you’ve tried Kombucha ?! I’m sure you know that it is a fermented tea beverage that has healthful probiotics …and may even help with your (occasional) tummy troubles. We have been brewing our own at home for a fraction of the cost of store bought brands. Super yummy!!! Maybe you could do a blog entry on your home brewing experiment :) The scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is creepy looking and could make for some cool photos!

    Reply

    Jan April 15, 2012

    Hi Angela. I’m a little late for commenting on this article but figure I’ll add some info. I live 3 hours north of Toronto so I come to the city and shop. Kensington is great. The two stores I can think of are Essence of Life and Tutti Frutti (not sure of the spelling). Supplements are a really good price too. I also buy from the onfc, and it’s nice they have monthly specials. I’ve also ordered from Upaya Naturals online. They specialize in raw items but they have a great selection, and things like nut butters. Also, noticed you buy your medjool dates at PC and not sure if you’re aware there’s an organic option too? I hadn’t heard about the brown rice syrup….that’s not good. It’s a full time job staying on top of everything! thanks for a great post. Jan.

    Reply

    Sterling April 19, 2012

    Great article to get us started on the road to healthy eating. Just found your site today and will be coming back often. I also gave it a plug at my web site.
    Best of everything.

    Reply

    Jayne April 23, 2012

    Thank you so much for sharing what you have in your pantry, it makes it easier to decide what to start with. I took a cue from you also, I am using the foods I eat to decorate my kitchen, it clears up so much pantry space and it looks so pretty.

    Reply

    Jasmine April 25, 2012

    Does anyone know if the bulk barn carries dairy free/vegan chocolate chips?

    Reply

    Kathryn Warren April 28, 2012

    Hi there! I have been searching on Etsy and everywhere to buy jars like how you have your grains and whanot stored in and I can’t find them anywhere!! Where did you get yours?? Any information would be so awesome! Thanks. Ps this blog is amazing ! :)

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) April 29, 2012

    Canadian Tire and Wal Mart mostly :) Some are from garage sales too

    Reply

    Robyn May 1, 2012

    I LOVE your recipes and ideas. From a new vegan, you make starting out on this journey not only possible, but exciting and inspiring. Thanks. I have one quick question. I have absolutley no idea what “Earth Balance” is?!?!?

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) May 2, 2012

    I think it’s linked in the post. It’s a vegan buttery spread made from oil.

    Reply

    Heidi Sue May 11, 2012

    Thank you! I’m preparing for a drastic shift in eating habits for myself and my family. I love to cook and have always enjoyed eating my veggies, but feared I would really miss the “meat” in my diet, as many vegetarian recipes don’t have that “sink your teeth into” quality. Boy, am I glad I found your blog! Your gorgeous recipes are complex, fraught with fabulous flavor profiles and look so satisfying. I can’t wait to start our new journey toward lasting health! Thanks again!

    Reply

    Mel May 17, 2012

    Kardish Health Food Centre in Ottawa, Nepean and Orleans (6 locations overall) have a great selection of vegan friendly foods. I love the way the pantry is organized. I am inspired to organize mine the same way. Thanks.

    Reply

    Deanna May 22, 2012

    Hi there, not sure if you have heard of Epicure. It is a supply company that sells spices and some baking tools. What i love about Epicure is that it is all natural, no additives, no preservatives, no added salt etc, and mostly kosher free! Its a great product. No, i don’t sell it myself, but i have been buying if for over 7 years now, and i don’t really go anywhere else for my spices. They are located on line, and they are a Canadian company!

    Reply

    sheralee O May 27, 2012

    I was just wondering if you heard back from the company that makes the brown rice syrup you buy about the arsenic?

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) May 28, 2012

    Not yet, but I emailed them again and will post about it when I hear back about their study.

    Reply

    betty May 28, 2012

    can i live in your pantry please? :)

    Reply

    Jamie Disch June 18, 2012

    I read that someone was looking for a good way to cook tofu, and I recently found one! I cut mine into about 8 strips per block of tofu (Trader Joe’s has a great one that has double the normal amount of protein and is extra firm, not very watery either.) Make sure you remove the excess moisture with paper towels if you like yours less squishy. You can marinade the tofu if you want for a couple of hours (braggs amino acids, garlic, tamari, whatever you feel like really.) I spray a cookie sheet with Pam cooking spray and put the tofu strips right on it an inch apart from each other. Bake on 425 degrees for 15 minutes, flip, cook for another 10 minutes. Done. So easy and they taste fried, without the calories and fat from frying. Yum!

    Reply

    Cindy June 23, 2012

    I live in the middle of nowhere so have to order most of my food on line, I love Vitacost.com and I use amazon.com.

    Reply

    Cindy June 23, 2012

    I a sorry, I forgot to say a HUGE thank you! I was going to make a list for some friends who asked me about what I keep in my pantry and you did it for me. I so appreciate it, it save me a lot of time and work!! :)

    Reply

    Melissa Caicedo June 27, 2012

    Hi Angela,
    I was looking through your vegan pantry list (which, by the way, is absolutely amazing since you have all the stuff that I wish to have someday in my kitchen after college :) )…I was wondering, do you have a ‘food scale’ or do you just use standard measuring cups when baking and cooking??
    Thank you!

    Reply

    Allison July 3, 2012

    Do you ever use Maple Sugar in your baking?

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) July 3, 2012

    No I havent but I think I would really like it! Im all about the maple…hah

    Reply

    Allison July 3, 2012

    Check out the Coombs Family Farms on amazon Most affordable I’ve found.

    Reply

    Lindsay July 3, 2012

    Where can I find kelp granules? I live in Calgary AB and cannot find them at Planet Organic, and they’re not available on amazon.ca.

    LOVE your recipes! I’m not a vegan, but everything I have tried is delicious… And my husband likes them too!

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) July 3, 2012

    Hey Lindsay, I got them at Whole Foods in the US. I dont think I have seen them anywhere around these parts unfortunately! Maybe they sell them online? I have a vegan online shopping guide here: http://ohsheglows.com/2012/04/11/online-vegan-shopping-guide-canada-usa-australia-uk-and-beyond/

    Reply

    Amy July 11, 2012

    Love the way your pantry looks – mine looks similiar but I am using plastic containers that I get when I buy bulk items from Whole Foods. So, I was wondering if it is more important to use glass jars?

    Reply

    Grace July 25, 2012

    This is so helpful, thank you!

    Reply

    Jess August 16, 2012

    Just stumbled across this list! I wanted to thank you so much for going into such detail about everything. I am on the journey of lacto vegetarian to vegan. I have to say that I’m pretty proud of myself though- in my early 20′s I was all about the Boca burger and prepared stuffs. Now I can whip up seitan with ease. Anyway, I have bought so many vegan cookbooks to incorporate vegan meals into my life but some wind up calling for things I didn’t have! Your list is so comprehensive and helps me so much. Thanks again!

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) August 17, 2012

    Hey Jess, Im so glad you find it useful! Thanks for letting me know & goodluck with your journey! (ps- I used to be all about those burgers too!)

    Reply

    Claire | Hearthabdmadeuk August 21, 2012

    Hi ^_^ my bf and I have been flexitarians for a few years now and we are ready to make the full transition to vegan by taking the 30 day challenge and I am so flippin glad I found this post and your wonderful blog!

    Thank you for such a detailed post

    Claire

    Reply

    Sarah September 10, 2012

    Angela, thank you so much for this post! I’ve been vegetarian nearly all my life, and your blog has inspired me to move towards a vegan lifestyle. I used your pantry list to prep my grocery list for my quarterly shopping trip to Rainbow Co-op, San Francisco’s amazing all-vegetarian grocery store. It’s the size of a Wal-Mart, and the only non-vegetarian items are their single brand of fish oil capsules in their own sealed-off shelf :) Definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in the area!

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) September 10, 2012

    Wow that sounds amazing!!! I hope to visit San Fran soon…although I might need an extra week due to that grocery store! hah

    Reply

    Allyson September 14, 2012

    Happycow.net is an awesome resource no matter where you live (or travel). It has listings for natural stores, as well as vegetarian and vegan restaurants, all over the world. Descriptions list the contact information, hours of operation, and if the location is organic, raw, local, etc. Mum and I would have been lost without it when we drove to Texas this year.

    I know the store in my town isn’t listed, nor is the co-op. If I can’t find something on Happy Cow, homeschoolers or local barista can usually point me in the right direction ;)

    Reply

    Allison September 28, 2012

    Hi Angela thanks so much for all of this great information! My husband and I just became vegan a month ago and have many of the ingredients you have in your pantry. We have also done a lot of research into harmful additives, and wanted to let you know what was in a couple of the products you reference above. You like Blue Diamond Almond Milk and Native Forest Coconut Milk…both of those have harmful additives like Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum and the worst one…Carrageenan, which is a known carcinogen. The “gums” cause digestive upset, and once I cleansed my body of these additives which are commonly found in yogurts and ice creams (I stopped eating them when I became vegan), my tolerance for them decreased. I ate some coconut milk ice cream made with guar gum and my system didn’t like it at all. One thing we do at home is make our own almond milk with our Vitamix, and I am going to try to make coconut milk this weekend from dried coconut. Almond Milk is easy to make with a cheesecloth and raw almonds, water, vanilla and agave syrup. Anyway, just wanted to let you know about some of the harmful additives in these products even though they are marketed as “healthy” alternatives to dairy. Sometimes you just have to make things yourself!

    Reply

    Anon October 18, 2012

    I know this post is old, but I hope you wouldn’t mind answering some questions when you get the chance. Thank you in advance!!

    1. Could you consider writing a post about the different types of sugars you use, like why you would use a type of sugar over the other another (e.g., using sucanat over turbinado) when making a certain baked good or cooking? I am also really interested in your promised post about coconut sugar! Thanks!

    2a. I was wondering, what is wrong with soy? I noticed you said you use soy-free Earth Balance.
    2b. Have you tried the other Earth Balance baking spreads/sticks (e.g., olive oil spread, coconut spread, shortening sticks, buttery sticks)? What did you think of the ones you tried? Do they have a strong olive oil/coconut oil taste?
    2c. Have you tried Spectrum’s shortening tubs? How do they compare to Earth Balance?

    3. Did you find that your nuts stored better in the freezer? I was scrolling through your comments, but I couldn’t find a follow-up regarding the freezer storage.

    4. Do you cook your legumes/beans in batches, or do you make just enough for a recipe? I ask because I couldn’t find a post about how to cook beans and lentils. In the recipes I browsed with those ingredients, the ingredient lists them as already cooked, or from a can.

    Sorry for the myriad of questions! Thanks again for taking the time to answer. It’s really appreciated!

    Reply

    Olufun Milayo November 30, 2012

    I just wanted to say… YOU are friggin’ amazing! Thank you!!!

    Reply

    Pamela Good December 8, 2012

    Your site is such a blessing! Being a newly born wannabe vegan, this is the answer to my prayers! Thank you so much for laying it all out so beautifully.

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) December 10, 2012

    Thank you Pamela! Im so happy to hear that.

    Reply

    Lindy January 1, 2013

    Very late entry as I only recently discovered your blog (and I LOVE it btw)!! Quick comment:

    I see that agave nectar is in your pantry…This is not a healthy food, I’m surprised you use it.
    http://www.foodrenegade.com/agave-nectar-good-or-bad/

    Take a look and decide for yourself.

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) January 2, 2013

    Thanks Lindy, I have since read the new info on agave and I do not use it much anymore, instead opting for maple syrup and coconut nectar for liquid sweeteners.

    Reply

    Valerie January 9, 2013

    Over the past few weeks I have started incorporating more plant based foods into my diet and it has been so much fun trying new recipes! I have really enjoyed researching the vegan diet and I feel amazing! Makes me wonder what the heck took me so long to make the change in my diet!
    As for my question, where do I find nutritional yeast at the grocery store or is this something only a natural foods store would have? I have looked in baking and the organic food section at our local Meijer and Kroger.

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) January 10, 2013

    Hey Valerie! Congrats on all your changes! :) Some grocery stores carry NY and some don’t. When they do carry it, it does tend to be in the natural foods/organic section. Otherwise, health food stores can have it too (or online of course). All the best to you!

    Reply

    Saya January 29, 2013

    Hello. I’m an American undergrad student looking to restructure my diet. Specifically, a member of my family has systemic lupus, and I’m sure that improving our diet would help him feel much better from day to day. I’m going to do it with him so that he doesn’t feel like the odd man out. But I’ve hit a bit of a snag on the implementation of the transition. Do you have any specific advice about eating well on a budget?

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) January 30, 2013

    one of my tips is to stick to dry bulk foods as much as possible (like dry beans and lentils)…much cheaper than buying canned. Also, I dont buy “mock” vegan products which can be very expensive too

    Reply

    Brennan Bourne February 12, 2013

    You should really keep your nuts and seeds in the fridge/freezer to keep them from going rancid! :)

    Reply

    Sanya Park February 27, 2013

    I was wondering where I can bulk buy vegan chocolate, especially for cooking. Stores here in the UK (Belfast) have those tiny snack size bags that aren’t really worth the cost. Anyone know of a site or what have you?

    :-)

    Reply

    Lynn May 21, 2013

    Thank you so much for this great pantry list. Off to Trader Joes this week and looking forward to a total pantry makeover!!

    Reply

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