My Vegan Pantry

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on April 9, 2012

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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*

     

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    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!

    Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

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    { 33 comments… read them below or add one }

    Page 5 of 5«12345
    K June 23, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Just starting out. Love your Blog. What do you use for your nutritional yeast, specifically in your enchiladas?
    Thanks,
    K

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) June 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Thank you! I use Purely Bulk brand, but really you can use any brand you prefer.

    Reply

    Jewel August 4, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you!!

    Reply

    Karen August 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    This list is very useful. Going vegan is not easy, I thought I could try a few recipes here and there. I think overall, I want to aim for general good health and control my refined sugar cravings (processed stuff). When I read your bio, I was really inspired how you overcame an eating disorder and now you have a great food blog/website, filled with recipes and tips. Delicious!

    Reply

    Ashley August 26, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    I am the happiest girl right now! I just came across your blog and it is EXACTLY what I have been looking for! THANK YOU! Plus you are also Canadian what a plus hehe ^_^ Great pantry i need to build mine but also clear out my cupboards !

    Reply

    Julie September 24, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Angela-
    Love your website, I’ve made many delicious recipes from it! Thank you so much.

    Question: Do you have a recipe on how to make beans from scratch?

    Thanks,
    Julie

    Reply

    Vansi January 14, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Wonderful post! As a new vegan (day 2 today!) and as someone who loves cooking, I quite appreciate the good list of products. It’s kind of funny that I moved to Rome and became a vegan, but I am actually very excited about this new journey in food. I took a long walk around all of the local stores and it turns out there are lots of vegan friendly places here, but some items are going to be hard to find for sure. I really wish I knew where I could find coconut oil & maple syrup around here.
    Gladly, I have a good friend who is also a vegan and we spend lots of time together. I do hope she knows all of the right places, even though she only became a vegan 2-3 months ago. Anyone else from the Rome area?

    Reply

    Tara January 22, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I am organizing my pantry for 2014! I just got out some jars that weren’t labeled and I am not sure what it is! (Not good) Thanks for the helpful tips and nice photographs. It helps to have the visual of an organized pantry and the aided tips of what to have on hand for everyday cooking adventures.

    Reply

    Anna February 24, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Where do you get all your manson jars? :)

    Reply

    Raven March 5, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    This is an awesome list!
    Thanks so much.
    I copied this entire list and added some notes as to what kind of benefits everything has!

    ***I came across a disturbing exposé recently about child trafficking and slavery in the Cocoa industry. None of the corporations will claim responsibility since they buy cocoa beans and mass from private plantations (wich use children to do the work).
    I dont know if your interested but look it up… I was a little disappointed because there’s not very many treats I can eat – unless homemade and now I’m having to source out free-trade cocoa.

    Anyway Thx again for the list! :)

    Reply

    Quita March 10, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Thank you for this. I have been vegan for almost a week now and I have been looking for this type of list to stock my kitchen properly.

    Reply

    Catherine Bédard March 18, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Hi everyone!

    Reading some comments, I realize some of you are missing a Bulk Barn (or any other bulk store) dearly. I think I can help!

    I’m currently reading Béa Johnson’s book/blog “Zero Waste Home”. Turns out, she buys most of her things (including food) in bulk. She lives in California and came up with an app literally called “Bulk” (it’s free, work with iPhone and Android). I’m in Montreal and it works fine: it did locate my local Bulk Barn! ;) If you’re living in the US and running out of “bulk options”, you might find some solutions with this app. It should be even more effective for you than it is for me, as most locations are in the US.

    Reply

    Stan Tait April 14, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Hello Angela.

    I am part of a group of new healthy eaters and we are compiling a list of items for the new vegetarian or vegan to include in their pantry. Would you allow us to use your list and share it with our members. Thank you for posting such an amazing array of healthy foods.

    Reply

    Grace May 5, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    I love this post and find it extremely helpful to know what you keep stocked in your pantry! I am wondering if you could modify this list and maybe post a shorter version of staples. I am about to graduate from college and am moving into an apartment and would LOVE some help with my first trip to the grocery store! I’m motivated to make the transition to a vegan lifestyle, and what better time than when I have to start fresh anyway!

    Reply

    Jennifer M May 22, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Thanks for the effort of posting useful info on vegan lifestyle. My pantry is transforming well over the past few years, still room for improvement and your post been inspiring:)

    Reply

    Kim June 16, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Hi!

    What do you recommend for storage containers?

    Reply

    Jana Cervinka March 12, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Hello Angela!

    I am diligently revisiting your cookbook and website in best efforts, again, to maintain a 100% plant based diet for myself and keen husband. Are you still using ‘Go BLO’ vegan bouillon? I can’t find it anywhere – please help! I have not found any bouillon product that appeals whether it have cornstarch or too much sodium – please advise and add where to purchase.

    BTW we are ‘young’ wannabe vegans, in our early sixties, in the midst of clearing out our cupboards and stocking with your recommendations – you make a vegan diet do-able and appealing – thanks for sharing your diet and your life journey. Namaste.

    Reply

    moomoo April 11, 2015 at 10:57 am

    @Jana, Better Than Bouillon makes a low-sodium vegetable version. You might try it. Bryanna Clark Grogan (genius vegan chef, cookbook author, and now blogger) also recommends Seitenbacher Vegetarian Vegetable Seasoning but I have not had a chance to try it. VegeBase gets good reviews — bought some but have only used it once so I don’t feel ready to make a judgment.

    Reply

    Jana Cervinka April 14, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Thanks very much!

    Reply

    Kenyatta July 24, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Thank you for such a thorough and detailed list. You saved me just a lot of extra research (on brands). This could very well just be a shopping list. You rock!

    Reply

    Sandra October 20, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    I’m also in Ontario, just interested to know where you like to purchase your nuts?

    Reply

    A Capala November 2, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Were you aware that Almond Breeze contains Carageenan which is cancer causing?

    Reply

    Amanda February 19, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Not sure if it’s been said yet but HyVee is a very vegan friendly store. They have a health foods section that has all of these raw sugars, nutritional yeast, milk-alternates, etc. Then (at least at my store) on the other side of the store is a huge selection of buy-in-bulk grains/seeds/nuts/granolas/legumes etc. They’re a little pricey but it’s convenient for sure. Especially since there really are no other options in my area except for online.

    Reply

    Chris March 4, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Thank you so much for this list. As a new vegan this is *very* helpful!

    Reply

    Angela Liddon March 4, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Hi Chris, I’m so glad to hear it helped! Good luck (and have fun!) with your new vegan diet. If you try any of the recipes on my blog, I hope you enjoy them! :)

    Reply

    Tammy Dodge July 24, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Hello, I just purchases brown rice syrup. Do you store that in the fridge after it is open or in the pantry? Does it expire? There is no indication on the label and I could not find any answer over the internet. Thank you.

    Reply

    Erica August 5, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Hi, Angela! Just got my copy of your cookbook and am wondering what your favorite vegan “butter” is that doesn’t have soy or avocado oil in it. I’m allergic to dairy yet love cheese and butter. I have the vegan cheese options covered, but have yet to find a butter substitute I like that tastes almost as good as the real thing, which is important as I try to “sneak” non-dairy products into our kitchen repertoire.

    Reply

    Jeremy Sire November 3, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Thank You for creating such an organized and comprehensive list with great photos to boot!

    The summarized PDF is an awesome bonus as well. Thx! :-)

    Reply

    Herc December 4, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Thank you, for sharing your vegan pantry.
    Vegan food is not boring, the only limit is your imagination
    http://animal-welfare.org/vegan-food-boring/
    What do you think about that?

    Reply

    Holly Dae February 11, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Thanks so much for this list! I love how organized it is and as a new vegan I need all the help I can get. I’ve been “vegan” for about a week (meaning no obvious meat but still too many questionable ingredients in my cupboards), but I’m ready to do a complete pantry overhaul! The nearest Whole Foods is within reasonable driving distance so this list will be my guide to a “whole” new world, lol.

    Reply

    Stephanie Graham March 10, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    Thank you for this. I used this as a guide in my story to describe a vegan pantry. Hope you don’t mind :-)

    Reply

    Liz Scroggins March 19, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Do you store nuts in fridge at all? Or are they all in airtight containers in pantry??

    Also do you use ground flax seed? I bought a large bag at Costco and I hate the strong flavour it imparts on my baking. Suggestions?

    Reply

    Angela (Oh She Glows) March 22, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Hey Liz, We buy nuts in bulk, a little at a time, and we go through them so fast we don’t tend to need to freeze them. But if I was going to buy larger quantities I would probably freeze them for longer storage. :) I hear you on ground flax…I find some brands of pre-ground flaxseed can have quite a strong flavour, almost as if it’s spoiled or gone rancid. I use Bob’s Red Mill brand when I don’t have time to grind my own. You can grind it in a blender and then store it in the freezer or fridge too.

    Reply

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