Whether you currently have no pantry at all, a non vegan pantry, or a vegan pantry in need of some inspiration, this post is for you! Wherever you are on your journey, a (vegan) pantry is always a work in progress.
Building a vegan pantry is an easy 4-step system:
- Take inventory of your food
- Clean the pantry
- Organize your pantry
- Time to stock the vegan pantry (full ingredient list!)
Keeping your pantry stocked full of vegan pantry staples will help you prepare meals more efficiently.
This post is all about Vegan Pantry Organization!
1. Take Inventory Of Your Food
Remove all the food from your pantry and set it out on your kitchen table and counters. This way you will be able to see all of it in one go!
Then, check the expiration dates and toss any food that is expired.
If you recently decided to transition to a vegan diet, you might still have non-vegan food hanging out in your pantry. Don’t throw this away. Put it aside and donate it to someone who doesn’t eat a vegan diet.
2. Clean The Pantry
Next up, clean your pantry!
Once your pantry is emptied, start by vacuuming each shelf and drawer. Using the hose attachment on your vacuum, vacuum the corners and crevices to get rid of old food and crumbs.
Next, get a bucket with warm soapy water. Here in South Africa, I love to use my Probac kitchen cleaner, but any biodegradable kitchen cleaner will do!
Using a soft, damp cloth, wipe down you entire pantry. Let dry and then you’re ready to reorganize and re-stock.
3. Organize Your Pantry
You probably know by now that I’m an absolute sucker for kitchen organization.
To organize your pantry staples, clear food storage containers are essential in keeping your dry goods contained, instead of spilling everywhere. Keeping your pantry clean and bug-free.
Implement this tip:
Related post: 9 Absolute Best Tips To Organize A Small But Deep Pantry
4. Time To Stock The Vegan Pantry (Full Ingredient List!)
Legumes And Legume Products
Legumes are the primary source of protein and essential amino acids of a vegan diet. They are cheap, and very versatile.
Not only are legumes eaten as a wholefood staple in diets around the world, but they are also found in a variety of delicious and nutritious legume-based products.
From Red Lentil Dal, Lentil Shepherd’s Pie, Black Bean Chili, One-Pot Cheesy Chickpea Broccoli and Rice Meal Prep, The Easiest Vegan Black Bean Enchiladas, to Rice Vermicelli Noodle Bowls With Peanut Sauce, all types of legumes and legume-based products can be used to create protein rich vegan meals.
- dried or canned beans (kidney, navy, pinto, black, lima, adzuki, mung, black gram, etc.)
- dried broad beans
- dried or canned or canned lentils (red, green, etc.)
- fresh or frozen peas (garden peas, etc.)
- dried or canned chickpeas
- dried or canned black-eyed beans / cowpeas
- dried soybeans
- soy mince / textured vegetable protein
- vegan meat substitutes made of soybeans
- legume flour (chickpea flour, red lentil flour, lupin bean flour, etc.)
- legume pasta (chickpea pasta, red lentil pasta, etc.)
- protein powder (pea protein powder, soy protein powder, etc.)
- peanuts and peanut butter
Grains And Grain Products
Grains are an excellent choice of starchy food!
They are an important part of a balanced vegan diet, not only because they are rich in fibre, but also because they are a source of iron, protein, zinc, and even selenium.
For breakfast, enjoy grains in Overnight Muesli In A Jar, 3-Ingredient Apple Sauce Baked Oats, or Bread Machine Vegan Cinnamon Rolls. For lunch and dinner, you can serve rice, millet, wheat berries, pasta, quinoa, etc. interchangeably as part of your meals.
- rice (basmati, jasmine, and brown)
- wild rice
- oats (steel-cut, rolled, and instant)
- pearl barley
- popcorn kernels
- grain flour (wheat, barley, rye, spelt, rice, buckwheat, teff, etc.)
- corn starch, potato starch**, tapioca flour** or arrowroot flour** for thickening
*Quinoa is technically a seed, but is practically used in the same way as grains.
**Potato, tapioca, and arrowroot flour are technically made of root vegetables.
Nuts and seeds are likewise great vegan staple foods!
Not only are they nutritional powerhouses, but they are also my number one snack of choice. They are delicious and oh so satiating due to their high healthy fat content.
- Brazil nuts
- coconuts (fresh, shredded, etc.)
- macadamia nuts
- pecan nuts
- pine nuts
Dried fruit is not essential to a vegan diet, but it can be a delicious and convenient addition.
Nothing beats a comforting porridge or pancake, topped with dried fruit. It is also great in this Muesli Mix, for an easy and cheap breakfast. Lastly, I love to pair dried fruit with nuts or seeds, for an on-the-go snack!
What you may or may not know, is that most refined cane sugars are not suitable for vegans. This because they require bone char to complete the filtration process.
The good news is that “raw” sugars skip the filtration process making them vegan-friendly choices. This includes raw cane, demerara, and muscovado sugar.
Another safe choice for vegans are unrefined sweeteners! These are my personal favourite choice. I just love the caramel flavour of coconut sugar.
Herbs And Spices
When cooking, herbs and spices are used in small amounts to provide flavor to food. I love experimenting with herbs and spices and tend to have a wide variety available in my pantry. Here’s a list of which one I currently have:
- bay leaves
- black mustard seeds
- cayenne pepper
- chili flakes
- chili powder
- chipotle rub
- cumin seeds
- curry powder
- dried fenugreek leaves
- garam masala
- Italian herbs
- mixed spice
- nutritional yeast!
- smoked paprika
- yellow mustard seeds
What would a kitchen be without cooking oils? In my kitchen, I avoid deep frying because I just can’t stand the mess it creates, however, I love using a variety of oils in moderate amounts to transfer heat, brown food, and add flavor. You’ll want to choose your oil based on what temperature you’ll be cooking and what flavor profile you are going for. Here are some of my favourites:
- extra virgin olive oil
- grapeseed oil
- coconut oil
- sesame oil (toasted and unrefined)
- peanut oil
- hemp oil
You might be interested to learn that vinegar plays an important role in vegan baking applications, and thus absolutely can’t be missed in a vegan kitchen! In vegan baking, vinegar is often used for it’s leavening and flavor enhancing properties. Adding some vinegar to soy milk, letting it sit for 10 minutes and allowing it to curdle, enhances dairy-like flavors. The acid in the vinegar also activates baking powder and baking soda, which enhances the leavening or rising of your baked goods. My favorite vinegar to use in vegan baking is apple cider vinegar,
Vinegar can also add a punch of flavor and personality to a host of dishes, especially salad dressings, marinades, chutneys, sauces and soups.
- bouillon cubes or stock powder
- tomato products (tomato puree, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes)
- canned goods (baked beans, coconut milk, coconut cream, etc.)
Did you find this post helpful? Don’t forget to let me know, by leaving a comment below.
This post was all about Vegan Pantry Organization!
Learn More About Kitchen Organization:
- 11 Vegan Fridge Staples Every Vegan Fridge MUST HAVE
- 100+ Vegan Staple Foods – Pantry, Fridge + Freezer
- How To Organize Food Storage And Meal Prep Containers
- 7 Ultra Efficient Tips To Organize Kitchen Utensils
- How To Organize Spices In A Cabinet