Whether you’re trying to cut back on meat or have gone full-fledge vegan, knowing the ins and outs of plant based nutrition is important to ensure you give yourself proper nourishment. This plant-based shopping list is your guide to incorporating more whole foods, fun flavors, and rethinking a well-rounded meal.
1. Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is a must for your plant based diet shopping list. It’s a great alternative to cheese, as it provides a similar flavor and texture. Sprinkle it on your pasta, make a vegan mac n’ cheese with it, or try it on your popcorn.
This rich source of protein contains several essential vitamins and minerals. It’s a great base for your vegetable stir-fry. Learn more about the Ways to Eat Quinoa For Any and Every Meal.
Bananas can take the place of one egg in cakes and pancakes. Try out these Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes.
4. Blackstrap Molasses
Look to blackstrap molasses for your source of dairy-free calcium. Check out these other Healthy Recipe Substitutions.
Cashews, much like nutritional yeast, can serve as a cheesy topping to your vegan meal. Make a cashew cream to accompany your bowl of pasta, or try making a raw carrot cake with cashew cream cheese. If you’re looking for a healthy appetizer, try this Baked Pesto Mushies with Crunchy Cashew Cheese recipe.
For anyone following a plant-based diet, almonds are essential, as they provide high levels of vitamin E and manganese. Have a handful as your snack, or whip up these No-Bake Almond Joy Bars.
Hummus serves as a great vegan dip alongside some chips or veggies, and it can also take the place of your mayo in a crunchy veggie sandwich. You’ll have guilt-free creamy indulgence in every bite. Try this White Bean & Herb Hummus.
8. Leafy Greens
Whether you’re following a plant-based diet or not, leafy greens are a must. Kale is the king of superfoods, with just one cup of chopped kale providing off-the-chart levels of vitamin A, C, and K. Start your morning off right with this Kale & Smoothie.
Getting enough protein when you’re cutting out meat, or scaling back on it, can seem impossible, but that’s only because the plant based protein options aren’t nearly as advertised. A cup of edamame has a whopping 17 grams of protein!
Edamame is a super clean eating snack, and so are these other Clean Eating Low-Calorie Snacks.
10. Frozen Fruit
Budget-friendly frozen fruit is a great addition to your plant based diet shopping list. Chock-full of vitamins and antioxidants, frozen fruit can be utilized no matter what’s in season. Berries are brain food, so add them to your smoothie, like this vegan Quinoa Banana Berry Smoothie.
11. Organic Sprouted Grain Bread
Did you know that some breads contain milk ingredients? Opt for organic sprouted grain bread to avoid the chances of consuming dairy! Make this and place on top of the sprouted grain bread. Make this Whole Grain Peanut Butter & Fruit Toast using sprouted grain bread.
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, seaweed is a definite must for vegans. Plus, it’s just another excuse to order that sensational seaweed salad during sushi night! Check out these 3 Great Seaweed Snacks for Your Healthy Body.
13. Dry Lentils
Lentils offer 16 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein in just one cup. When you’re craving a big juicy burger, try this Quinoa Lentil Burger instead!
This fermented soybean product has a deliciously nutty taste and tough texture, making it very versatile for your protein needs. This Maple Glazed Tempeh with Quinoa and Kale is unique, clean, and delicious.
15. Coconut Oil
When your cooking or baking calls for butter, swap it out for the well-revered coconut oil. Take a look at these 6 Reasons You Should Eat a Tablespoon of Coconut Oil Daily.
Avocados offer that creamy texture you crave from dairy products, plus healthy fats and fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, protein, and magnesium. Add avocados to your dessert with this Avocado Vegan Fudge Brownie Recipe.
Cauliflower is such a versatile cruciferous vegetable. Make your pizza crust with it, make “mashed potatoes” with it, or use it has your main ingredient in a coconut curry dish. Make a healthy Chinese dish with this Super Easy Cauliflower Fried Rice.
This fruit, that tastes more like a vegetable, can be prepared in so many ways. It’s a filling option that boasts omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, iron, and potassium. If you love soup, this Slow Cooker Carrot Squash Soup is a must!
Get your vitamin C, A, beta-carotene, and fiber fix with carrots. Enjoy them raw, steamed, roasted, or in baked goods! These Carrot Spice Oatmeal Cookies are a vegan delight.
Beets pack a lot of flavor, while their color can really bring life to a dish. Try this unique Blood Red Beet Hummus with Carrot Fingers for a healthy and fun appetizer.
A fun addition to your plant based diet shopping list, artichokes are bursting with zesty flavor, and really add to a bowl of veggies. They’re also rich in protein, boasting 4 grams in half a cup. Take a look at these 10 Mouthwatering Artichoke Recipes.
Asparagus brings a deep hue of green and a rich flavor to meals, while also providing 4 grams of protein per cup, as well as vitamin B6, potassium, and folate. If you love a bowl of veggies, try this Roasted Asparagus & Peppers recipe.
Mushrooms’ meaty texture and supreme juiciness when cooked make for a great alternative to meat. There’s so much flavor, eating them alone, like in this Clean Eating Oven Roasted Mushrooms is sure to curb your craving for a bite of beef.
Fill up on oats in the morning to get a healthy dose of protein, so you can feel energized and satisfied all morning long. Try these 7 Healthy Oatmeal Recipes to Brighten Up Your Morning.
Perhaps a lesser known grain, amaranth offers a sweet and nutty flavor. It’s also packed with protein, offering 6 grams per cup. Some of these 7 Clean-Eating Breakfast Cereals feature amaranth.
Use buckwheat flour if you have a gluten intolerance. It will give you the protein and magnesium you need for energy and vitality. These Strawberry Rhubarb Buckwheat Bars will make you swoon.
Teff may be tiny in stature, but it packs a punch in protein content, with 7 grams per 1/4 cup. It’s great for the gluten free diet. Check out these Tips for Great Gluten-Free Cooking.
28. Flax, Chia, and Hemp Seeds
These small seeds are bursting with omega-3 fats, iron, magnesium, and fiber. Add them to your morning smoothie, sprinkle on a salad, or bake into your cookies. Change up your breakfast with this Mango Chia Breakfast Bowl.
29. Sunflower Seeds
Rich in vitamin E, sunflower seeds are a great snack for increasing energy and focus. This Sunflower Lentil Dip is a must try.
Walnuts are a wonderful source of vitamin E, magnesium, and omega-3 fats. You can even grind them down to make a replacement for meat in tacos. Add some crunch to your salad with this Avocado & Grape Salad with Walnuts.
31. Soy Milk
Replace the cream in your coffee or the milk in your cereal with soy milk, which offers about 7 grams of protein per cup. Take a look at these 13 Yummy Dairy Free Milkshakes.
32. Almond milk
Almond milk, which contains heart-healthy fats, is another great alternative to regular milk. Try using it in cream-based recipes. Learn more about the process of making dairy milk alternatives here.
33. Coconut Milk
Did you know coconut milk actually has 50 percent more calcium than dairy milk? It’s a great coffee creamer, addition to smoothies, and adds a delicious taste to baked goods. This Coconut Milk Smoothie is so yummy.
34. Cashew Milk
If you just love the taste of cashews, add sweet and creamy cashew milk to your plant based diet shopping list. Check out these other Easy Gluten and Dairy Substitutions.
35. Rice Milk
Along with being non-allergenic, rice milk is low in fat and high in niacin, vitamin B-6, iron, copper, and magnesium. Kick up your milk with this Cinnamon Rice Milk recipe.
36. Oat Milk
A relatively new milk alternative on the block, oat milk provides fiber as well as protein, with about 4 grams per serving. Check out these 13 Ways to Make Your Own Breakfast Cereal that you can stop with oat milk.
37. Hemp Milk
This complete protein provides you with an entire day’s recommended intake of omega-3 fats in just a single serving! Swap the almond milk out and replace it for hemp milk in this Protein Smoothie.
Shrugging your shoulders at this one? It may not sound familiar, but you’ll be happy you heard about it here first! It’s the high-starch liquid found in a can of cooked chickpeas, and serves as a great thickening and foaming agent.
It’s a great alternative to eggs, with one tablespoon of aquafaba equal to one egg yolk, and two tablespoons equal to one egg white.
When you make this Baked Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Coconut Curried Kale and Chickpeas recipe, be sure to save the juice from the chickpeas!
If you can handle gluten, add seitan to your plant-based diet shopping list . It provides a chewy texture, and works well with various spices. It’s packed with protein, cholesterol free, and super versatile.
Take a look at these 15 Delicious Ways to Eat Vegetarian that include seitan.
40. Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are a superb superfood—filled with cancer-fighting beta carotene. Step outside the box of a simple baked potato and try this Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Turmeric and Cardamom Recipe.
41. Veggie sausages
Faux meats can be packed with processed ingredients. To avoid that, pick a brand that offers the good stuff, like Field Roast. Replace the turkey sausage with veggie sausage, and the chicken stock for veggie stock to enjoy this Fennel and Sausage Stuffing Stuffed Peppers recipe as a plant-based meal.
42. Veggie burgers
Veggie burgers are so easy to make and so delicious. Check out these Black Bean Superfood Burgers.
43. Soy yogurt
Give your gut some love by snacking on soy yogurt. It’s packed with probiotics! Try the Chilled Cucumber Soup with Rose Petals that uses soy yogurt in this article that covers the yin and yang of cooking.
44. Agar agar
This vegan substitute for gelatin is great for making vegan jello! Try these 7 Junk-Free Clean Eating Jellos.
45. Miso paste
Who says plant-based food has to be bland? Miso paste is a great addition to your plant based diet shopping list, as it adds umami to vegetables, and serves as an excellent anchovy substitute. If you love miso, try this miso dressing.
46. Vegetable broth
So many recipes call for broth, plus it adds so much flavor in place of water when cooking quinoa. Try this Cilantro Lime Three Bean Salad that uses vegetable broth.
47. Tomato paste
Tomato paste is a rich source of iron. Add it to your lentil stew for a red hue and an added touch of flavor. Learn how to make this Homemade “Canned” Tomato Paste.
48. Sun-dried tomatoes
Fantastic for adding texture and flavor. Try this colorful, satisfying, and delicious Barley with Fresh and Sun-Dried Tomatoes recipe.
Capers are a salty, flavorful addition to your meals. Try this delicious Lemon Caper Vinaigrette.
Tahini, or sesame paste, is a great plant based condiment that’s rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium, and iron. Try this Homemade Baked Falafel with Tangy Tahini Sauce.
There are so many delicious ways to take your plant based diet up a notch, and these simple, savory, sweet, unique options prove it!
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