Simple Vegan Food List For Beginners
When you are starting out on your vegan journey you will ask youself what you should eat. I want to help you on this journey, so here you can find my vegan food list for beginners.
Vegan Food List For Beginners
Confession time, I am not a full vegan yet. My transition began about two years ago when I met my current partner. He has been vegan for several years and before that a vegetarian for over ten years. He has inspired me to give the vegan diet a try and it is of course much easier to cook one meal than two every time we eat. With this transition, I noticed that I started buying completely different items in my weekly food shop so I understand the stage that you are at right now.
It can be confusing and items are not always clearly labelled in the supermarket. I found I am cooking more meals from scratch which has also helped us to save money on this journey. So although sometimes it appears that a plant-based diet is more expensive it doesn’t have to be!
The Vegan Food Staples
Below I will break down the individual groups and how to use them in your diet. Head over to my recipe section if you are keen to try out a few new recipes.
Variety is key here and try to stick to fruits that are grown locally where you can. Ideally you don’t want to consume fruits that have travelled more than you have yourself. Keep it local and check what is in season in the area you live in.
Of course, you can buy your fruit from supermarkets but if you can afford it and have some closeby out your local farmer’s markets. The fruits there will be much fresher and are more sustainably sourced. They will not have been transported from other countries but may be grown just where you live.
If you have a garden, consider growing some fruit yourself. Here in the UK, that would be apples, pears and cherries. Plums are great too. The easiest to grow are probably blackberries which are also easy to forage in the UK as they grow in most parks. Other fruits that should be in your vegan food list are red currants, gooseberries, peaches, grapes and strawberries.
Same as with fruits try and purchase vegetables that are grown locally and in season. If you want to try and grow vegetables yourself but don’t have a green finger I recommend to start with easy to grow vegetables like potatoes, spring onions, salad, kale and courgettes.
The most common legumes you will come across are lentils, peas, chickpeas, kidney beans and soybeans. They are high in fibre and protein so are a great replacement for meat. Which explains the various meat replacement dishes that they are used in.
You can make hummus from chickpeas, vegan butter from aquafaba, lentil roasts or patties from lentils, soya milk and tofu from soybeans.
Seeds and Nuts
Nuts are great for healthy vegan snacks and should be on your vegan food list for beginners if you are not allergic to them. We always keep pecan nuts, walnuts, cashews and sometimes almonds and hazelnuts. We also always have seeds which are useful in many recipes. I’ve even made roasted pumpkin seeds before as it was such a shame to throw them away. It was easier than I thought. So consider making your own on Halloween. Besides the pumpkin seeds we also usually have sunflower seeds which I use in my granola recipe.
Staple items are oats, quinoa, rice, white flour, wholemeal flour and spelt flour. With oats, you can bake, make snacks or porridge or oat milk. White flour is the base for cakes, bread or pasta and pizza dough. Spelt flour is great for baking bread.
What are your suggestions for a vegan food list for beginners? Did I miss anything that you feel is a staple item in your household?