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The Basics: A Vegan Kitchen

August 14, 2014

I little while ago I was asked by someone on Twitter if I could put together a basic guide to what everyone needs in a vegan kitchen. I’m very lucky in that Trout is also vegan, so I never have to worry about stumbling upon any meat or dairy in my fridge. It also makes cooking easier, and we both get super excited about new vegan products.

I thought about the products that I use quite a lot, as well as the basics that everyone probably uses on a daily basis, and here’s what I’ve come up with. If there’s anything I’ve missed that you would like to know, please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help.

 

FRIDGE STAPLES

Milk

This is down to personal preference. I love soya milk and almond milk, some like oat milk, rice milk, coconut rice milk, hemp milk, anything else you can think of milking milk – plus sweetened or unsweetened. I would recommend trying out a few of them and seeing which one you like the most. You can also get flavoured milks like strawberry and chocolate if that’s what floats your boat.

Butter

Vitalite is my ‘butter’ of choice. You can also buy Pure, but personally I find Vitalite is super creamy and tastes really good. Pretty much every supermarket stocks it – in fact a lot of people buy it without even knowing it’s vegan, plus I found it in my local 99p store so, bargain!

Cream

I use Alpro soya cream for creamy pasta dishes, on top of desserts and any other cream-based ingredient you could ask for. Again, there are soya-alternatives like oat cream. Available in every supermarket I’ve seen, plus the usual healthfood stores.

Mayonnaise

I love Infinity’s vegan mayonnaise. I don’t know how available it is – I’m guessing you can order it online? Luckily Infinity is local to me though, so it’s available in a lot of places.

Meat

Some people prefer to avoid meat replacement products, but personally I like switching things up from vegetables. I probably eat meat replacement three times a week, in various forms – usually ‘chicken’, mince and some kind of sandwich meat, like ham or pepperoni. I buy VBites quite often as it’s readily available, but I also like to buy Frys (which you can order from Ocado) and Vegusto (available in some healthfood stores and online – their sausages are so good! You can see them in the picture at the top of this blog, bottom right-hand corner). The majority of meat replacement products are also quite high in protein, which is a bonus.

I keep a couple of boxes of this Granose mix in the cupboard, too – you can make sausages, burgers and falafel, and they’re really handy to have on hand. You can find them in Holland & Barrett.

Tofu

A staple! Grill it, fry it, smash it into scrambled ‘egg’, crumble it into a pad thai – it’s so good for you, and packed with protein.

Pesto

I’m not a fan of pesto but Trout likes it, and pretty much always buys Zest. I can’t really comment though!

Jus-Rol Croissants

So good! The perfect weekend breakfast, and one of those fantastic products that just happen to be vegan. Jus-Rol make a lot of vegan products – their puff pastry is stocked everywhere, which is great.

Trex

Introduced to me by Ms Cupcake, this is a staple in my fridge for cookies and icing. It’s fantastic! Available in pretty much all supermarkets.

 

 

FREEZER STAPLES

Soya Mince and Sausage Rolls

Most minces are vegan, although some have egg in. You can usually find them in most supermarkets, but healthfood stores will also stock them. Trout’s in love with sausage rolls, so we pretty much always have them in the freezer.

Ice-cream

I stick to Swedish Glace – you can buy it in all supermarkets and healthfood stores, and it’s really good – plus relatively cheap compared to other brands like Booja Booja, which I also love but at around £7 it’s definitely a bit of a treat!

 

CUPBOARD STAPLES

Worcester Sauce

Regular worcester sauce is not vegan – this one is though, and you can find it in most supermarkets and healthfood stores.

Tuong Gia Vi

Replaces fish sauce and can be found in most Chinese supermarkets.

Sweet Treats

Mostly I like to bake my own brownies, cookies, tortes etc., but sometimes you’ve got to have something on hand that’s fun to indulge in!

 

BAKING STAPLES

Egg Replacement

Available in Holland & Barrett, this is really useful for baking with.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Again, great for baking. I recommend Ms Cupcake’s book to find out how she uses all of these ingredients – her recipes are full-proof!

Agave Nectar

Replaces honey in any kind of recipe, and can be found in all supermarkets and healthfood stores.

 

RANDOM EXTRAS

Nutritional Yeast

Great to add to dishes to make them a bit cheesy.

Chia and Flax Seeds

Full of omega-3 and pretty much tasteless – sprinkle them over your cereal in the morning, stir them into dinner – anything you like, really!

 

I’ve probably forgotten loads of basic essentials, but here’s what I’ve come up with so far. If there’s anything that I’ve missed just let me know in the comments below and I’ll put together a part two if there’s enough of them. Let me know if you have any questions about vegan products/restaurants/cafes etc., too. One final product which I’m not 100% convinced on but I quite like that it exists; Vegg. It’s a vegan egg replacement and can be turned into dippy egg for breakfast, which is quite a fun idea!

What are your vegan essentials?
Which products do you love that haven’t been featured here?

18 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2014 6:34 pm

    I’m kind of interested to try Vegg because I really miss whole eggs, but it does sound a bit wrong doesn’t it :-)

  2. August 14, 2014 7:36 pm

    cool list!! there are a few things I’d definitely want to try! :)

  3. August 14, 2014 7:39 pm

    Great list. I’d probably add coconut oil, which I find I’m using more and more in both sweet and savoury recipes, and cans of chickpeas and beans (aduki, red kidney, borlotti etc) , which are always in the store cupboard here.

    • August 19, 2014 12:48 pm

      I really need to try coconut oil in cooking – I use it a lot for skin care. And yes, cupboard staples like beans and chickpeas are definitely a must!

  4. August 14, 2014 11:24 pm

    Can’t beat nooch!
    I love Swedish Glace, prefer it to booja booja!

  5. August 15, 2014 10:03 am

    Such a great list! I’m not vegan, but love some of the products mentioned here. :-)

  6. August 17, 2014 3:26 pm

    Great post Christina, such a useful list for anyone making the transition. Obviously I’m not vegan but I would totally say that vegan / raw chocolate is fabulous!

    • August 19, 2014 12:51 pm

      Ooh LOVE raw chocolate. Maybe I should have mentioned a few raw products? Not so much staples but fun things to try.

  7. August 18, 2014 11:40 am

    So glad I have a vegan friend in the same city as me! I still learn so much from you (and your posts, like this one!) on what is vegan and what isn’t. Miss you!

  8. August 19, 2014 1:38 pm

    Great guide for newbie vegans!

    I make almost everything from scratch so don’t keep a lot of these things on hand but I know not everyone loves cooking as much as me! There are so many great vegan products out there these days that it doesn’t have to be a problem at all.

    I’d probably add cashews to the list. They’re a staple for creamy/cheesy sauces and of course for raw desserts!

    • August 22, 2014 8:07 pm

      Ooh cashews are a good addition! I love chucking them into stirfrys and making raw fudgey bites.

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