the fox & bean vegan pantry essentials
This list is a compilation of the dry goods I use the most. It is not the be all and end all in terms of cataloging everything I use but it covers the basics and you'll be able to make the majority of the recipes on the blog with these guys. Herbs and spices to come . . . Happy stocking!
condiments & flavour makers
apple cider vinegar
If you’re hardcore you can shoot a couple of tablespoons in the morning for it’s numerous health benefits . . . or you can just add it to salad dressings.
Coconut aminos is primarily used as a substitute for soy sauce or tamari. It has a much sweeter taste and is great for tempering the acidity in tomato based sauces as well as adding sweetness to savoury dishes without the use of processed sugars.
As much as I love using fresh garlic the seasoning version can be extremely versatile. I primarily use it for cheese sauce but it’s great in other sauces and sprinkled on freshly made popcorn.
Do you miss smoked salmon? Pulled pork? Bacon? Liquid smoke is here to save you from your meat cravings. Make a simple marinade of tamari, maple and liquid smoke, crumble in some tofu and place under the grill for bacon bits.
I like to use miso as a stock substitute, I add a couple of tablespoons to a cup or two of boiling water, stir to dissolve and then add to soups, pasta sauces and stews.
There are a few things I like to use as natural flavour enhancers and mustard is one of them. Dijon is my go to but grainy is a close second.
This is your number one vegan essential. With a full umami flavour it makes creamy vegan sauces “cheesy”, tofu scramble “eggy” and brings a multitude of recipes to life when they’re missing just that little bit of something. Pro tip: try adding a pinch of nutmeg to your cheesy sauces for an enhanced flavour.
Much like garlic powder I use onion powder for cheese sauces and in place of the real deal when I couldn’t be bothered peeling, cutting and cooking them.
This wheat free soy sauce provides a full-bodied flavour to just about everything. Add to tomato sauces, bean and burger mixes and the traditional stir fry, just remember to reduce the amount of salt you add to your recipes if using tamari.
ancient wheat flours
Try spelt or khorasan (kamut) instead of traditional white flour. These older wheat varieties are far more nutritious, mostly organic and if you suffer from some sort of wheat intolerance you may find them much easier on the digestive system.
Brown rice is an amazing pre-biotic, it’s protein and fibre rich and honestly much tastier than their white counter part.
Oats are my breakfast go to from bircher to porridge they are nourishing and satisfying.
nuts & seeds
Almonds are your all purpose nut. Granola, trail mix, muesli bars, nut milk, almond butter the list goes on . . .
Soak your cashews in clean cold water for 4-6hrs, drain, rinse well and then use as a substitute for all things creamy; cheesecake, sour cream, mayo, cheese sauce, salad dressings . . . the options are endless.
I like to buy these whole and grind them in my blender, as I need them. They are incredibly nutritious but once ground the nutrients oxidize quickly. Mix 1TBSP ground flax with 3TBSPs of water to replace one egg in your favourite cake recipes.
These little seeds are creamy and much like the glorious chia they are jammedwith protein and omega’s. I like to think of them as a whole food supplement and I add them to smoothies, granola, raw treats and nut mixes.
Stuffed with essential zinc, I like to add them to smoothies as a natural supplement.
sweeteners & dried fruit
This is my favourite processed sugar substitute you can replace it on a one to one basis and it has a beautiful rich toffee like flavour.
Dates are an incredible source of sweetness in a whole food form. I love to add them to porridge instead of sugar. While medjool dates are truly the most wonderful things I tend to buy pitted Sayer dates as they are much more economical.
Maple syrup is your honey substitute and if you splash out for the real deal you won’t be disappointed.
So underrated! Like dates they are a great natural sweetener, I like to use them in raw treats, homemade muesli and sometimes on my peanut butter toast instead of jam.
beans & legumes
black beans (tinned)
Rich in flavour and creamy in texture . . . there’s a reason you can never find them in the super market, sigh!
From homemade hummus to simple curries and salads, no vegan pantry is complete without a couple of cans of chickpeas.
red lentils (dry)
Red lentils are quick cooking and are perfect for whipping up vegan Bolognese and Dahl like curries.
coconut oil (cold-pressed organic)
Coconut oil is solid at room temperature; this means it can be used for all sorts of tricks like making raw vegan chocolate and cheesecakes. It’s also got a high smoke point so it’s good for frying.
sunflower oil (cold-pressed organic)
This is my all purpose oil. It has a neutral flavour and I use it mostly for roasting and frying. While coconut oil is super stable at high temperatures and is considered a healthier oil, I find it hard to digest if I’m using it on a daily basis. I spend a little more and always get the cold-pressed organic.
extra virgin olive oil (cold-pressed organic)
A great source of healthy fats especially for vegans. Do not use it for cooking, all the good stuff turns to bad stuff when olive oil gets hot.
other good stuff
Super tasty and great for adding extra crunch to your granola, smoothie bowls and bliss balls.
cacao powder (raw)
If you’re not use to eating raw cacao it can take a little getting used to as it’s more bitter than processed cocoa. The raw version is a real powerhouse, it’s full of antioxidants and nutrients like iron, magnesium and calcium and once you get used to it, it has an incredible rich flavour.
coconut cream (tinned)
From curries to homemade coconut yoghurt and a multitude of desserts, coconut cream definitely earns its keep as a store cupboard essential.
I’m addicted to tahini. It’s packed with calcium and I use that as an excuse to put it on everything from salads to roast veggies as well as porridge and other sweet things.
Soups, curries, pasta sauces . . . say no more!