Before we start this list we’ll say that fruits and vegetables are crucial. We’re not including them in our list because it’s obvious that we need them always! Here are the other top 11 Vegan ingredients that we always like to have on hand to supplement our fruits and vegetables.
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#1: Flax Seeds / Chia Seeds / Hemp Hearts
The all-stars of our top Vegan ingredients list. These seeds are super nutritious and contain the ultra important Omega−3 fatty acids which play a vital role in the human diet and in human physiology. Omega-3’s are not produced by the body, and must be obtained through our diets. Everyone should be regularly consuming these seeds!
“Flax seeds, known as one of the richest sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids and having around one hundred times more cancer-fighting lignans than other foods, have also been demonstrated to prove helpful against breast and prostate cancers; controlling cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels; reducing inflammation; and successfully treating constipation.”
Flax is very effective as an egg replacer in Vegan recipes. To use ground flax seed as an egg replacer, simply replace the amount of eggs with “flax eggs”. To make 1 flax egg combine 1 Tbsp ground flax with 2.5 Tbsp water, stir with a fork and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Chia seeds can also be used as an egg replacer. You simply do it the same way as making a flax egg. Combine 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 2.5 Tbsp water, stir and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Hemp hearts have whopping nutritional benefits. They’re higher in omega-3’s than flax and chia. They also contain a very high amount of protein: 30 grams of hemp seeds (2-3 Tbsp) contain 11g of protein, along with high amounts of other vitamins and minerals.
Runner up! Nutritional yeast is one of the most amazing Vegan ingredients to have handy. It adds so much flavor to otherwise bland recipes. Its taste can be described as cheesy, nutty, and salty (although it doesn’t contain msg). It can be used as a seasoning, or as a key ingredient to make all kinds of delicious sauces. It’s also extremely nutritious, maybe that’s why it’s called nutritional yeast!
- Nutritional yeast is high in B-vitamins, and is usually fortified with B-12.
- High in fiber.
- High in minerals like zinc and magnesium.
- High in protein, and is a complete-protein containing all essential amino acids.
#3: Whole Grain Rice
Of course rice has to be near the top of our list. If you’re on a plant-based diet, most likely you’re going to be eating a rice dish at least once a week. It’s an awesome base to make all kinds of recipes with.
We try to usually buy whole grain rice rather than enriched rice. Whole grain rice is a much healthier version, because our bodies can absorb a lot more of the nutrients in whole grain rice in comparison to enriched rice.
Whole grain rice is very nutritious. It’s got protein, vitamins like thiamin, niacin, and B6, and it’s loaded with minerals like manganese, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper.
Beans are a nutrient-dense food loaded with protein, fiber, and important vitamins and minerals, including folate, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium. They’re also high in antioxidants. Beans are a vital food that we need to keep our hearts healthy, reduce risk of cancer and diabetes, and improve gut health.
If you’re having trouble adding enough calories and fats to your Vegan lifestyle, be sure to stock up on some nuts. Nuts are high in calories and healthy fats. They’re great to have for a snack everyday.
Nuts are energy-packing, and are equipped with protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium. They’re also high in antioxidants, and reduce inflammation.
Spices are great to make our food have extra flavor. With spices we have the possibilities to turn a bland dish into something that gives our palettes a flavor explosion!
Along with the taste they provide, many spices also have true health benefits.
- Reduce inflammation: turmeric, cinnamon, ginger
- Lower blood sugar: cinnamon, basil, fenugreek
- Lower cholesterol: cinnamon, garlic
- Improve brain function: sage, turmeric
- Reduce nausea: peppermint, ginger
- Boost immunity: basil, rosemary
- Reduce risk of cancer: turmeric, cayenne, ginger
- Prevent allergies: rosemary
- Improve heart health: turmeric, garlic
#7: Canned Tomatoes
We make sure we’re always stocked up different canned tomato varieties. They’re used for sauces, chili recipes, rice dishes, and more.
Canned tomatoes are beneficial for health too. They’re packed with Vitamin C, fiber, and the powerful antioxidant lycopene.
We absolutely love pasta. Pasta is on our plates at least a couple of times per week. It can be pretty nutritious if we choose whole grain. There are even some creative types of pasta that are gluten free and quite nutritious made from things like rice, chickpea, lentils, and even edamame.
Pasta has fuel that our body needs like carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals like calcium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, thiamin, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and iron.
This type of flour bakes and tastes similarly to all-purpose white flour, but its got the health benefits of wheat flour. It’s unbleached, and good for you. It’s got nice amounts of protein, fiber, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.
#10: Natural Nut Butters
Natural peanut butter is surely one of my favorite Vegan ingredients. It makes me so happy. I like to put it in oatmeal, cereal, sandwiches (peanut butter, date, banana, flax sandwich for the win!), in smoothies, on celery, and I like to dip dates in it. It’s so good, and nutritious. It’s packed with energy and healthy fats that our bodies need.
We’ve got a list of 25 amazing peanut butter recipes right here!
#11: Pure Maple Syrup
Pure maple syrup is a healthier way to sweeten up any recipe versus sugars. We use it in moderation, but we really love to have it on hand for when we’re craving a sweet recipe.
What are your favorite Vegan Ingredients?
There are many more Vegan ingredients that are simply amazing, but this is our list of our personal favorites. What are some of your favorites that you’re always sure to keep in stock? Comment below!
Don’t Forget To Take Your Supplements!
There are some nutrients that aren’t so easy to incorporate into our diets. We regularly take B12, D3, and Omega-3 supplements. Here are the specific brands we like. If you purchase a different kind, make sure they’re Vegan!