Grab your sustainable grocery bags, because we're going shopping for vegan-friendly foods. When you decide to commit to a vegan diet (whether for good or for a select period of time), a key component to your success is setting up your kitchen with all things vegan.

The good news is that you'll still be shopping for the vegetables, fruits, and grains you've already been purchasing, but you need to leave the yogurt, eggs, and chicken sausage at the store. Get ready to load your cart with some of the nutritious foods listed below (but, seriously, don't buy everything on this list or you'd be wasting precious produce!). Happy shopping, veg-heads!

PLANT-BASED PROTEINS

Contrary to popular (and annoying) opinion, it isn’t hard to get enough protein on a vegan diet.

Soy Products
Edamame
Tofu
Tempeh

Nuts and Seeds
Almonds
Brazil Nuts
Cashews
Chia
Flaxseeds
Hazelnuts
Hemp seeds
Macadamia nuts
Pecans
Pine nuts
Pumpkin seeds
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds
Tahini (sesame seed butter)
Teff
Quinoa
Walnuts

Beans and Legumes
Adzuki beans
Black beans
Black-eyed peas
Chickpeas
Fava beans
Kidney beans
Lentils
Lima beans
Mung beans
Navy beans
Peanuts
Peas
Pinto beans
Split peas
String beans
White beans

Other
Wheat protein (seitan)
Soy, rice, hemp, or pea protein powders

CEREAL AND GRAINS

All grains are fair game on a vegan diet, but complex carbohydrates are higher-quality energy sources—and even contribute to better gut health—so try to stick with whole-grain, fiber-rich options instead of refined flours.

Amaranth
Barley
Buckwheat
Bulgar
Cornmeal
Couscous
Farro
Freekeh
Kamut
Millet
Oats and oat bran
Orzo
Rice (white and brown)
Rye
Sorghum
Spelt
Wheatberries
White flour
Whole-wheat flour

VEGETABLES

Duh. There shouldn’t really be any restrictions on vegetables on an average vegan diet.

Acorn squash
Artichoke hearts
Asparagus
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Cucumber
Eggplant
Mushrooms
Onions
Peppers
Radish
Spaghetti Squash
Tomatoes (yes, technically a fruit)
Turnips
Zucchini

Leafy Greens
Arugula
Bok choy
Collard Greens
Kale
Romaine
Spinach
Swiss Chard

Starchy Veggies
Beets
Butternut squash
Corn
Parsnips
Pumpkin
Sweet potato
Yam

FRUIT

Like vegetables, fresh fruits are one of the main pillars of a vegan diet. Some varieties, like mangos and grapes, are higher in fructose than, say, berries, but unless you’re really trying to watch your sugar intake, the natural kind in fresh fruit shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Apple
Avocados
Bananas
Cantaloupe
Cherries
Figs
Grapes
Jackfruit (great as a meat swap too!)
Mango
Peaches
Pears
Pineapple
Plums
Watermelon

Berries
Blueberries
Blackberries
Strawberries
Raspberries

Citrus
Grapefruit
Lemon
Lime
Orange
Tangerine

Dried Fruits
Apricots
Cranberries
Dates
Mango
Prunes
Raisins

PLANT-BASED OILS AND FATS

Butter is a no-no for vegans, but most plant-based oils are OK in moderation. If you’re particular about how your oil is processed, avoid refined types and look for “expeller-pressed” or “cold-pressed” on the label.

Almond oil
Avocado oil
Canola oil
Coconut oil
Coconut butter
Grapeseed oil
Macadamia oil
Olive oil
Rice bran oil
Sesame oil

SWEETENERS

Several forms of sugar are a-OK on a vegan diet. That said, here are some vegan-approved sweeteners.

Agave nectar
Beet Sugar
Brown rice syrup
Coconut sugar
Dates
Date syrup
Maple syrup
Raw cane sugar
Palm sugar
Stevia
Xylitol

HERBS AND SPICES

Herbs and spices are the ultimate secret weapons for adding tons of flavor to your food without resorting to processed condiments or unnecessary extra oil.

Basil
Chives
Cilantro
Cinnamon
Chili powder
Cumin
Dill
Garlic
Green onion
Ground ginger
Nutmeg
Oregano
Paprika
Parsley
Rosemary
Thyme
Turmeric

DRINKS

You have to kiss dairy goodbye, but these drinks will satisfy your need for something smooth or bubbly.

Almond milk
Cashew milk
Coconut milk
Coconut water
Club soda
Kombucha
Macadamia nut milk

MISCELLANEOUS

Look to these foods if you need an extra boost in terms of protein and vitamin intake, mineral absorption, or gut health.

  • Seaweed (for protein): kelp, spirulina, and agar agar
  • Fermented foods (for dairy-free, gut-aiding bacteria): miso paste, natto, tempeh kimchi, sauerkraut
  • Sprouted foods (for zinc absorption): sprouted beans, nuts, lentils, rice, quinoa, and bread
  • Nutritional yeast (for vitamin B12 and protein)

Next time you're shopping on Amazon, stock up on these vegan snacks too!

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