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!
Contrary to popular (and annoying) opinion, it isn’t hard to get enough protein on a vegan diet.
Nuts and Seeds
Tahini (sesame seed butter)
Beans and Legumes
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.
Oats and oat bran
Rice (white and brown)
Duh. There shouldn’t really be any restrictions on vegetables on an average vegan diet.
Tomatoes (yes, technically a 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.
Jackfruit (great as a meat swap too!)
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.
Rice bran oil
Several forms of sugar are a-OK on a vegan diet. That said, here are some vegan-approved sweeteners.
Brown rice syrup
Raw cane sugar
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.
You have to kiss dairy goodbye, but these drinks will satisfy your need for something smooth or bubbly.
Macadamia nut milk
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!