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10 Best Essentials Vegan Foods

going veganHere Are The Best Vegan Food Options : The vegan diet is becoming more and more popular across the world, with many embracing it for health reasons as well as moral ones.

Vegans abstain from consuming any animal products. While vegetarians don’t consume meat and pescetarians limit their meat consumption to fish, vegans don’t eat either, and additionally exclude eggs, animal fats, and milk from their diets, meaning they mostly consume plant products.

This can seem very limiting, but in truth, there’s an endless array of dishes that vegans can prepare.

Many start by taking cues from cultures that have already practiced a vegan lifestyle for centuries, including Asian countries where religion prohibits the consumption of meat and lactose intolerance makes milk a no-go.

Others innovate by finding new ways of preparing vegetable products to imitate meat, or create new flavors the world has never tasted before. Whatever approach you take, there are some staples that most vegans keep on hand.

Here are 12 ingredients that every vegan pantry ought to keep in stock.

Tempeh:

The main thing you’ll need to compensate for when cutting animal products out of your diet is a lack of protein. Tempeh is a soybean cake with a rich, earthy flavor that’s loaded with protein.

It can be steamed, marinated, blackened, or crumbled, and its flavor-absorbing properties make it a great addition to other dishes.

Dried Fruits:

If you need something to snack on throughout the day, reach for some raisins, dried apricots, or dates. These dried fruits don’t go bad as quickly as fresh produce, and they’re a great addition to salads and even sauté dishes.

Coconut Oil:

A great replacement for butter or lard when sautéing or frying veggies, coconut oil also adds fantastic flavor to baked goods and sauces. It’s a versatile ingredient that does double duty in savory and sweet dishes alike.

Beans:

Another protein replacement that you ought to keep on hand in large amounts. Whether you opt for dried or canned beans, you’ve got a ton of options, from chickpeas to kidney beans to white beans, and a variety of ways to prepare them: boiling, simmering, frying, even eating out of the can if you’re in a hurry.

Polenta:

A dish of boiled grains that can be eaten as a hot porridge or cooled and then baked, fried, or grilled, polenta is a staple of Italian and Swiss cuisine that has seen a resurgence in the vegan cooking community. It takes a while to cook, but the flavorful, versatile result is well worth it.

Nuts:

Another protein booster that can function as a snack or in the context of a larger dish, nuts are like beans in that there’s endless varieties and endless preparations. Peanuts and cashews make great finger food and add texture to stir-fries and soups, while almonds and walnuts are great in salads and baked goods.

Herbs and Spices:

Keeping your food flavorful without animal products can be a challenge, but if you keep your pantry stocked with spices it’s not a problem. Keep plenty of cumin, oregano, cinnamon, cayenne, and turmeric on hand.

Pasta:

Although it’s carb-heavy and thus not particularly healthy, pasta is the rare guilty pleasure that vegans can dig into without compromising their diet. And it doesn’t need to be a belt-busting indulgence: try using a small amount of pasta and a lot of sauce to cut down on calories.

Quinoa:

The gluten-free vegan faces a particular challenge, but this trendy ancient grain fits into both categories, as well as being loaded with protein. Use it in curries, stews, and salads for a textural treat.

Applesauce:

Dig into applesauce on its own as a vegan dessert, or incorporate it into your cooking as a substitute for butter or eggs.

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