Back when I first went vegan I bought a tonne of random weird ingredients that I thought I might need…unshelled hemp hearts…nope. Still in the jar.
So in the spirit of my newbie vegan self here’s my guide to my favourite vegan staples!
Nutritional Yeast aka Nooch
Nooch is yellow, dry yeast flakes that taste CHEESY! It’s a god send to vegans. You can get nooch that is fortified with vitamin B12 (very helpful for vegans!)
Dump it on your pasta, make mac n cheese with it, it’s awesome.
Big fan of cashews. Sour cream? Use cashews. Nut milk? Use cashews. Alfredo sauce? Cashews.
Cashew cheese – yes. There’s not much cashews can’t do. Just make sure before you use them you soak them to make them more digestible and make your tummy happy!
All praise the peanut gods. I recently only got into PB, I’m also a big fan of almond, cashew and hazelnut. PBJ sandwiches! Peanut satay sauce! It’s well known that Becky, my co-blogger in crime is a peanut butter obsessive and will put it on anything. If anyone ever asks you that stupid question “but where do you get your protein from?” tell them it’s from peanut butter.
I LOVE BLACK BEANS. They are the best beans in my opinion. Get your protein. I’m lazy however and all my beans are in cans.
My other favourite. My diet is 20% hummus. You can also make Becky’s chickpea croutons with them or chickpea nuggets.
The Japanese fermented soy bean paste can add a distinctive umami flavour to any dish. It also makes a super quick soup snack!
You know those weird chia pet things? You could grow hair on a little clay sculpture of a man’s face? Those were chia seeds. Super food seeds! Add them to smoothies or use them as an egg replacer. Make our Matcha chia pudding!
Cacao nibs are the unprocessed cacao. They have a bitter chocolate taste and a satisfying crunchy texture. They’re also considered a super food. I like mine sprinkled on top of granola or smoothies!
Maca powder is the powdered form of a root from South America, known for its health benefits. I found it helped to boost my energy when included in my morning smoothie. This is a massive bonus for me because I am extremely caffeine sensitive! Some other benefits of maca can be read here. It has a strong malt like flavour.
Another super food for your smoothie! Spirulina is a blue-green algae and a complete protein with all the essential amino acids. It’s also rich in many other vitamins and minerals. It has a dark green colour and tastes and smells quite a bit like iron. However, once it’s blended into a smoothie it’s hard to detect.
Vital Wheat Gluten
Vital Wheat Gluten makes seitan! I like to try to keep some around for making chickpea nuggets and other magical things. It has the most “meat like” texture of any plant-based protein in my opinion.
There are many more obvious ones that I’m not going to go into detail about such as oats, quinoa, brown rice and lentils.
I hope my small list has been somewhat helpful to some people exploring the world of veganism and all the weird products there are out there.
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