Eating and living plant-based is a commitment to simplicity, harmony, and mindfulness. Sticking to essentials and clearing out fillers is an important part of our diets, our mental health, and our overall wellbeing. We racked our brains for our five favorite cupboard staples to ensure your cabinet is simple, prepared, and ready to serve you and your highest self.
With an average of 12.5 grams of protein you can find chickpeas in kitchens across the globe as a steady and helpful alternative to animal products. As a rich source of iron, zinc, folate, phosphorus, and vitamin B, chickpeas provide a dense form of the minerals plant-based folks are so frequently teased about not getting enough of.
These beige colored legumes, also known as garbanzo beans, are filled with fiber to keep you full and content for longer periods of time. Prep chickpeas by roasting them, throwing them in a salad, rolling them in a burrito, or sometimes just adding some salt and pepper and eating them as is.
When purchased in a can you will find them suspended in chickpea water, frequently referred to as aquafaba. Although aquafaba yields little nutritional value, it proves itself to be useful as an essential component of vegan desserts like meringue and whipped cream. Think of it is as the most affordable egg substitute you ever come across! Filling, adaptable, flavor packed, and under two dollars – must we elaborate on why chickpeas are a cupboard essential?
These adorably tiny seeds are a powerhouse of wellness and vitality. Chia seeds have a mild taste that goes near recognizable, spare their gentle texture. When prepared and consumed with liquid they expand for a filling sensation to get you going first thing in the morning. Sprinkle into your smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal for some quick, easy omegas. Make sure to ingest them with liquid of some sort to maximize absorption and maintain gut happiness. Minimum frills and maximum benefits for a morning snack – we’ll take it!
What is our favorite way to enjoy chia seeds? Chia pudding! Add four tablespoons of chia seeds per one cup of alternative milk. We vote oat or coconut milk. Add sweeteners to taste; maple syrup, honey, or agave will do the trick. Refrigerate for one hour. Gently stir. Refrigerate one more hour and enjoy!
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These powerful seeds, commonly referred to as hemp hearts (cute, right?) are a simple and quick source of protein. The lightweight seed can be sprinkled, mixed, or thrown on just about anything and add nothing but delicious crunch, flavor, and a whole lot of nutrients.
With 10 grams of protein in a serving, it’s hard to understand why an animal product might ever be marked necessary for protein intake. Hemp hearts are a complete protein delivering all the essential amino acids in just one serving. Hemp hearts are a strong source of arginine, an amino acid highly regarded for lowering blood pressure.
Grab a bag for your cabinet and add them to your daily routine! We like them mixed with a non-dairy yogurt, peanut butter, and honey. And for those of us wondering, no THC or CBD is involved.
With a shelf life of three years, lentils are a prime candidate for our top five cabinet picks. The folic acid, fiber, and magnesium packed legume is filling, powerful, and easy to prepare. With a cook time of 20 minutes and no soaking required, you’ll wonder why these aren’t already in your cabinet or on your dinner plate.
Lentils have an earthy flavor that adds a richness to stews, soups, rice dishes, and pasta plates. When paired with a whole grain, lentils form a complete protein. Try all five types of lentils and let us know which you liked best.
Pro Tip: Purchase lentils from the bulk section at your local grocer and keep them in a mason jar to add a pop of color to your kitchen.
Related Article: The Six Best Sources of Plant-Based Protein
If you’re like us, you may go through your vegan butter at an alarmingly fast pace. Translation: We use up our butter long before we can make it to the store to buy another pack. If this sounds familiar, you may run into days when you might be faced with the compromised decision of using no plant-based butter (boring) or scrapping your meal plans (more boring). Don’t fret! There’s a third option.
Reach for the coconut oil in your cupboard. Slap it on bread, on veggies, on your hair or even your face. Proven to aid with digestion, improve brain function, moisturize, and establish healthy levels of cholesterol, coconut oil is our lucky number five cabinet must-have.