Now that you’ve had time to read the first post in this series and have stocked your cupboards with all of the basics it’s time to move on to the items that you’ll buy more frequently, which fall into the categories of fresh and frozen. Keeping your fridge well stocked with fresh fruits, veggies and a few other is key ingredients is key to creating the perfect plant based kitchen and nourishing your body with vital micronutrients. And let me also introduce you to your new best friend, the freezer; if you find yourself wasting food or claim that you have no time to cook then it really is the answer to all of your prayers.
- Non-Dairy Milk The market for milk alternatives has boomed in the past few years, meaning that there are so many options when you’re looking to replace dairy. It’s one of the first things that I add to my shopping list every week and I use everyday without fail, whether it be for a matcha latte, pouring over homemade granola, chocolate oats, a smoothie or simply for drinking alone. My favourites are unsweetened almond, oat, hazelnut and coconut but cashew, hemp and brown rice are all amazing too.
- Fresh Fruit is amazing for snacking, desserts or breakfast toppings and no plant based kitchen would be complete without it. I most often have bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, medjool + deri dates and avocados on hand but it’s all down to personal taste; apples, pears, figs, pineapple, pomegranate seeds and mango are all great options too. I always have lemons and limes on hand as they’re amazing at enhancing the flavours of any dish.
- Fresh Vegetables make up a large proportion of a plant based diet and I’m constantly stocking up on them throughout the week. They supply a range of micronutrients along with carbohydrates and although it may come as a surprise to some, are an amazing source of plant based protein too! My favourites are sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, courgette, aubergine, tomatoes, green peas, corn on the cob, butternut squash, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and spinach.
- Dairy Free Yoghurt If you’re new to a plant based diet then yoghurt may be something that you’re missing but fear not as nowadays there are so many amazing alternatives. I love alpro go on soya yoghurt which is indulgently thick and loaded with plant based protein, or coconut yoghurt for when I want something a little fancier. Both make amazing breakfasts when paired with fresh berries and homemade granola or can even be added to smoothies and overnight oats.
- Probiotics are so important for maintaining good digestive health and providing your body with an extra boost of healthy bacteria. And it’s important to make sure to store them in the fridge, as this will ensure that the beneficial bacteria stays alive for longer. If you aren’t keen on the idea of taking probiotic tablets, then load your fridge up with probiotic foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and coconut kefir – just make sure that they’re unpasteurized as the beneficial bacteria that they contain is destroyed at high temperatures.
When it comes to the freezer it’s more about utilizing its space than stocking it with things from the supermarket. Whilst there are only a handful of things that I buy frozen, the remainder of the space is taken up by home cooked meals and batches of my favourite sweet treats which makes it incredibly easy to have the most nourishing and delicious meals in a matter of minutes. And trust me if you work long hours, get home late or lack the energy to make a meal from scratch in the evenings, then the freezer will become your new best friend.
- Frozen Berries While fresh berries are amazing, they can end up being quite expensive so it’s a good idea to buy frozen raspberries, strawberries and blueberries which are all amazing for chucking into nice cream or smoothies.
- Frozen Peas have got to be one of my favourite veggies; they’re loaded with plant based protein, calcium, iron and vitamin C and only take a minute to prepare!
- Frozen Edamame makes a great addition to any salad and is great for an extra boost of protein.
- Utilising the freezer I’ve said it many a time but batch cooking really is a life saver; if you’re cooking stew, pasta or soup them be sure to make extra portions and freeze them for meals later in the week. And always make sure to have freezer bags on hand as they take up way less space than tupperware boxes! I freeze anything and everything from batches of protein bars and energy balls to falafels, vegan burgers, bread and stews.
What are your fresh and frozen plant based kitchen essentials? Leave them in the comments below or let me know on Instagram @nourishingyas x