Vegan Grocery Shopping
There are so many amazing vegan foods out there, you may be surprised by just how many options there are! Here are just a few examples of some of the foods vegans eat. This vegan grocery list will help you get a better idea of what shopping as a vegan or plant-based eater looks like. This list is completely vegan and can be all whole food plant-based.
Is It Hard To Go Vegan Grocery Shopping?
It definitely can be! Shopping can get really overwhelming because there are so many choices! So, below I’ve listed some suggestions for vegan grocery shopping. Vegan grocery store locations that will help you stock your pantry, freezer or refrigerator. What you should be looking for in your vegan grocery shopping list This is just a sample of foods to try, there are so many more options! Fruits and vegetables.
These are what’s used in almost all dishes! They are often not the main ingredients but are the heart of any dish. I always recommend going to a vegan/plant-based grocery store, because you’re likely to get a better quality, higher quantity of fruits and vegetables at a vegan/plant-based store than at a regular grocery store. There are times when grocery shopping is hard for the meat-eater, vegan, and pescatarian alike.
For most people, the decision to go vegan or pescatarian is because they’re sick of being lied to and manipulated. They’re sick of seeing people put animals on plates as the main focus when health could be the main focus of our diets. Many people don’t want to feel left out when they’re surrounded by friends and family eating meat-filled meals.
They’re sick of wondering what it would be like to be sat down at a table and joined by a loved one but instead eating their plants. Being vegan is not easy. Not one bit! But there are many resources and avenues to learn about, including First things first – food. Start with this list of foods, and work your way down.
Build A Vegan Grocery List
Whether you're on a tight budget, a new vegan, or a seasoned plant-based eater, this list will help you navigate any grocery store. As you go, make a list of everything you'll need to make the dishes on your menu. Depending on your dietary preferences, your weekly grocery list may include:
- a lot of fresh vegetables,
- some fresh fruit,
- some frozen fruit and vegetables,
- some soy such as tofu, tempeh, and edamame,
- any pantry items you're out of such as dried and canned legumes, spices and dried herbs, nuts, seeds, vinegar, nut butter, etc.,
- dairy alternatives such as almond, cashew, or coconut milk and dairy-free yogurt, and
- limited lightly processed foods such as cereal or healthy crackers.
- Purchase fruits and vegetables from all of the categories listed below.
- Purchase low-cost staples such as carrots, apples, bananas, and celery, and supplement with produce that is on sale or in season.
- Frozen fruit can be used in smoothies and baking (previously frozen fruit for topping oatmeal or non-dairy yogurts)
- Dried fruit can be eaten on the go with nuts or trail mix, or it can be used as a topping for breakfast cereal or in baking.
- Purchase a few vegetables to use raw in salads, sandwiches, or dips.
- Choose at least 1-2 leafy greens for salads and sandwiches.
- Purchase a few vegetables to use raw in salads, sandwiches, or dips.
- Choose a variety of fresh or frozen vegetables that can be steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, or roasted.
- Frozen vegetables are a great staple that can be used in a variety of ways. You can buy extra when they're on sale without worrying about spoilage, they're quick to prepare, and they can be a great healthy backup option if you forget to go grocery shopping. Because it is flash-frozen at its peak ripeness, frozen produce is typically more nutrient-dense than fresh produce.
- Beans, rice, oats, quinoa, oils, vinegar, tomato products, non-dairy milk, and nutritional yeast are always staples in our pantry. These are the items that will last a long time and will contribute significantly to the substance and flavour of your meals. You can supplement these with fruits and vegetables that you enjoy or ingredients that you know will go well with your planned meals for the week. For example, to go with our morning oats and smoothies, we like to add bananas, dates, and berries (frozen when not in season) to our cart.
Shopping Your Nutrients
Like any food list, a vegan shopping list also includes the vitamins and minerals a person is missing from their regular diet. These vitamins and minerals are usually taken by taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement. These foods are, naturally, very high in these vitamins and minerals, which help keep a person’s immune system in check and most essential nutrients in balance. Because of the lack of animal protein in many vegan dishes, protein is usually not the issue, but eating too much meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, or soy can have a negative impact on a person’s health.
People often talk about the health benefits of eating vegetables. Some believe vegetables are a good replacement for meat. When shopping for a plant-based diet, it’s extremely important to consider the nutrients your body needs. This doesn’t mean you have to stick strictly to the government recommended minimums, but instead, determine the essential nutrients your body needs to function, and if it can’t get those from a plant-based diet, you can replace it with something else.
Vegans who consume a large number of greens and legumes generally don’t have a problem getting enough calcium. So if you’re still nursing a baby, opt for calcium-fortified non-dairy options, such as milk. I personally took a few vitamins and minerals before and after making the switch to veganism. Both months my intake was totally adequate and I was never lacking anything.
When planning for your plant-based eating, it can help to think about filling your cart with nutrient-dense foods such as leafy greens and colourful fruits and vegetables, high-fibre foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables unrefined carbohydrates/starches such as potato, sweet potato, rice, oats and quinoa, foods that are low in added sugar, sodium and fat (minimize processed foods), some sources of healthy fats such as avocado, nuts and seeds, enough food to cover your nutrient and calorie needs, some sources of protein such as nuts, seeds, lentils, beans, tofu, tempeh and edamame.
Sunflower or soy-based cooking oils are most commonly used in food today and are available at most supermarkets. As a low-saturated fat, cholesterol-free meat replacement, soy foods may be beneficial for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD), dialysis patients, and those who have had a kidney transplant. Soy protein, like animal protein, is a high-quality protein that is plant-based.
Soy protein, unlike meat, is cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat. Soy products are made from soybeans, which are high in potassium and phosphorus naturally. Check the amount of potassium and phosphorus in soy products using the DaVita Diet Helper. The sodium content of soy foods ranges from low to very high, so reading labels is critical. Edamame is large green soybeans that are harvested while still green, frozen in the pod or shelled, and served as an appetizer.
The potassium content is roughly three times that of a serving of animal protein with the same protein content. Soy milk is made from soaked, ground, and strained whole soybeans. It comes in flavoured and unflavored varieties, as well as refrigerated and unrefrigerated options. Check the nutrition labels for calcium, phosphorus, and potassium content. Soy protein isolate is what remains after the soy oil has been extracted from the soybean.
Soy protein powder is sold in canisters and is added to protein or energy bars, protein shakes, and cereals. Brands processed with potassium can contain up to 450 mg of potassium per ounce, so read nutrition labels carefully. Tempeh is a nutty-flavoured cake fermented from whole soybeans mixed with rice or millet.
It can be grilled, stir-fried, or baked. TSP, also known as texturized vegetable protein (TVP) or soy meat, is commonly used as a meat substitute in products such as veggie burgers, tofu hot dogs, and so on. TSP-containing foods should be avoided by people with kidney disease who are on a low-potassium diet. Tofu, also known as soybean curd, is available in a variety of textures, ranging from very soft (silken) to firm, and can be prepared in a variety of ways, including grilling, sautéing, baking, and even adding it to smoothies!
Nuts And Seeds
Flaxseeds, Flax oil, Shelled hemp seeds, Seeds of all kinds – chickpeas, chia, and sesame seeds, Black beans, Soybeans, Hemp seeds, Walnuts, Peanuts, Macadamia nuts, Pumpkin seeds, and Flaxseed. So your vegan grocery list has been created. You now know what to expect at the supermarket.
I encourage you to go out and do your first shopping trip as a vegan to get a feel for the experience. It is also a great idea to do some research at home so you know what to stock up on if there are certain products you will need in a pinch. Nuts are an excellent vegan snack.
They are nutritious and tasty food that is safe to consume on a daily basis. They're also reasonably priced and extremely convenient. I love that I can walk into the kitchen at any time and open a foil bag of crunchy roasted nuts. Every serving contains a concentrated source of nutrients, such as protein and healthy fats. Pistachios and peanuts can be served in their shells.
Walnuts are more difficult to shell, and the other nuts are better suited to machine selling. Any nut can be made into nut butter. If you're already familiar with peanut butter, cashew butter is the nut butter to try. To make a delicious sauce, gently heat most nut butter in a skillet with lemon juice, water, garlic, and tamari. Nuts and seeds are tiny nutritional powerhouses that contain high levels of antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin E, and essential minerals that keep your body in top shape.
The high levels of healthy omega-3 monounsaturated-fatty acids and polyphenolic flavonoids (antioxidants) in nuts and seeds make them the perfect recipe for a heart-healthy diet, lowering your LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” and increasing your HDL, or “good cholesterol,” and protecting the body from life-threatening diseases like coronary heart disease, viral infections, and even mental health diseases like Alzheimer's disease.
Beans And Legumes
Beans, lentils, soy, and peanuts are examples of legumes, and they may be my favourite grocery category. It's a big one, and it's a big part of my diet. Legumes are an excellent source of protein in a plant-based diet, and they also contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Legumes are also high in fiber and have been shown in studies to have numerous health benefits when consumed on a daily basis.
Using dried beans in your kitchen is very cost-effective, and if you plan ahead, you can easily incorporate homecooked beans into your weekly meal plan. I always make my own lentils because they cook quickly and do not need to be soaked. Legumes are a plant family that are technically fruits. They're also known as pulses when they're dried. Beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, peanuts, and alfalfa are examples of well-known legumes.
They have the unique ability to coexist with nitrogen-fixing bacteria in order to provide a consistent digestible source of plant proteins. A 100-gram serving of cooked chickpeas, for example, provided 18% of the daily value for protein, 30% of the daily fiber, 43% of the daily folate intake, and 52% of the trace mineral manganese. They are also high in resistant starch, which fuels intestinal bacteria that produce short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, which favour a hepatic metabolism.
Beans and legumes are the fruits or seeds of the Fabaceae plant family. They are widely consumed around the world and are high in fiber and B vitamins. They are also an excellent source of vegetarian protein when used in place of meat. Beans and legumes have a variety of health benefits, including lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels, and increased healthy gut bacteria.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are high in fiber and protein. Many scientific studies have shown that beans and legumes, such as chickpeas, can help reduce weight, risk factors for heart disease, and possibly even cancer risk, especially when red meat is replaced in the diet. Lentils are an excellent source of vegetarian protein and can be added to soups and stews.
Finally, lentil sprouts may benefit heart health by lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol while increasing “good” HDL cholesterol. Peas are a type of legume that comes in a variety of varieties. Peas, like many other legumes, are high in fiber and protein. A great deal of research has shown that pea fiber and protein, which can be taken as supplements, have a variety of health benefits.
Condiments play a big role in a vegan diet, if not the biggest! Pepper, lemon, garlic and chile are some of the common foods you can add to meals and the most popular condiments are vegan. These are things that can be easily found in your local grocery store or vegan food store. Ketchup is a common condiment with few ingredients, the majority of which are plant-based; however, some strict vegans avoid refined sugar (a common ketchup ingredient) because it is sometimes processed using bone char.
The good news is that organic sugar has not been processed with bone char, so organic ketchup is suitable for even the most ardent vegans. If you don't mind refined sugars, you can eat any ketchup you want. Simply buy organic ketchup if you want to avoid refined sugars! The only thing to be concerned about when it comes to barbecue is the meat. Generally, the sauce is safe.
The majority of barbecue sauces are made with a tomato base, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, onion, salt, and pepper. Avoid sauces that list Worcestershire sauce as one of their ingredients. Hoisin sauce is a thick, sweet and salty Chinese condiment that is typically used as a glaze. The word hoisin means “seafood” in Chinese, but the sauce contains no seafood. The recipes vary, but the majority are vegan-friendly, using only soy beans, red peppers, garlic, vinegar, and spices.
Hot sauce is both flavorful and guilt-free. Chilies and peppers, garlic, salt, and water are used to make it. Hummus is made from mashed chickpeas and vegan-friendly ingredients such as olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and tahini. Take a stab! Mustard has been made for thousands of years from mustard plant seeds, vinegar, and water.
In addition to Dijon and honey mustard, mustard is a vegan-friendly condiment option. Wasabi is the tangy, bright green glob that you're likely to find on any sushi plate. Wasabi is not only the name of the condiment, but also the name of the plant from which it is derived, so the condiment is completely safe.
Though many experts recommend using soymilk or almond milk in place of animal dairy, sweeteners are actually necessary. These sweeteners give a vegan product the same texture, mouthfeel, and nutrition as a non-vegan product. Also, non-dairy desiccated coconut milk is often a product that is found in vegan products. When shopping for sweeteners, look for gums, creamers, and those that are free of wheat, dairy, and soy.
Non-dairy gums and creams are made from palm and bamboo but have the same texture as dairy gums. Bamboo gums and creams are completely vegan as well! Plant based bamboo gums are available in the store but we recommend not using the ones made from bamboo. It’s important that you get good quality honey, maple syrup, stevia, agave, coconut sugar, etc. to help satisfy your sweet tooth without consuming any animal-based ingredients.
Canned or frozen fruit is typically processed in a way that retains all of its nutrients, but when fresh fruits are the ones you buy, you can avoid this problem. There are a lot of vegan products out there! I would say it’s not really necessary to go to the vegan store to buy groceries. It can be a bit more expensive in the long run to buy your food there, but it can definitely save you time if you’re traveling.
Vegetables And Fruits
Yams, Sweet Potatoes, Cauliflower, Spinach, Potatoes, Asparagus, Avocados, Kale, Spinach, Cucumber, Nectarines, Pineapple, Mangoes, Eggplant, Carrots, Watermelon, and Frozen Vegetables. Spinach, kale, watermelon, corn, blueberries, strawberries, cauliflower rice, and frozen peas are all great veggies you can buy and eat. They’re all fairly cheap and can be prepared in any way you want, so they’re easy to make and eat.
Tomatoes, cabbage, beetroot, pumpkin, garlic, olives, broccoli, apples, nectarines, berries, bananas, melons, and oranges are examples of vegetables and fruits. Pulses such as lentils, peas, beans, soya beans, and lupins are high in protein. Vegans should also try to eat more iron- and calcium-rich fruits and vegetables.
Leafy greens like bok choy, spinach, kale, watercress, and mustard greens fall into this category. Broccoli, turnip greens, artichokes, and black currants are other excellent choices.
Now that you know more about the dietary choices vegans have when it comes to food, you can go out and make the best choices for your body. Just because you choose to be a vegan doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all the foods you like. You should still eat a balanced diet of whole food plant-based foods in order to maintain healthy, energized energy levels. If you eat enough of these foods, you’ll never have to worry about feeling weak or worn out, and you’ll be sure to be feeling good throughout the day.
Take care of yourself and remember to eat the foods that your body needs to be healthy and full of energy. Veganism and keto are not very hard to implement. In the beginning, you may eat like a caveman, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how quickly you adapt to a more plant-based lifestyle. The benefits of a healthier diet without any harmful side effects is too big to ignore!
I trust you enjoyed reading the article about Vegan Grocery Shopping. Please stay tuned. There are more blog posts to come very shortly.
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Ideas? Thoughts? Questions? I would love to hear from you. Would you please leave me your questions, experience, and remarks about Vegan Grocery Shopping in the comments section below? You can also reach me by email at Jeannette@LivingTheVeganLifestyle.org.