Store Cupboard Essentials for making any ‘Free From Compromise’ Plant-Based Meal

New to Plant-Based eating? Well, I can bet you’re not the only one, as it’s certainly new to me. Curiosity in food is a wonderful thing, but can also be daunting. I think it’s safe to say we can all agree that knowing where to start is the most difficult part of planning a healthy plant-based diet. 

Everybody eats and everybody eats differently, but not everyone is aware of this. You may not care for the obscure ingredients in your restaurant lunch, but your friend with a peanut allergy would certainly like to know what’s in the sauce.

That being said, Food allergens are more common than you may think, and it’s slowly but surely becoming more common knowledge. Thus, allowing room for more allergen-friendly products and businesses to make a change.

In average day-to-day life, most have little concern over what they eat, excluding its palatability. For most, taste can make or break a meal choice, because who doesn’t want to eat delicious food all the time? However, for some, the key factor to whether they eat a meal or not comes down to safety. 

A little over three months ago, I went from being your average home cook to a Kitchen assistant learning the complexities of the plant-based, allergen-free world and how not all food is as ‘made to share’ as we’d like it to be.

So, whether you’re new to plant-based eating, or a seasoned professional, whether you made your way to this blog through a desperate search of guidance, or stumbled across it along your way out of simple curiosity. Fear not, through my journey of discovery creating an enticing 14 Allergen free menu for Green Sisters I’ve made note of a few cupboard essentials to help make your food journey just a little bit easier.

1.Chia Seeds

Not just good for you, chia seeds are ridiculously versatile. From being sprinkled raw onto cereals and salads, they can also be toasted and incorporated into bakes, ground up, and added into soups as a thickener with added nutritional value. Or, my personal favourite, mixed into your favourite liquids to make delicious puddings perfect for breakfast or dessert.

Bonus they really are good for you, packed with fibre and omega-3 fatty acids to help you maintain a healthy gut.

  1. Maple Syrup

Sweet and all-natural. Need to sweeten up your bakes, make a glaze, dressing, top some pancakes? Maple syrup has your back. It comes in a variety of grades from light amber to dark amber, the flavour becoming more robust the darker it is. Perfect addition to any Plant-Based pantry especially for those who are looking for a more natural sweetener choice.

Bonus, alongside being an all-natural sweetener, maple syrup is also a source of calcium and antioxidants.

  1. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are amazing. They go great in curries and soups, spiced and toasted they make the perfect crunchy snack and can even be used to make a delicious hummus dip to go with your crudité (crew-d-tay) platter at the party. Be it as a main, a snack or a side chickpeas make a great addition to any pantry.

Bonus, chickpeas are a great source of iron and fibre.

  1. Rice

A household staple across the board, great for last minute meals. A strong contender for the perfect side dish and fully customisable. Fried rice is good enough to eat all on its own and is a great way to use up perishable vegetables to avoid food waste.

Bonus, there are more varieties of rice than you’d think, why not try some. There’s White Rice, Brown Rice, Wild Rice, Basmati, Arborio, etc. Find the one that best suits you.

  1. Vinegar/Coconut Vinegar

Vinegar is an essential ingredient, it aids in all aspects of cooking. From making homemade sauces, being used as a dressing for salads and pasta, topping fresh hot chips, and even saving over salted dishes. Coconut Vinegar is a great alternative for those with sulphite allergies.

Bonus, it’s not just a great alternative for those with sulphite allergies but Coconut Vinegar is also a rich source of Vitamin C and potassium.

  1. Soy Sauce/Coconut Aminos

Soy Sauce, a key ingredient for most if not all savoury East Asian dishes. Definitely, a must have for any fried rice dish. Have a Soy allergy? No problem Coconut Aminos is a lifesaver as the perfect Soy Sauce Substitute, it has a robust flavour and has the same dark brown hue as soy sauce so is sure to add a splash of colour to your dishes.

Bonus, Coconut Aminos is also gluten free and has a lower salt content than regular Soy Sauce


  1. Herbs & Spices

This is an essential for every cupboard. The cornerstone of a delicious tasting meal is the flavour, most of which is controlled by the seasonings used in the cooking process. There are near limitless selections of herbs and spices you could use to elevate your cooking, be it a savoury or sweet dish, and a lot of them also come packed with added nutritional value.

I know it’s a list within a list but some details need more attention than others, here’s a selection of what I consider to be essential cupboards spices:

  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Chilli Powder
  • Black Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder (We don’t always have the time to finely dice our garlic)
  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Basil

Bonus, to save a few extra pennies or start a fun side hobby, why not try growing some of your own herbs. Doesn’t take too much space to start, a small pot and a windowsill (not exactly a cupboard) is all you need to be able to start growing your own basil

*I’d advise avoiding premixed spices as they often contain additional salts and additives 

I’d like to emphasise fresh foods are just as essential to creating delicious dishes so don’t forget to stock up on fruits and veggies just as well.

Hope my list of cupboard essentials proves to be useful to you in your food endeavours.

If you enjoyed this post share it with your friends, and don’t forget to stick around for the next one. 

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