Plant-based at home- My top 10 favourite ingredients

At this stage, our pantry, fridge and freezer is made up mostly of a combination of seasonal fruits and vegetables, legumes/pulses, whole grains, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, which we aim to base around unprocessed or minimally processed foods and preferably minimal waste (less plastic). This is my aim for this year anyways. We do purchase some items in packaging still though, so I have been slowly working on swapping out or making my own alternatives.

I thought, for those who may be interested, here is a list of my favourite pantry items, which I find to be so versatile not just for use in the kitchen;


1. Apple Cider Vinegar– I use Apple Cider Vinegar mostly in salad dressings but also used in other cooking, for cleaning (all purpose spray), for deodorant (used with a bit of water in a small spray bottle), as a hair conditioner, as a throat gargle for sore throats when needed with added raw ginger and lemon and to aide digestion (1-2 teaspoons diluted in warm water). I have been buying organic apple cider vinegar in glass bottles, but have recently been trying to make my own ‘apple scrap vinegar’ as an eventual alternative to purchasing it.

2. Coconut– I always have some kind of coconut related item, but my favourite is the oil and the flakes.

  • Coconut oil- used mostly for personal care (in my deodorant and toothpaste, oil pulling to clean and detoxify teeth and gums and as a moisturiser and makeup remover) but also on occasion for cooking/baking. I store our coconut oil in the pantry.
  • Coconut flakes- I use the flakes as is or grind it up to make desiccated coconut or coconut flour for raw or baked treats. I keep our coconut flakes/flour in the fridge in a glass jar.
  • Coconut cream/milk/yoghurt (used on occasion for desserts and curries) etc

3. Tahini (sesame paste/butter)- I am yet to make it myself, but I keep a glass jar of organic unhulled tahini in our pantry used mostly to make hummus or as a sandwich spread but also mostly for dressing in salads for example. Once opened I give the Tahini a good stir and then store it in the fridge.

4. Chia– I put chia seeds in most of my raw based snacks, but also in healthier breakfast/desserts such as puddings and mixed into coconut yoghurt. I store our chia in a glass jar in the pantry.

5. Quinoa– I use the quinoa grain the most, but also sometimes the flake form for raw treats and breakfast. Not everyone in our family is a huge fan of quinoa, but I love it and use it a lot in salads. I store dried quinoa in our pantry and cooked quinoa in the fridge in glass jars.  I am yet to see if it freezes well.

6. Oats– I use oats in most of my baked items, from muffins to biscuits and for breakfast porridge and in pancakes. I also use the rolled oats and grind it up to make oat flour which is great as a flour alternative. I store our oats in a glass jar in our pantry. We use them up quite quickly, but they can be stored in the fridge if needs be.

7. Chickpeas– I use chickpeas mostly to make hummus dip and oven roasted as a snack but also in curries, stews and salads. I store cooked chickpeas either in the fridge or freezer and dried chickpeas in our pantry. All stored in glass jars.

8. Flaxseeds– Currently I keep a glass jar of flaxseeds and flaxseed meal (ground up flaxseeds- easier to digest) in our fridge as well as flaxseed oil which I drizzle over salads. I use the flaxseeds mostly in home-made flax crackers, flaxseed meal mostly as an egg replacer or in baked goods or sprinkled on top of food. Also great in smoothies.

9. Medjool dates– not long ago I swapped to medjool dates from the regular kind and they are so much easier to work with when making raw desserts/treats or just as a snack on it’s own. They are really tasty eaten with a bit of added nut butter. I also sometimes add a date to my home-made almond milk to sweeten it a bit. I keep our medjool dates in a glass jar in the fridge.

10. Almonds– I keep raw almonds and almond meal in a glass jar in our fridge. We eat almonds raw or use them to make up home-made almond milk or almond nut butter. I use the almond meal mostly sprinkled on top of food or used in raw or baked items. Y

Extra mention- Raw Cacao powder- I use raw cacao powder hot and cold- in hot chocolate, smoothies/smoothie bowls, in baked and non baked items as well as sprinkled on top of foods such as oatmeal, puddings for example. I store ours in a glass jar in the pantry.


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