With hundreds of sauces, herbs, spices and canned goods out there, it can be difficult to decide what to give your vegan cupboard space over to. Another list would tell you to stock up on five types of beans, but we think you could do better. Below is a list of Top 5 Vegan Cupboard Essentials bringing health, variety texture and taste enhancements to your home cooked meals!
1. Alpro, Valsoia, Provamel or Oatly cream
These brands of cream are all fantastic dairy cream replacements for single and double cream, perfect for sweet and savoury dishes alike. With a completely neutral taste just like dairy cream, they can be added to pastas, soups, puddings – anything where you want a creamy taste and texture. Anything you cook is automatically improved by a dash of this.
2. Vital wheat gluten (Bob’s Red Mill)
Vital wheat gluten is used to make home-made seitan, and is an economical way of making as much of this versatile protein base as you could want. The powdered gluten has an endless shelf life and mixes well with whole grain flours, so can be used as an additive for elasticity in bread baking. Used largely for fake meats, this particular brand of wheat gluten contains between 75–80% protein!
3. Soy flour (Hodgson Mill)
Soy flour is 100% whole bean flour, containing all the nutritious fibre and oils and high in iron and calcium. Soy is one of the few plant sources of complete protein with all the essential amino acids. It is a great egg replacement and binder for cakes and batters. Soy flour can be used to replace up to 25–30% of the usual flour in recipes – useful for reducing wheat intake. It improves texture and reduces the fat absorbed in fried foods. It comes in full fat, low fat and defatted forms.
4. Engevita Yeast Flakes
Fortified with Vitamin B12, these inactive yeast flakes enhance the flavour of a variety of dishes with a savoury, cheesy, nutty taste. It is soluble for use in sauces, stews and soups. It also sprinkles well on dry dishes like salads and naturally complements reduced-salt foods. They are nut, soya, sesame, mustard, celery, cereal and sulphite free.
5. Seeds Of Change Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce
Tomato is probably the golden fruit in a vegan diet; tasty, healthy and adaptable, with applications in all sorts of dishes and cookable any which way. Tomato and basil is a particularly fine combination, useful for all sorts of simple or decadent cuisine from all across the globe. This sauce is not as runny as some pasta sauces so, can be used on pizzas. Because it still has pulp chunks, it is more fibrous and nutritious. Stored in a jar, it keeps a long time in good condition.
There’s a lot of “accidentally vegan” stuff out there, right down to tinned spaghetti, but this is the stuff that’s going to make your meals. Adaptable, economical and in many cases unadulterated with additives, these must-have vegan stock items can be used every day for easy-to-make, high quality meals.