How to stock a vegan pantry.


How to stock a vegan pantry.

Cooking is simpler and faster when you already have the ingredients. Right? And a well-stocked pantry will make your life so much easier!

Whether you are a kitchen pro or just a rookie, building up a well-stocked pantry is an investment that will save you time, money, and help you to eat healthier!
Canned goods, pasta, grains, baking products … These are some of the pantry staples everyone should keep at home. There are so many different meals you can make using just your pantry goods. Plus, they stay fresh for quite some time.

A few words about the expiration dates.

Wondering how long you can store your pantry essentials?
If you’re aiming to reduce waste in your home and/or to save money, you probably wonder if it’s safe to use food that has passed its printed expiration date, even if the food itself looks and smells safe?
Good news! Some products consumed beyond the expiration date are not necessarily unsafe for consumption. You can still enjoy those “expired” ingredients. Simply examine the food before deciding to throw it away.
Food producers often use “best if used by” dates to let us know when we should cook, freeze, or eat the item.
The “best if used by” date is needed to indicate when the product can be consumed for the best quality. Neither the “best if used by” or the “best if used by” date are safety dates – they both indicate quality.
Nearly any plant-based food is safe to eat up to a week after its “best by” date, and for goods with a longer shelf life, even up to a month. For example oats, may have an expiration date that can be up to a year after you’ve first purchased it.

How to store your pantry goods?

  • Vegetables: only vegetables such as potatoes, onions, garlic, and dried mushrooms can be stored in the pantry. Store potatoes in a dry, cool, dark and well-ventilated spot for up to two weeks. Do not store them in plastic!
    Keep onions, shallots, and garlic in the pantry for up to one month, and dried mushrooms for up to a year.
    Store potatoes in a separate basket or bin. Onions and garlic can be stored together.
  • Canned goods : check expiration dates; otherwise, most canned and bottled goods, such as preserves, pickles, and relishes, can be kept, unopened, for up to one year. Once opened, glass bottles should be refrigerated.
    Transfer opened canned goods to airtight or glass containers and refrigerate for 3-4 days. This is especially important for canned acidic foods [ such as tomatoes ] – once the interior of the can is exposed to air, the acidity is likely to cause rust. [ if you do see rust on an opened can of food, the can and food should be discarded ]
  • Grains, rice and dried beans : dried items, can be stored in the pantry for up to a year
  • Baking products: store those in airtight containers, away from heat and light sources. Extracts will last several years; leavenings [ aka rising agents ] lose their potency after about one year
  • Flours : store the flours in airtight containers or jars at room temperature, away from heat and light sources for up to one year. Nut flours can be frozen for up to six months.
  • Dried pasta: can be stored in its original package until opened, then transferred to airtight containers. It is best used within one year of purchase
  • Vinegar: keep all vinegars in their original bottles, and store in a cool spot for up to one year
  • Oils : store vegetable oils in the original bottles, unrefrigerated, in a cool, dark place for up to six months. Nut oils are best kept refrigerated [ once opened, use within three months ]
  • Nuts and dried fruit : I like to keep my nuts and dried fruits refrigerated, they simply last longer but they can be stored at room temperature or frozen for up to a year
  • Spices and seasonings: most spices will lose their potency after about a year. Keep them in airtight, light-proof containers, away from heat
  • Sugars and sweeteners: keep in well-sealed containers in a cool, dry spot. Store syrups at room temperature in their original containers for up to one year
  • With that in mind, here are some pantry essentials that will make your everyday cooking so much easier.

    The list of products is exemplary. I based it on what works in my kitchen and what I use and like to have on hand. You can easily adjust the contents of the pantry to your needs.
    fresh herbs

    Kitchen and fridge:

    fresh herbs [ on the windowsill or on the balcony in summer ] – basil, rosemary, parsley mint and marjoram
    good extra virgin olive oil, for salads
    frying oil
    vinegar – apple, wine, balsamic
    sesame paste [tahini]
    miso paste
    curry paste
    dried herbs and spices [cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, cumin, cumin, nutmeg, allspice, bay leaves …]
    sea ​​salt
    pepper in a grinder or mortar
    baking soda – useful for baking, washing fruit and vegetables, but also cleaning or soaking burnt pots
    soy sauce or tamari [ gluten free ]
    tofu [ you can also freeze it ]
    dried or fresh yeast
    plant milk
    coconut milk
    yeast flakes aka inactive yeast
    fresh ginger and turmeric
    preserved lemons [ to enrich the taste of many dishes and dips ]
    vegetables and fruits
    Choose vegetables that stay fresh longer – cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, kale, Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery. Buy fruit in season and freeze for later.


    herbs – dill, parsley, oregano… chop a few bunches of fresh herbs and place in bags or containers
    homemade broth [ recipe here ]
    mixed vegetables
    cooked beans, chickpeas etc – simply cook, cool, divide into portions and freeze. That way you will always have them on hand and ready to eat in a few minutes – just throw them into a cooking dish or defrost to prepare the hummus or use in a salad
    fruit – berries, mangos, bananas…perfect for baking, oatmeal, cocktails and smoothies
    curry leaves [ try this amazing curry recipe ]
    tofu [ for quick and simple dishes, like this one ] simple


    pasta and dried noodles
    various types rice
    buckwheat, millet, [ pearl ] barley, bulgur, couscous…
    canned tomatoes or tomato puree in jars [ recipe here ]
    beans – choose both dried and canned [ try this 4 bean vegetable soup ]
    nuts and seeds
    flour – wheat, wholegrain or/and gluten free
    dried tomatoes
    dried mushrooms
    homemade pickles

    Tools and appliances worth having in the kitchen.

    I hope that I’ve convinced you that stocking your pantry is well worth it! How do you know what to stock your pantry with? The first step is to think about what you like and feel comfortable cooking and then stock up on those ingredients on a regular basis. Write down those ideas and ingredients and then refer to that list whenever you are preparing your shopping list. Pretty soon, checking for those items will become your second nature.

    What are your favorite pantry staples? Let me know in the comments below!
    Cooked with by Magdalena Wrona.
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