Plant-Based Grocery List for Beginners | Wholesome Culture
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Whether you’re new to veganism or a veteran, shopping exclusively plant-based can be challenging at times, especially because it requires some extra research and planning. Sometimes it’s nice to let someone handle the meal planning and shopping list for you!

That’s why we created this steal-worthy plant-based grocery list for you to use the next time you go shopping. Check out the completely vegan grocery list below:

Produce

Almost everything in the produce department is fair game for vegans! Here are a few of our favorite fruits and vegetables, but this is by no means an exhaustive list:

  • Leafy greens, like kale and spinach
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Beets
  • Onions
  • Bell peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Celery
  • Bananas
  • Asparagus
  • Zucchini
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • And so much more!

corn, vegetables, and green bell pepper

Plant-Based Proteins

Some may believe that the vegan diet isn’t conducive to getting enough protein, but that’s not actually true! Here are some great ways to bring protein into your diet:

  • Tofu 
  • Seitan 
  • Tempeh 
  • Nutritional yeast (amazing for a cheesy flavor!)
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, chia seeds, brazil nuts, and others)
  • Nut butters
  • Ezekiel bread
  • Pea protein powder
  • Legumes (see below)

Legumes

We love all the legumes! Peas and beans are such a good (and cheap!) way to get iron, B vitamins, and protein. Canned or dried beans are both great. (Pro tip: if you buy canned chickpeas, don’t drain the liquid! This liquid gold is called aquafaba, and it’s an amazing vegan alternative to egg whites for baking.)

  • Black beans
  • Garbanzo beans or chickpeas
  • Red kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • White beans
  • Pinto beans 
  • Cannellini beans
  • Black-eyed peas

dried chickpeas

Grains

Whole grains help round out your meal and provide tons of nutrients, like protein and fiber. You’ll want to keep your pantry well-stocked with different kinds of grains. 

  • Rice (white, brown, jasmine, wild, etc.)
  • Quinoa 
  • Whole-grain cereal
  • Muesli
  • Millet 
  • Farro
  • Oats
  • Bulgur 

Pantry Staples

These are the ingredients you’ll want to have on hand at all times: 

  • Nutritional yeast
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Whole grain pasta (be sure to avoid pastas made with egg!)
  • Chia seeds
  • Maple syrup 
  • Dark chocolate chips (make sure they do not contain milk products)
  • Almond or whole grain flour
  • Olive oil
  • Tortillas 
  • Wheat bread

dried goods in kitchen pantry

Dairy Alternatives

Maybe it’s just us, but cheese was one of the hardest things to give up when switching to a plant-based diet. But now, there are so many incredible vegan cheeses available. Here’s what you should snag in the dairy department: 

  • Plant-based cheese, like Violife parmesan or Daiya cheese slices or shredded cheese
  • Oat, soy, or coconut milk
  • Dairy-free yogurt
  • Butter alternative, like Earth Balance spread (not margarine!)
  • Cashew ice cream
  • Egg alternatives, like JUST Egg

 

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Plant-Based Snacks

Snacks are one of our favorite things on the planet! Here are some tasty and nutritious snacks to add to your plant-based grocery list:

  • Dried fruit, like banana chips, apricots, raisins, and apple chips
  • Hummus and pita chips
  • Sweet potato chips
  • Peanut butter and celery sticks
  • Edamame
  • Smoothies
  • Dates 
  • Flavored popcorn
  • Roasted chickpeas 
  • Granola 
  • Trail mix

smoothie

Sneaky foods to avoid

These products may seem like they’re vegan, but they’re actually not! Look out for these often-confused products that are not plant-based:

  • Margarine (contains traces of milk proteins and gelatin)
  • Worcestershire sauce (has anchovy!)
  • Refried beans (contain lard — look for fat free varieties instead)
  • Some barbecue sauces (some brands contain anchovy)
  • Honey (comes from bees)
  • Some candy (Starburst and other chewy candies may have gelatin, which comes from animal collagen)
  • Chocolate (many types have milk or milk products — look out for chocolate brands that are labeled vegan!)
  • Brioche, dinner rolls, ciabatta, and naan (contain milk, butter, or eggs)

This may sound like a lot of don’ts, but there are so many wonderful vegan, plant-based alternatives! Don’t get discouraged. After all, everything tastes a little better when it’s mindfully made and doesn’t harm our animal friends in the process. 

Here are some amazing plant-based recipes and resources you’ll love: 

Check out the Wholesome Culture cookbook, which has over 80 nutritious and delicious plant-based recipes, and our 7-day meal plan for kickstarting a new plant-based diet.

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