The Ultimate Plant-Based Shopping List (From A Dietitian)

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This article by registered dietician and plant-based chef, Miranda Hammer of The Crunchy Radish, tells you exactly what she stocks in her plant-based pantry. Be sure to check out her course, The 14-Day Plant-Based Challenge: A Nutritionist's Guide to Reclaiming Your Energy and Finding Your Glow, for more delicious, plant-based ideas.

Setting up a pantry that lends itself well to a plant-based lifestyle is very easy but may be costly at first, so go slow.

A cost-effective tip would be to shop in the bulk bins of a health food store that has a high rotation. The goal is to make meal composition easy and flavorful. A plant-based pantry is geared toward dried, nonperishable items with the intention of combining with fresh, whole produce.

The food that you have on hand should be high in nutrients and ideally should be unadulterated, unprocessed, and in its most whole-food state.

Check out the below for my ultimate plant-based pantry shopping list.

Nuts + Seeds

Nuts and seeds will be your garnishes, snacks, salad and oatmeal toppers, and more importantly, a source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Nuts are the perfect poppable snack and can be used for adding density and protein to sauces and dressings.

Seeds make great add-ins when building a dish, no matter the meal, as they add great texture and flavor.

Opt for salt-free and raw in most cases to optimize the nutritional mileage and reduce sodium intake.

Nuts

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peanuts (a legume, technically)
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Seeds

  • Chia seeds
  • Ground flaxseeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds

Herbs + Spices

Dried herbs and spices are great to have on hand to add flavor and vibrancy to a dish. When possible, swap in spices where salt is called for to help cut back on sodium without inhibiting flavor.

Herbs and spices add depth and volume to your dishes as well as offering anti-inflammatory benefits.

  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Dried chili flakes
  • Curry powder
  • Za’atar
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Paprika
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground turmeric
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Beans and Lentils

Dried beans and lentils are essential stables for a plant-based diet. They are a primary source of protein and fiber.

  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • White beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Split peas

Whole Grains

Whole grains are another pantry staple for plant-based eaters. These should be grains in their purest, minimally processed form to provide the highest amount of complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. If you're gluten-free, select only gluten-free grains.

  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Oats
  • Spelt
  • Sorghum
  • Amaranth
  • Bulgur
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Oils, Vinegars, and Condiments

Oils, vinegars, and condiments are essential for cooking, marinating, making dressings and sauces, and generating all-around flavor.

Oils

  • Coconut oil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Non-GMO organic canola oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Avocado oil

Vinegars, sauces, and condiments

  • Raw apple cider vinegar
  • Brown rice vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Red and/or white vinegar
  • Shoyu
  • Tamari
  • Coconut animos
  • Dijon mustard
  • Hot sauce
  • Nut butters
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Sweeteners

  • Maple syrup
  • Maple crystals
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Honey

“Snack Food”

  • Brown rice cakes
  • Whole-grain or gluten-free crackers

Miranda Hammer

Miranda Hammer is a New York City based Registered Dietitian and founder of the clean-eating, healthy-living blog Crunchy Radish. Her health and wellness philosophy focuses on health-supportive, plant-based, seasonal eating, and balanced living. She works with private clients on various nutritional and lifestyle issues as well as develops recipes and content for brands and media outlets.
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Miranda Hammer

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