It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed when you first go vegan. It takes a while to adjust to – you need to read a lot of lists of ingredients! However, after time you will remember what is and isn’t vegan.
To make it easier for you at the beginning of your vegan journey, we’ve written this vegan grocery list for beginners. Take this grocery list to the store with you and use it to do your shopping!
Many vegans eat a lot more vegetables than meat-eaters. And the good news is, all vegetables are vegan! So you can keep purchasing all of your favorite vegetables.
We love to use the following in vegan dishes:
- Mushrooms are highly nutritious and can often be used to replicate meat or fish.
- Eggplant is also a great vegetable to use in place of meat.
- Squash is quite dense and filling, and you can use it to make fries.
- Salad vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, cabbage, and pepper are always useful.
- Brocolli, carrot, and green beans are all highly nutritious, and you can use them as a side dish for most meals.
Again, you can eat whatever fruit you like. If you make smoothies or oatmeal, you might want to buy frozen fruits – this is just as delicious and usually cheaper. You can also purchase dried fruits or, of course, fresh fruits.
Fruits are very high in fiber. While most people don’t eat enough fiber, you can indeed eat too much fiber – and you will probably find that you eat more when you become vegan. The signs of too much fiber include digestive issues – if you experience these after going vegan, you might want to cut back on fruit.
One of the biggest causes for concern when people go vegan is whether they will get adequate protein. However, there are plenty of vegan protein sources. These include:
- Beans, such as kidney beans or pinto beans
- Meat replacements, including soy-based products and seitan
- Nuts, including nut butter
- Most vegetables also contain a fairly high level of protein
You can easily incorporate these into dishes where you would use non-vegan ingredients before. For example, you can eat tofu and tempeh instead of meat – you can even marinate it to create delicious flavors.
You can also add chickpeas and lentils to curries and chilies. You can also eat nut butter and seeds with oatmeal as a morning protein kick.
Grains and Carbohydrates
Most grains are vegan, but there are some essential things to look out for. The following grains and carbohydrates are popular on a vegan diet:
- Noodles – make sure that they do not contain eggs.
- Pasta – again, pasta can contain egg, especially if it is fresh. Dried varieties are usually vegan.
- Bread and wraps – these products can sometimes contain milk powder, so double-check the ingredients before purchasing.
- Potatoes – most pre-made potato mash will contain milk, so it’s best to make your own. Also, some potato fries may not be vegan.
You can still enjoy plenty of snacks as a vegan! Here are some ideas.
- Dark chocolate – most chocolate that has over 70% cocoa is vegan but double-check each bar
- Specialty vegan chocolate
- Many chips are vegan, but some have non-vegan ingredients
- Vegan cookies and cakes
- Vegan dips, such as hummus, and vegetable sticks
You can enjoy many drinks as a vegan, but there are some things to consider.
- Surprisingly, a lot of alcohol isn’t vegan. Some beers contain isinglass, which is fish gelatin. Wine can also contain isinglass, as well as egg whites, gelatin, and casein which is made from milk. Make sure that you check all drinks before buying them!
- Milk, obviously, isn’t vegan, but you can purchase lots of plant milk nowadays. Oat milk is our favorite!
Most vegans use dairy replacements. Besides non-dairy milk, you might like to add vegan butter, vegan cheese, or plant-based yogurt to your shopping list. All of these items are readily available in most large stores. There is a false signal from our brain that may confuse us if we are just hungry or thirsty. When you feel that you are hungry, try to drink water first, then assess if you are still feeling the same or you are just thirsty.
While you certainly won’t be purchasing equipment every week, and you don’t need much to go vegan, you might want to buy a tofu press while you’re shopping. Tofu presses extract moisture out of tofu and help it absorb surrounding flavors.
If you’ve just gone vegan, try not to feel too overwhelmed – you will get the hang of it! If you use this grocery list as a reference the first few times you go shopping, you should adjust to your new diet quicker. Enjoy shopping! Learn more about veganism here!