When you transform your life into a plant-based one, you transform your refrigerator and what you eat. So, to get you started on your new food adventure, here are five foods that you should always have on hand. These five foods can serve as a basis for many meals, and having them will make sure that you have choices galore as far as simple concoctions and meals are concerned. Read on to find out the five best, clean, plant-based foods you should always have in stock!

1. Smoothie Fruits

You can throw some bananas, pineapple, watermelon, or papaya into any old smoothie, but we’ll focus on strawberries and grapes here because usually these two fruits are refrigerated (right?).

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StrawberriesBoasting eye, anti-aging, oesophageal cancer, bone health, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, short-term memory, and weight loss benefits, it’s no wonder that strawberries are heart shaped and red as blood. Sweet and subtlety sour at times, these berries are well balanced and add a burst of beauty to any smoothie. Take a risk, and add some of these heart fruits to your morning smoothie along with some clean kale, and see what happens!

Grapes: Green, red, and rich purple grapes dance in your mouth, crunching at the cusp of your incisors delivering a quick sweetness and sharp boldness to the tongue. They have multiple benefits including: weight loss, heart protection, brain damaging plaque clean up, functional brain improvement, skin cancer and radiation protection, resveratrol rich for long life, diabetes fighting, inflammation reducing, and muscle recovery support. By adding these to your smoothie, you’ll sweeten it right up, and add in all of these benefits to your mix! Check out our smoothie recipe section.

2. Hummus

Bursting with nutty, savory complexity and a beautiful symphony of creamy flavors, hummus is the quintessential condiment and side dish of sorts. Dip your celery, carrots, baked sweet potato fries, breadsticks, or ladle a dollop of it on your casserole or steamed broccoli, and you’ll be transported to hummus wonderland with sesame seed rain and garbanzo bean hail. Hummus is filled with benefits including weight management and reducing total cholesterol and cancer risk. Get your hands on a tub or make some yourself by choosing one of these seven recipes!

3. Greens

Greens are the best thing to keep in the fridge because they can serve as the basis for any meal. Saute them, serve them raw, or steam them and pair them with potatoes, and you’ll have a meal in no time.

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Romaine Lettuce: Romaine lettuce has a two to one ratio of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids. Plus, it’s a complete protein (20 percent), helps with insomnia, has a low glycemic index, and a mild flavor. Try this amazing type of lettuce in this superb vegan caesar salad!

Spinach: Rich in vitamins A, K, D, and E, spinach is jam-packed with vitamins as well as a good omega-3 fatty acid source, alkaline composition, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory antioxidants, bone strengthening properties, and carotenoids for eye health. Put a large bunch of spinach in your next dip!

4. Carrots

Carrots are rich in vitamin A and antioxidants for skin and anti-aging, but they can also improve vision, prevent cancer, healthy teeth and gums, and lower your chance of stroke. Grate some bright orange carrots, and make some raw cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, or for a more savory option, make a carrot avocado soup! They’re the greatest snack in the world too, but you can also steam them — they are truly the most versatile, sweet tasting vegetable.

5. Non-Starchy Vegetables

Having non-starchy vegetables in your fridge, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, beets, eggplant, mushrooms, celery, and cauliflower are all great to whip up quick a stir-fry or a casserole or a nice roast. We’ll focus on two such of these vegetables:

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Broccoli: The benefits of broccoli include: cancer prevention, cholesterol, and inflammation reduction. These tree-shaped vegetables also are rich in antioxidant (vitamin C and flavonoids), bone health (calcium and vitamin K), detoxification and alkaline properties. This delicious salad features broccoli and is beautifully paired with tofu; give it a try today!

Brussels Sprouts: Rich in vitamin C (immunity), fiber, folate, and antioxidants, Brussels sprouts may look like alien heads, but they are really healthy and delicious. Roast them up with a touch of lime and chili, and watch the little green heads transform into mightily tasty vegetables.

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Make sure to be prepared with all of these foods when you embark on your plant-based journey because they will only make your life more diverse and easier. Having a variety of foods in your fridge makes it harder to crave other, not so healthy foods, so always be prepared!

Image source: Fresh Pumpkin and Kale Hummus