Keeping a fridge full of fresh produce and jarred vegan products is a must-have goal on a plant-based diet. It can be easy to resort to canned and packaged vegan food products, but keeping your fridge stocked ensures you’re eating more than protein bars and accidental vegan crackers. Here are 10 essentials to keep in a healthy, plant-powered fridge:
This healthy, peanut-butter-looking paste should always be in the vegan fridge. Just two tablespoons of this creamy sesame seed paste will give you 128 mg of calcium. Tahini sauce is a great spread over falafels or used to make salad dressing, hummus, dressings, and sauces.
2. Nut Butter
Whether you make it yourself or buy a jar of organic nut butter at the store, make sure you always have a jar on hand in the fridge. A couple tablespoons of nut butter will quickly quell a hungry stomach.
3. Veggie Cheese
These days, it’s easy to pick up a package of cheese alternatives at any major grocery store. If you don’t want to opt for packaged cheese alternatives, try making your own cashew cheese, which can be used as you would dairy cheese. Put it on top of pizza or use it as a “cheesy” dip base. Try this portobello eggplant burger with cauliflower cashew cheese.
This powerhouse green will help you achieve a lot of nutritional benchmarks. Just one cup of kale includes over 1,000 percent of your daily recommended vitamin K, over 180 percent of your daily recommended vitamin A, and 200 percent of your daily recommended vitamin C. Try it in a salad, bake it into chips, or blend it into smoothies.
5. Nut Milk
Nut milks can be used in anything in place of milk. They’re fortified with B and D vitamins, which are crucial vitamins for vegans to keep track of. Use a cup of your choice of nut milk in a smoothie, like the vanilla caramel smoothie or pink powerhouse smoothie.
Garlic keeps well in the fridge and can be used in many recipes. If you need to add a quick flavor enhancer in any food, squeezing a garlic bulb in a garlic press will do the trick, whether the meal is hot or cold. It works especially well in pasta and in sauces or hummus. Try it in Steamed Vegetables with Garlic Sauce.
7. Lemons and Limes
These fruits are always good to have on hand. Give half of one lemon or lime a quick squeeze over tofu and veggies on the skillet. Or, you can squeeze lemon over salad. Like garlic, lemon and lime juice can add a quick burst of flavor to many plant-based dishes.
8. Chopped Raw Veggies
It’s much easier to eat healthier when you do the prep work in advance. Have a designated prep day where you clean, chop, and package veggies. Bell peppers, carrots, onions, and celery work well for this. Chop them up in different ways; have strips for dipping in hummus and smaller pieces to throw in a sautee pan or on top of a salad.
Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that has a distinctive, nutty taste, and tough texture. It’s easy to prepare, which makes it a great choice for new vegans. Try using it in a vegan tempeh reuben sandwich, tempeh “tuna” salad, and tempeh picatta.
10. Chopped Fruit
When you have a sweet tooth, reach into your fridge for gorgeous berries or chopped melon, pineapple, or papaya. Having the fruit already chopped and ready to eat will help ensure that you get in your daily vitamin C. Image source: Raw Massaged Kale Salad with Fresh Oranges and Figs