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Build your basic Raw Vegan Pantry with these 15 raw food staples
So you’ve read all about the epic benefits of the raw vegan lifestyle – glowing skin, boundless energy and a longer life – don’t mind if I do! And you are finally ready to start a raw food diet but wondering what should you have in your raw food pantry?
A common mistake made is thinking that raw vegans eat dry, soulless snacks, and opening your pantry to find nothing but a lonely packet of seeds staring pathetically back at you is gonna have you running to your nearest fast food chain. Cue sugar crashes, headaches, and a processed, toxic food filling your body. Not exactly living your best life.
But what do raw vegans eat?
In order to thrive on a raw food diet, you need to stock up on the raw food staples. Fill your pantry with life-giving vitamins and minerals, and start your journey to a vibrant, energetic and healthy life.
There’ll be no mundane meals for you any time soon, if you follow my guide to the essential raw vegan pantry items, just beautiful bowls of loveliness. Bon appetit!
What is in the Pantry of a Raw Vegan?
Fruits and Veggies, of course!
Because this is a pretty obvious one, I don’t suppose I need to go into too much detail here. You should always keep an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies in your kitchen, and munch on them whenever you’re hungry!
But if you’re looking for a complete raw vegan food list – including a list of raw fruit and veggies – don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Check out my blog post Raw Vegan Food List (plus find out how to get a FREE downloadable PDF)
Apart from the fresh stuff, here’s a breakdown of the raw vegan pantry essentials…
Dried fruit, containing more (natural!) sugar than fresh pound for pound, will give you bursts of energy. Most fruit eaten should be fresh, but dried fruits make a great snack, and are essential ingredients in a lot of raw vegan sweet treats!
An absolute must for any raw vegan pantry, raisins, full of fiber and iron, make a fab snack on their own, with cashew nuts, or sprinkled on some nut-butter-covered apple slices. Their high natural sugar content will have you zipping around, knocking chores off your list like Superwoman. For a healthy treat for the kids – and you! – try these gorgeous raw cinnamon ‘oatmeal’ cookies!
The crème de la crème of raw vegan foods, I could simply not survive without medjool dates. Which might be a bit of an exaggeration, but seriously, their gooey, caramel-y taste is akin to the unhealthiest of processed sweet treats, just without the toxins. Nature’s candy, if you will.
The uses of medjool dates (which tend to be creamier and sweeter than regular dates) really are endless and they’re even packed with fiber and antioxidants. They’re just showing off now.
They can be eaten on their own as a snack, put into an energy-packed, vitamin-rich, life-giving banana smoothie, to give it an extra creamy taste, or used to make a plethora of absolutely stunning raw vegan desserts. How about some butterfinger bars, raspberry cheesecakes or fudge?
Raw vegan is just so restrictive. What do you even eat?
Adding a rich taste to any dish is easy with sun-dried tomatoes, with vitamins A, C and K aplenty! These Mediterranean beauties can be used for anything from topping salads to preparing taco ‘meat’. Always keep them handy!
Even though fats and oils should be used very sparingly – we should aim for about 10% fat in our daily diets, depending on your lifestyle – they’re must-haves in the pantry, for everything from chips to cheesecakes!
The King of the oil world, everyone’s caught on recently to the infinite uses and benefits of coconut oil. Whether it’s for your skin, your hair, or your plate, coconut oil, an essential source of fatty acids, should be found in every raw vegan pantry!
Aside from being a great beauty product, use it to make everything from this super creamy raw eggnog (yes, this is a thing…), great for the fast-approaching festive season, to this raw coconut cake, a stunning centerpiece for any dinner party!
Dried Herbs and Spices
Although eating rainbows of color naturally offers rainbows of flavor, these can be enhanced by essential herbs and spices.
Wonderfully aromatic, add dill to dishes such as these unbelievable raw fish fingers (no fish harmed!) and this super protein-rich raw veggie burger! Thought raw vegan was all side salads and yoga? Think again!
Add cumin to this divine and creamy raw spinach avocado soup for an aromatic touch. A rich source of iron, cumin should be kept in any raw vegan pantry. But don’t use too much, as it could result in a bitter taste!
Cayenne pepper, aside from making every dish it’s added to amazing, may be able to raise your metabolism and even support your digestive health. I think that’s reason enough to give this super creamy raw mayonnaise a go (serve it with your veggie burgers and fish fingers), or add a sprinkle on your hummus to jazz it right up! Not too much though, for obvious reasons!
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Nuts, whilst containing fat, are an essential part of the raw vegan lifestyle. I’d recommend aiming for about 80% carbohydrates (from your fruits and veggies), 10% protein and 10% fats (from nuts, seeds and avocados) for optimum health, so we don’t need too many… but a handful a day is essential, as is the occasional sweet treat of course, made super creamy with nuts.
Because they can be expensive when bought from supermarkets, I find the best way to stock up is to look online. Buy in bulk, and save! Think you won’t get through a few pounds of cashews? Think again!
From lowering bad cholesterol to fuelling your brain, almonds, jam packed with vitamin E, are essential for any raw vegan diet. Buy them in bulk to ensure you never run out; you’re gonna eat them a lot! In moderation, of course.
In the interest of moderation, try these delish raw almond butter cookies. I know it’s all about health, but, word of warning, you’re gonna want to eat them all! Or simply whip up some almond milk for your morning granola!
Cashews are every raw vegan’s BFF, and they’re about to become yours… Their super creamy texture makes them one of the most versatile foods in the world (not scientific fact, but it must be true).
High in fat, cashews, like any fat, should be eaten sparingly, but a few per day will do your body nothing but good. They’re filled with essential minerals such as potassium, zinc, copper and calcium, as well vitamins C, E and B6, among loads others that I just don’t have space to list!
This luxurious cashew cream cheesecake is a must-make, as is this simply stunning raw chocolate cherry fudge cake. In their infinite brilliance, they can also be used to make ‘cheese’ sauce, great for lasagnes and pasta dishes! No, I’m not going nuts… it’s true! Sorry, terrible pun.
Like nuts, seeds are, of course, a source of fat, but also of vital fatty acids and vitamins. Eat sparingly, but enjoy!
Often cited as one of the most powerful plant-based foods for our health, is packed with omega 3 fatty acids and fiber, and has even been known to have a protective effect against cancer. Enough said, really.
Flax, like all foods on this list, has so many benefits and uses that it’s impossible to list them all. Some of my favorite things to make with flax include flax crackers (team with hummus for a delicious snack), or these sweet and satisfying pancakes. It acts like an egg would in baking, binding ingredients together. I did say its benefits were endless!
Whether you fancy a chocolate chip chia pudding (yes, please), or this vibrant Blueberry Chia Seed Cake (yes, I’ve still got room), chia seeds, rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and fiber, should be kept in your pantry at all times! Alternatively, sprinkle on to an Instagram-worthy smoothie bowl, for a daily dose of essential acids. And post, with 67 raw vegan hashtags.
Raw vegans like a sweet treat just as much as carnivores. If not more, if I’m anything to go by… Going raw does not mean giving up sugar. It just means using nature’s sweetener, rather than processed.
Have I mentioned that I like dates? Medjool dates are really just a fancy version of regular dates, but they’re mostly interchangeable. Medjool tend to be creamier, softer and sweeter, but use regular dates in recipes if it requires large quantities as they’re cheaper and, of course, snack away!
For a dessert you’ll remember, how about whipping up some of these super cute raw chocolate banana ice cream tarts, using dates to make the base? Or this cinnamon swirl cheesecake, perfect for a festive dessert! Okay, I’m seriously hungry now.
The raw vegan gift from our friends up North, maple syrup is a natural way to add sweetness to your desserts and snacks. Known to strengthen the immune system and even improve heart health, always have a bottle of this beautiful sweetener in your pantry!
Remember those pancakes made with flax? Drizzle them a spoon of maple syrup, for a sweet, but good-for-your-body breakfast. And for the ultimate fall/winter party piece, serve up this divine raw pecan pie, which uses maple syrup in both the crust and filling. You’ll love dazzling even the most skeptical of family members and friends with this stunning creation. Just be prepared to make 364 more throughout the year at the demand of all who try it!
‘What on earth is that?’ Raw coconut nectar is not quite the same as coconut butter or oil and certainly has nothing to do with bees. In fact, it comes from the sweet sap is produced by tapping the stalks or stems of the coconut blossom. I’m not sure who first discovered that – what an odd thing to do! – but the raw vegans of this world are very grateful they did. Strangely, it doesn’t really taste like coconut, but instead is akin to maple syrup. Because it’s naturally sweet, and doesn’t require heating, it’s full of living enzymes (and amino acids), which fuel your body, and make every dish it’s used in taste simply amazing.
Think you have to give up your favorite candy bars when you’re raw vegan? Pffft.. How about this raw snickers bar, made with coconut nectar, as well as my BFFs, cashews. Gooey, caramel-y and good for you, all at the same time? Sounds alright, to be honest.
So, there you have it: a guide to the basics of the raw vegan pantry! Have these stocked up at all times, and you’ll be snacking smart and whipping up raw vegan delights to rival any culinary connoisseur!
And if you’re looking for a step up – a complete raw vegan food list – don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Simply subscribe to my email list below and get a downloadable PDF!
Or check out my blog post that covers Complete Raw Vegan Food List
Now, I must go; I have 5 cheesecakes to make for my friends and family. What have I started?!