Our plant-based pantry consists of products that we grow in our garden and plant-based products that we buy-in. We talk a lot about the food that we grow and also recently shared our homegrown pantry and food storage here, check it out if you haven’t yet.
Today it’s about our plant-based pantry, the foods that we can and can’t grow and are grateful to enjoy anyway. If you’ve followed our blog for a while you would have noticed that we are not about self-sufficiency, but about living a healthy, mindful and happy life. We love to grow as much as we can, but to be realistic, we can’t grow all our food, and I do not think that we have to. If you can grow all your food, good for you! In this case, this list might give you more ideas on what to grow.
When choosing what to eat we like to go by science, after all our health and well-being depends on it. We go by Dr. Greger’s checklist, it helps us to get a variety of healthy foods into our pantry and diet every day. The Daily Dozen app is a helpful tool, too. However, not all the foodstuff in our pantry is 100% wholesome, but most of it is.
Legumes are a big part of our diet. We eat them every day. There is no way we could grow as many as we eat in our garden. But we do grow some of them and buy the rest preferably in bulk. Dry beans are easy to pressure can, see here how we do that.
- Pole Beans Scarlet Runner grows well here.
- Black Turtle dry Beans if we have room, otherwise we just buy black beans.
- Tiger’s Eye Bean is so worth growing since I have not found a source to order them from. Pinto beans are similar, so we buy lots of those.
- Kidney beans.
- Chickpeas are a must-have. Dry, canned and as flour. I usually make my own flour in the Vitamix blender.
- Lentils, red and green, we love them.
- Peas, fresh from the garden and dry from the store.
- Tofu, soy milk, and tempeh.
Raspberries are our main berry, we grow and preserve (freeze) lots of them. We also grow honey berries, strawberries, black currant, saskatoons, and blackberries. Even though we do have a couple of blueberry bushes too, we actually don’t get any berries worth telling. We aren’t overly sad about not being able to grow them, because it indicates that we have great soil, not suited for blueberries. We like to preserve berries by freezing them and enjoy them in our breakfast.
In our very short growing season, we cannot grow much of fruit. Even though we have planted many fruit trees and hope to get more of our own supply.
- Apples are a fruit we can grow. Not so much the good eating variety, but have usually enough to make apple jam, sauce, and butter. There are also always lots of local apples that people allow us to pick for free, and they are grateful if we do. We make apple juice, wine, and chips.
- Apricot is my favorite fruit. We planted a tree and hope for the best. However, until we have our own harvest, we go to BC for U-Pick and make jam, canned and dried apricots.
- Citrus fruit. Yes, we have enjoyed our first homegrown Meyer lemon, but most of the citrus fruit we buy in.
- Cherries grow well here, and I think that our cold climate sour cherries are better than the sweet hot climate cherries (You can argue with me). We make jam, can and dehydrate them.
- Grapes grow here, and seldom we also buy some. Grapes are rarely available organic, so we do not have them very often. But we do buy raisins all the time.
- Kivi is another fruit we grow a hardy variety, but we haven’t had any fruit yet. We still get them from the store.
- Pears. Our trees are too young to produce yet, so we buy them and love them especially canned or dried.
- Plums to some extent grow here, but we also buy them and dehydrate.
- Medjool dates, yum.
- Banana is a must-have
- Avocado is an occasional treat
Vegetables and greens
We grow a good portion and also buy some vegetables and greens that we eat, simply because we eat so much of it. However, because we can grow so many veggies and salad greens, then if we need to buy more, we allow ourselves to go shopping for better quality, preferably organic or naturally grown locally. Check out the dirty dozen post, annual vegetables for short growing season and how to grow your salad year-round.
To preserve the harvest we store, freeze, can, ferment and dehydrate. You can check out all the recipes and methods here.
Mushrooms are not a vegetable, but it’s something we eat often. We like the white, cremini (brown), portobello and shiitake mushroom. Occasionally we also get the chanterelles as a special treat.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great source for healthy oils. They are also a great replacement for dairy products, check out the creamy sauces that we make.
- Seeds: flax, chia, hemp, sesame and tahini (for homemade hummus), pumpkin, and sunflower seeds.
- Nuts: Cashew, Walnut, Brazil nut, and nut mixtures.
- Peanut, we love butter!
We use two categories in grain, the whole grains and the products made of grain. We buy all grains preferably organic, to avoid roundup sprayed grains.
- Oats rolled and in muesli for breakfast.
- Bread. Most of our bread is homemade, which also includes tortillas and flatbread, etc. We start with grain berries, (spelt, wheat, kamut), and grind our own flour and make bread out of freshly ground flour. But we also buy white organic flour and buns, etc for occasional use. We also buy some crispbread and rice crackers.
- Noodles, both whole grain, and semolina.
- Rice, brown, wild, basmati or whatever rice we find interesting at any given time.
- Buckwheat, it’s a less known grain but very healthy and delicious.
- Barley, we don’t use it very often.
- Quinoa, also an occasional treat.
- Corn flour
Seasonings and condiments
- Herbs: Dill, basil, parsley (Curley and Italian), basil, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, savory, oregano – all mostly homegrown fresh, dried or frozen.
- Celery seeds
- Mustard seeds
- Paprika and smoked paprika
- Hot chili (homemade)
- Black pepper
- Garlic and onion freeze-dried (We use the Litehouse brand, for some herbs and ginger too)
- See and herbal salt
- Brags liquid amino (using it instead of salt)
- Nutritional yeast
- Vinegar: white wine, balsamic, rice and apple cider
- Dijon Mustard
- Salsa (all homemade)
- Maple syrup
- Organic cane sugar (for making kombucha)
- Local honey (we think it’s a plant’s nectar only gathered by bees, you can disagree)
- Baking soda and powder
- Yeast, Saf Instant Yeast
- Cocoa powder
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Coconut oil (good for hands and oiling a pan)
- Arrowroot powder
- Tapioca Flour (For crapes)
- Cornstarch (Organic)
- coffee and tea
There are other things here and there in our pantry, fridge and cold room, but this gives you a good idea of what a plant-based pantry looks like. As you see it’s not much different from any pantry, except that the majority of our foods are vegetables, fruit, and berries. It is a simple but yummy way to eat. And we love good food!
What about you, could we inspire you to build a plant-based pantry?
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