Vegan Essentials for Your Kitchen

Everyone needs a well stocked kitchen with the right appliances for cooking. You need the right spices, condiments and staples to make working in your kitchen easier. A vegan is no exception to the rule. With the right vegan essentials for your kitchen, you will be stocked and ready to prepare wholesome meals at any time of the day.

Essential Vegan Food
Always think fresh and variety when you are considering how to stock your pantry. Have a number of different kinds of fresh vegetables and fruits on hand. Of course, you should also have dried beans and frozen vegetables to use in a pinch. Don't forget to have extra cans of tomato sauce ready to go. Remember to keep rice and potatoes for starch in your meals, as well as breads.

Tofu, soy milk, non-dairy sour cream and non-hydrogenated margarine all have a place from time to time in a vegan household. Also consider having coconut milk for baking purposes. You might also want to try egg substitutes as needed.

Vegetable oils, particularly extra virgin olive oil, are a must.

Who can live without spices? If you can't buy or grow fresh spices, keep dried spices in stock. No kitchen is complete without at least basil, dill, thyme, rosemary and sage. Ginger adds a zing to many dishes. If you like to add Mexican flair to your cooking, cumin and chili powder are your friends. You can also use arrowroot or corn starch, if you prefer, to thicken sauces.

If you like to bake, you will need baking standards like flour, baking powder and baking soda. Yeast is also essential if you like to bake bread.

Always have a variety of nuts or seeds on hand.

Essential Vegan Appliances
No kitchen, regardless of whether you are vegan or not, is complete without a good set of knives. A good set of knives not only helps making food preparation easier, but it can make your meals look better too.

You should also have a food processor or blender in addition to having high quality knives. A food processor or blender will help you process foods much more quickly.

Who doesn't love the taste of fresh juices? When you compare fresh juice with prepared juices, fresh wins every time.

These are just the basics of what you might need in your kitchen. Your individual tastes and cooking preferences will take you beyond these suggestions.

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Cooking vegetarian food does require that you think outside the butcher's case, but it need not be intimidating. Start by replacing meat in recipes you already cook, then look for vegetarian recipes that appeal to your senses, making sure to stock up on plenty of herbs and spices.

Being a vegetarian is more than just a moral choice to protect animals or to rage against distasteful conditions in farms and the like. There are many health benefits to making the choice to eliminate meat from one's diet. The benefits of being a vegetarian are numerous and can help a person live a long and full life.

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Everyone needs variety in their diets to stay healthy and to keep their taste buds happy. Vegans perhaps need even more diversity in their diets to cover all of their nutritional needs. However, getting the proper vegan nutrition is not difficult.

Tempeh is a healthy and delicious meat alternative that not enough Americans are eating. It is firm and hearty in a way that tofu is not, and with more protein and fiber, it's better for you, too.

Seitan is gaining popularity amongst vegans and vegetarians, partly because it contains so much protein, and partly because the texture is often considered preferable to tofu or tempeh. Once you learn the basics of how to make seitan, you can experiment with different flavorings and shapes, making your own "steak" or "chicken" seitan cutlets.

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