As a family, we follow a 100% whole foods plant based diet. I have studied nutrition for years and have read books and taken courses to enrich my knowledge in a manner that is based on facts and valid scientific research. The reasons behind our choices for our nutrition, are mainly four:
- It is the most natural and the healthiest way to nourish our bodies, to heal ourselves, to stay healthy and to live longer.
- It is cruelty-free. No one needs to suffer or die for our food.
- It is the kindest and most important thing one can do to protect the earth and help create a better future for our fragile environment.
- And last but not least, it is so delicious, versatile and rich in flavours, that no other way of eating could ever make us enjoy our food more and feel so wonderful!
We also avoid oils, fats and refined sugars as much as possible and we use salt in moderation.
We have no gluten intolerance in our family, so we do use wheat based products. However many of our recipes are gluten free and almost all of them can easily be made gluten free.
We try to use whole grains and wholemeal flours. When we use white flour, we make sure it is organic and unbleached.
Besides organic fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, here are some of the staples that we use on a regular basis to create our meals.
Organic vegetable broth powder
We use this powder mixed in water as broth, or sprinkled on veggies for flavour and to replace salt. When we sauté, we replace oil with a little of this broth. Just pour half a cup of water in your pan and sprinkle a teaspoon of this powder in it. Mix, bring to a boil, and sauté your onion, garlic, or anything you wish. Cover to create steam and use low to medium heat. No oil needed!
Organic virgin coconut oil & olive oil spray
These are two different types of sprays that we use sparingly, to oil a baking pan, or to crisp some veggies such as potatoes and mushrooms when we roast them. They are much healthier because only a tiny amount is used to accomplish a great result.
Organic extra virgin coconut oil
Apart from using coconut oil as a cosmetic, (on our body and hair for hydration, to make toothpaste, for oil pulling and for a thousand other things), we use it rarely for some special occasion desserts and whenever oil is absolutely necessary in a recipe. Sometimes we choose the odourless version, when we want to avoid a coconut flavour. We also use it to make our homemade vegan butter. Oils are not considered whole foods. However, a little goes a long way, especially with young children. My daughter will only eat broccoli if it’s buttery, for instance. So I add a tsp of my homemade butter and she will eat a whole plate. Sometimes it’s all about balance.
Homemade organic vegan butter
This is by far the healthiest and tastiest vegan butter you have ever tried! It is easy to make and can be used just like you would regular butter, for spreading, cooking or baking. It is made mainly with organic coconut oil, a little organic cold pressed sunflower oil, a teaspoon of lecithin, a pinch of salt and a few drops of butter extract. I will post the recipe soon. As it is not a whole food, it should be used sparingly.
Organic nutritional yeast
This is simply an amazing staple superfood. It has a tasty cheesy, nutty flavour and can be used in place of Parmesan, or to enhance soups, sauces, salad dressings, anything and everything. Love it!
Organic tamari sauce
This is a potent soy sauce and we use it in moderation when we want extra flavour.
Organic coconut aminos
This is a delicious alternative to soy sauce and is wonderful drizzled over grains or salads and in salad dressings.
Organic maple syrup
Maple syrup is our main choice of sweetener. It is a natural unrefined product, it’s vegan, it has a lovely flavour, it is healthier than other sweeteners and a little goes a long way. The only downside is that it’s quite expensive.
Organic coconut sugar
When a recipe calls for sugar and maple syrup is not quite the right thing as it is liquid, we opt for coconut sugar. It is a much healthier choice than regular sugar and has a lovely caramel flavour.
Organic plant based milk and cream
We use different types of plant based milks and creams. Sometimes we make them at home, and sometimes we buy them from the store. Our favourites are soy milk, almond milk and oat cream, but we love cashew milk, hazelnut milk, coconut milk and all sorts! Nut milks are fun to make at home, too.
Plant based yogurt
We use plant based yogurt in recipes, sauces and smoothies. These are two of our favourites. I am planning to start making my own vegan yogurt using the instant pot. I will let you all know how it turns out!
Herbs & spices
We try to limit our use of salt but when we do use it, we choose pink Himalayan salt. We also like to sprinkle dulce seaweed flakes on our salads as they are very rich in iodine and vitamins and have a nice savoury taste.
Herbs and spices are wonderful for boosting flavour, adding colour and making dishes so much more interesting and nutritious, as many have loads of vitamins and minerals to offer. We use fresh herbs when possible, but dried versions are still great. Some of our staples are:
- Smoked paprika
- Sweet paprika
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
I hope this list has been helpful for you and I am here if you need any more info. Let me know if a printable version would be helpful for your shopping list!