When you transition to eating a Whole Food Plant Based diet there are several things you learn from the get-go.

You find out that eating plant foods that you aren’t used to, like beans, whole grains, and cruciferous veggies makes you fart like a room full of 10-year-old boys (don’t worry, this doesn’t last).

You find out that eating a ton of fiber turns you into a poop machine (three awesome poops a day is normal for me).

You learn that batch cooking is a must in order to eat super healthy all week long.

You find out which of your friends and family are supportive rockstars and which ones are not.

You find out how much easier it is to cook without oil and that you don’t need it to cook with it after all.

You learn that “nooch” is slang for nutritional yeast and that it turns your pee bright yellow from all the vitamin B. Surprise!

You learn that hummus is good on anything you can think of and that every plant based eater loves the shit out of it.

And finally, you find out that in order to cook this way, your kitchen ingredients need a serious makeover.

If you follow our meal plans we give you a shopping list each week with exactly how much of each ingredient to purchase. So by simply following our plans, your kitchen will be stocked with all the essential plant based cooking staples over time. Since the staples are packaged items that you will only use small amounts of each week, they will last anywhere from one to six months, depending on the item and how many people you’re cooking for. Once you have all the staples, you will just need to buy whatever fresh produce you need each week, along with any staple ingredient that you run out of.

If you don’t follow our meal plans and you’re doing this on your own, you will still have to stock up on the staples so you can make yummy whole food plant based meals. Side note, if you’re not on our meal plans, sign the hell up! It’s only $20 a month, you get a new meal plan every Friday, and the recipes are the best around. Ask our private Facebook group, they will tell you!

Whether you follow our plans or not, a well-stocked kitchen is a must when transitioning to a healthy plant based diet. To help you on your journey, I’ve put together a list of all the staple ingredients that you will need when cooking plant based. The list is broken up into three categories: bulk, spices & herbs, and packaged. You won’t need all of these ingredients each week, but everything on this list keeps for a long time so when you do need them, they will be waiting for you.

BULK (in bins / purchased by the pound)

  • Almonds, raw
  • Beans, dried (all types but black, pinto and garbanzo beans are all good to have on hand / BPA-free cans are best)
  • Cashews, raw
  • Chia seeds
  • Dates, dried
  • Flax seeds, ground (or whole and blend yourself)
  • Flour, almond
  • Flour, brown rice
  • Flour, whole wheat
  • Hemp seeds, raw shelled (aka hemp hearts)
  • Lentils, brown or green dried
  • Millet
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Oats, rolled (not instant)
  • Oats, steel cut
  • Pumpkin seeds, raw shelled
  • Quinoa
  • Rice, brown
  • Sesame seeds, brown
  • Split peas, green dried
  • Sunflower seeds, raw
  • Walnuts, raw

Note: Store all nuts and seeds in your fridge or freezer so the oils don’t go rancid.

DRIED SPICES & HERBS (Look for bulk spices at your local health food store)

  • Basil, dried
  • Bay leaf, dried
  • Black pepper
  • Cardamom powder
  • Cayenne powder
  • Chili powder
  • Chipotle chili powder
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Coriander powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Curry powder
  • Dill, dried
  • Dulse flakes or powder (dried Atlantic red seaweed powder / flakes)
  • Garam Masala
  • Garlic powder
  • Ginger powder
  • Marjoram, dried
  • Mustard powder
  • Nutmeg, ground
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano, dried
  • Paprika, smoked
  • Paprika, sweet
  • Parsley, dried
  • Red chili flakes, dried
  • Sage, dried (rubbed)
  • Tarragon, dried
  • Thyme, dried
  • Turmeric powder


  • Artichoke hearts (jarred / packed in water)
  • Applesauce (no sugar added)
  • Arrowroot powder (aka arrowroot flour or arrowroot starch)
  • Baking powder (aluminum-free)
  • Baking soda (aluminum-free)
  • Beans, canned (black, white, pinto, garbanzo and kidney are good to have on hand)
  • Bread, 100% whole wheat or sprouted grain (Ezekiel is my favorite brand)
  • Coconut aminos
  • Corn kernels, frozen
  • Edamame beans, shelled and frozen (organic)
  • Hot sauce (no sugar or oil)
  • Maple syrup (100% pure)
  • Miso, white or yellow (look for this in the refrigerated section. Organic, aged for at least 2 years is best. Miso Masters is a good choice.)
  • Mustard, dijon
  • Mustard, yellow
  • Non-dairy milk, unsweetened (soy milk is my favorite)
  • Nut or seed butter (no added salt or sugar)
  • Peas, frozen
  • Sauerkraut, no vinegar (vinegar kills the beneficial bacteria that your gut loves)
  • Soy sauce or tamari (low sodium)
  • Tahini (sesame seed butter / roasted is less bitter)
  • Tapioca flour (aka tapioca starch)
  • Tomato paste
  • Tomatoes, diced (canned)
  • Tortillas, 100% whole wheat or sprouted grain (Ezekiel is my favorite brand)
  • Tortillas, 100% corn or sprouted corn (Ezekiel is my favorite brand)
  • Vegetable broth or stock (low or no sodium)
  • Vinegar, apple cider (unfiltered)
  • Vinegar, balsamic
  • Vinegar, brown rice (not “seasoned”)
  • Vinegar, red wine
  • Vinegar, ume plum (the only ingredients should be ume plum, shiso and salt)
  • Worcestershire sauce (make sure it’s vegan)

If you want to download this list, click on the PDF icon below.

Tell me my dear, how many items on this list do you have in your kitchen? Talk to me in the comments below!

Cranberry Green Smoothie

Cranberry Green Smoothie

Makes 1 quart (enough for two smoothies)

Author Molly Patrick of Clean Food Dirty Girl


  • 3/4
    cold unsweetened non-dairy milk
    (175 ml)
  • 3/4
    cold water
    (175 ml)
  • 2
    packed cups spinach
    (80 g)
  • 1/2
    frozen chopped banana
    (230 g)
  • 1/2
    frozen or fresh cranberries
    (55 g)
  • 1
    hemp seeds
  • 1/4
    cinnamon powder


  1. Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until creamy and smooth.


Do you have a friend who is new to eating plant based and could use a list of staple ingredients to stock their kitchen with? Share this post and give them the gift of knowledge. They can read the goods and then sign up for our Saturday emails.

Categories: Diet

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