There are hundreds of vegan foods easily available in supermarkets, greengrocers, bakeries and other shops around Australia. Written by Lancey Morris from SweetLancey.com, this guide concentrates on what groceries to buy to prepare your own delicious, healthy, plant-based meals.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but should give you a good starting point to buying the right ingredients for a healthy, vegan lifestyle. Vegan cooking should include a lot of vegetables, nuts, beans and healthy fats, and should not consist of eating the same meals you ate as a non-vegan, minus the meat. There are many fantastic plant-based substitutes that most meat eaters aren't aware of, so do your research, find some good recipes and get cooking!
Fresh vegetables should make up the majority of your vegan diet, and can be eaten raw, boiled, stir-fried, blanched, deep fried or baked. Don't be afraid to experiment with spices, or combine with legumes and grains for a more wholesome meal. There is a wide selection of vegetables available in most parts of Australia. Select those you most like to eat.
Examples: Asparagus Avocado Beans Beetroot Broccoli Brussels sprouts Cabbage Capsicum Carrot Cauliflower Celery Collard greens Corn Cucumber Herbs Kale Leeks Mushrooms Onion Parsnip Potatoes Pumpkin Romaine lettuce Spinach Squash Sweet potatoes Swiss chard Tomato Zucchini
| Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Crutons
| Raw Courgette Pasta Salad with Basil Pesto
Like the vegetables, you can choose to buy whichever fruit you most enjoy, just make sure you buy a wide variety and check for what's in season. You can buy fruits to be eaten on their own or used in other recipes like banana bread.
Examples: Apples Bananas Berries Figs Grapefruit Grapes Jackfruit Kiwi fruit Lemon Lime Mandarins Mangoes Melons Nectarines Oranges Peaches Pear Pineapple
: Fruit salad | Apple pie | Poached pears
Nuts, Beans, Legumes, Seeds and Grains
These are a very important part of the vegan diet, providing protein, and keeping you full. These can be bought dried, raw or tinned, and have a variety of uses in the vegan kitchen.
Examples: Almonds Barley Black beans Brazil nuts Broad beans Buckwheat Cannellini beans Cashews Chia seeds Chickpeas Couscous Hazelnuts Hemp seeds Kidney beans Lentils Lima beans Linseeds Mung beans Oats Pasta Peanuts Poppy seeds Pumpkin seeds Quinoa Rice Sesame seeds Soybeans Split peas Sunflower seeds Walnuts Wheat germ
: Spaghetti with Chickpeas
| Quinoa and Bean Veggie Patties
Meat and Dairy Substitutes
Meat and dairy substitutes are a combination of meat alternatives, soy based products like tofu, or entirely plant based alternatives like coconut yogurt. These can be used exactly as you would their non-vegan equivalents. Be cautious of highly processed alternatives like TVP and try to enjoy them every so often.
Examples: Coconut and soy yogurt Jackfruit Seitan Soy, coconut, almond and rice milk Tempeh Tofu Tofurky, facon, TVP Vegan butter Vegan cheese, like the Tofutti range Vegan sausages, burger patties, and fake meats
: Healthy Chocolate and Raspberry Muffins
| Maple Sesame Tofu
Buying frozen foods is an easy way to save money, enjoy out of season snacks, and have quick meals at the ready. Frozen berries are a great addition to smoothies, or you can pick up a frozen vegan pizza for a weekend treat.
Examples: Berries and fruit Beans Broccoli Carrots Cauliflower Corn Edamame Mixed vegetables Peas Spinach Stir fry mixes Vegan frozen meals Vegan pizzas Veggie burgers
: Pineapple and Mango Smoothie Bowl
| Blueberry Cheesecake Bites
| Raspberry and Acai Smoothie
There are types of bread that are usually vegan, but when buying bread you should always check the label to be sure. Sandwiches are a great lunch option for vegans, and can be filled with things like hummus, olives, salad ingredients and vegan meat substitutes. There are several brands of supermarket bread that are accidentally vegan like some of the Helgas range, some of the Mighty Soft range, the Original Mission Wraps, Mountain Bread wraps in rice, rye and corn, among others.
Examples: Lebanese bread Sourdough Supermarket bread (see above)
: Nutty Seed Bread
| Spiced Spinach Bread
Vegan baking is fun, easy, and the results taste great. You will be able to use some of the things you already have in your pantry, like flour and sugar, but there are some extra things you'll need to buy. Make sure you check out our Egg Substitute Guide
Examples: Flour Arrowroot Baking powder Baking soda Cacao nibs Cacao powder Cocoa Coconut, sunflower and olive oil Desiccated coconut Dried yeast Egg replacement powder Shortening Sugar Vegan chocolate chips Xantham gum
: Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cupcakes
| Chocolate Buttercream Icing
| Choc-coconut Bites
| Chocolate, Coconut and Mint Biscuits
There are some other ingredients that are highly recommended for the vegan chef. Rather than just cutting out meat and dairy, vegans should be sure to add new ingredients too. Try using nutritional yeast to make a vegan cheese sauce.
Examples: Miso paste Apple cider vinegar Coconut cream Dried fruit Falafels Hummus Nutritional yeast Olives Peanut butter Sundried tomatoes Tahini Tamari Tomato Paste
: Cranberry Barbecue Sauce
| Chocolate, Coconut and Mint Biscuits
There are also a range of vegan sweets, such as many dark chocolates, some Oreos, Skittles and Nice biscuits. Don't overdo it, but when you're looking for a treat check out the lists below.
Food lists for major supermarkets
Apart from the obvious fruit, veggies, nuts and other whole foods, there are many processed foods available in supermarkets that contain no animal products. Check these out:
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