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10 Plant-Based Pantry Essentials To Maximize Your Health Today

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10 Plant-Based Pantry Essentials To Maximize Your Health Today

 

The benefits of a plant-based diet are evident, but if you’re going to switch from consuming meat and animal products, you want to ensure that you have some staples in your pantry so that you aren’t lacking any vital nutrients.

You don’t have to go completely meat-free or plant-based, but you can shift your diet to become healthier. Try adding in “meatless Monday” to increase your vegetable intake and decrease your carbon footprint. Using plant-based proteins is a great way to add variety to your diet, which ensures that you will be getting all of the vital vitamins and minerals to optimize your health and vitality.

Plant-Based Essentials

 

  1. Hemp Seeds

With their mild, nutty flavour, hemp seeds are made up of 25% proteins, as well as essential amino acids, minerals and vitamin E. They also have a healthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. Add hemp seeds to almost any dish, salad or smoothie.

 

  1. Coconut Oil or Fat

Packed with good fats, coconut oil is great for cooking at high temperatures, hydrating your skin, and supporting your immune system. Coconut oil can be used with foods, or topically for hair and skin treatments. It is also anti-microbial!

 

  1. Coconut Sugar

For a healthier, fuller flavour, reach for coconut sugar over traditional refined sugar. Coconut sugar retains its rich mineral content, as opposed to processed sugars.

 

  1. Oats

Oats are a great source of plant protein. If you’re avoiding gluten, make sure to get the certified gluten free version of your oats. Your oats can be blended to be used as oat flour as well.

 

  1. Tamari

Tamari is the slightly thicker, less salty soy sauce alternative that is gluten free (depending on the brand). It is a fermented soy product and has benefits in reducing the effects of diabetes, elevated blood pressure and cardiac disorders.

 

  1. Nutritional Yeast

Imagine a deliciously cheesy taste without the dairy … that’s the flavour benefit of using nutritional yeast.

 

  1. Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are an excellent source of plant proteins, essential nutrients, antioxidants and minerals. They help maintain a regular blood sugar and control your appetite, as well as having loads of fibre! When adding in more beans and legumes into your diet, make sure to consume enough water as well to help with digestion and reducing potential bloat.

When cooking with beans and legumes it is also best to sprout them prior to use to reduce the phytates that are present. Phytates make beans and legumes much harder to digest, so soaking them 2 hrs to overnight before using them in recipes can increase digestion and reduce possible symptoms, such as gas.

Whenever you use beans or legumes from a can, make sure to rinse them in a colander before use. Rinsing canned beans and legumes removes any salt or citric acid that was in the can, used to preserve them. Rinse under tap water until the bubbles stop.

 

  1. Wild Rice or Brown Rice

Whole-grain rice is a great way to add bulk to your meals. It is gluten free naturally, and contains fibre, folate and magnesium.

 

  1. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are packed full of plant proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. They can be used in smoothies, salads, sauces energy bars and baking.

 

  1. Canned Tomatoes

You’ll want to find canned tomatoes that have BPA free lining. Canned tomatoes have higher lycopene antioxidants than fresh tomatoes.

 

Try This Plant-Based Dessert Recipe

Nut Butter Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients

  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder
  • ¼ cup nut butter
  • ½ cup raspberries (optional)
  • 3 TBSP activated buckwheat, quinoa puffs or oats (optional)

 

Method

  1. Whisk together cacao, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until well combined
  2. Next, add in nut butter
  3. Mix through raspberries and buckwheat groats or quinoa puffs, if using
  4. Pour chocolate mixture into a lined tray or freezer-safe container
  5. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or until set
  6. Remove from freezer and cut or break into pieces and enjoy

Let us know what you thought of the recipe!

 

Book with us at Bay Wellness Centre to determine what the best diet for you is to optimize your health.