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Shopping for vegan food doesn’t have to be a hassle! You’ll find that most grocery stores and supermarkets are stocked with vegan foods, and you can always pop into specialty stores (like Trader Joe’s or Sprouts) to find the less-common food items.
Here are a few items to add to your vegan grocery list—aside from the nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, and veggies, of course:
Non-Dairy Milks – Almond and soy milk are two of the most widely-available non-dairy milks, but many supermarkets will also carry coconut milk and rice milk. Harder to find are cashew milk, hemp milk, and oat milk. Try to find milks that are Vitamin B12 fortified. This vitamin is vital for a healthy metabolism.
Cheese Substitutes – Your average grocery store won’t carry vegan cheese, so you may have to head to specialty food stores or shop online. Nutritional yeast makes for a good alternative to parmesan cheese, and you can use it to make vegan Mac and Cheese.
Butter Alternatives – Earth Balance is one of the most popular vegan butter substitutes, but remember that your vegan diet should be fairly low in oil. You’ll find Earth Balance in specialty and health food stores.
Egg Substitutes – Egg substitutes can be found in just about every supermarket, and they’re a good option for when you want a vegan omelet. However, you can use cornstarch or chia seeds in place of eggs in your vegan recipes.
Sweeteners – Stevia is one of the most popular sweeteners on the market, and it’s available in just about every supermarket around the country. Blackstrap molasses is another excellent vegan sweetener, as is 100% organic maple syrup. Stock up on these three sweeteners and use them in your coffee, tea, cereals, and vegan baked goodies.
Meat Substitutes – Every supermarket carries soy-based meat alternatives, but you may have to go to specialty stores to find tempeh and seitan. The good news is that there are many delicious vegan meat alternatives—it’s up to you to try them and find the ones that appeal to your palates best.
Our recommendation: instead of trying to find vegan burgers, use a whole Portobello mushroom instead. Grilled up, it has that rich flavor and delicious texture that will be the perfect vegan alternative to burgers.
Condiments – If you can’t live without your three favorite condiments, there are options out there. Vegan mayonnaise is an item you’ll find in specialty stores, but you can usually find non-GMO organic mustard and ketchup in local supermarkets. Just make sure they’re made without high fructose corn syrup!
Yes, shopping for a vegan diet can be a bit challenging, but not impossible. Learn what you can find in supermarkets and what you have to buy in specialty stores, and it will be much easier to streamline your shopping trips.