Switching to a vegan diet can allow you to explore a whole new set of foods, the weekly grocery shop should become an activity of excitement rather than dread, however it all comes down to buying the right foods when you get there. As you can imagine, many of these products can be purchased from our site at great prices, therefore we do recommend having a look around.
Before you start, you should try to find some recipes and ideas on what you might like to make, as you don’t want to run back down the road to stock up on anything you forgot. For example, just recently wrote the avocado pasta recipe which you might want to give a go, as well as a turmeric latte recipe.
I love a smoothie! It is my perfect morning pick me up, while these also work great in Tupperware for work. I’ve included some of the best and most versatile fruits which I think should be included in your vegan shopping list, but you should pick and choose the ones you prefer the most. If you’ve never tried one of these before, definitely add it to your list, that’s the best part.
- Bananas (important for those smoothies)
- Tomatoes (because apparently they count as fruit)
- Honeydew or watermelon
- Dried apricots
On my weekly shop, I will buy around 3-4 of these in packs. I aim for 2 fruit per day, as even if you consume 7-10 portions of fruit and vegetables per day, the portions of fruit should remain at 2. For the smoothies I make, I often like to get strawberries and bananas, while blueberries are a great superfood. Grapes are also great for packing into your lunch.
I have generally avoided dried fruit, but don’t think you have to, this is a personal choice. I have also largely opted for fresh fruit, but you can go for frozen if you think you won’t eat it all in time.
This is a huge portion of my diet. I eat 10 portions of fruit and vegetables per day and this includes 8 vegetables. You want to go for a mix of colour on your plate, so take this into consideration when choosing different foods. You also want to think how it could work into a meal. If you are making a stir fry, then you might not have use for lettuce.
- Sugarsnap peas or mangetout (I’m definitely a sugarsnap peas person, as they are less stringy)
- Broccoli (you can go for tenderstem broccoli, but the price is about 4 times as high, so doesn’t seem worthwhile)
- Carrots (so incredibly cheap for a kilo pack)
- Cucumber (perfect for dipping into houmous)
- Cauliflower (hugely versatile and great in so many vegan dishes)
- Peppers (great in a fajita)
- Kale or spinach (you only need one or the other, both are great from a nutritional viewpoint so go based on which you prefer the taste of more)
- Frozen peas
Herbs, Spices And All Things Nice
As you move away from some of the nasty ingredients that pack many generic foods you get in supermarkets, you become more reliant on natural ingredients for your flavouring. This is why you should try to buy some fresh ingredients rather than just powders and flavour packs.
- Garlic (buy a HUGE amount of this, as it will be included in a large number of dishes and tends to last quite a long time)
- Fresh basil
- Fresh parsley
- Chilli flakes
- Fresh chillies
- Salt and pepper (obviously)
- Dried bay leaves
- Cayenne pepper
- Curry powder
This is one area that can sometimes be a little neglected when people first switch to a vegan diet, so it is important to understand how you are consuming these healthy fats and sneaking them into your meals.
- Avocadoes (previously mentioned, but hugely valuable and a staple part of my diet, plus they taste great)
- Milk – coconut, almond, oat, pea milk, flax, hemp, rice, there are so many to pick from
- Nuts – cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts
- Seeds – ground flax seed (don’t get whole ones), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds (various different recipes around these but not to everyone’s taste), hemp seeds, sesame seeds
- MCT oil (one of the most undervalued or underutilised supplements around, I am a huge fan of MCT oil)
- Cooking oils or oils for salad – extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, coconut oil, sesame seed oil, canola oil, vegan butter or margarine
- Vegan cheese (I could never truly live without cheese, so the need for vegan cheese is massive with me)
Beans And Co
While vegetables will take up a big portion of your meal, they won’t keep you full up for too long. I have been guilty of making the meal too reliant on vegetables and then find myself hungry an hour later. This is why you need the likes of beans, legumes and grains. Pick and choose from the below which ones would work best into your dietary plan and meal plans.
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
- Kidney beans
- Pinto beans
- Navy beans
- Adzuki beans
- Black eyed beans
- Lentils (multiple types, depending on the meal planned, my main one is red lentils)
- Houmous (I buy 2 tubs per week and easily burn through them)
- Bean burgers
- Cous cous (this is a great cheap food type that will fill you up and is very easy to cook)
- Wholemeal bread, tortillas or pitas
- Wholemeal pasta
I have left out most soy items, excluding tofu, as I’m personally not a fan, but feel free to add soy milk, tempeh, edamame or soy protein if you feel this works well in your diet.
Cooking & Baking
These are the ingredients that might not pop up in your mind when you get to the supermarket or if you were to shop online at our store, but are required for many vegan meals and are worth stocking up on so you have them ready for when you need them.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Whole grain flour
- Raising flour
- Baking powder
- Corn starch
- Agave syrup
- Sweetener of choice
- Vanilla extract
- Sultanas or raisons
Not all of these will always be vegan, so you will have to go through with a fine comb. They should all be fine, but sometimes when you opt for certain brands they do contain something you shouldn’t have or they are made in the same factory therefore they sometimes come into contact.
- Ketchup (reduced salt version if possible)
- Coconut milk (great for curries)
- Red or green curry paste
- Soy sauce
- Sweet chilli sauce
Extra Protein Items
I’ve already mentioned beans, tofu, lentils, quinoa, nuts and plenty more above, which can all be great sources of protein, but I wanted to give a shout out to some others which would make my shopping list.
- Quorn – I’m not a huge fan of all of it, but the Quorn chicken tastes great to me. It is worth getting a few and seeing which ones you like the most
- Vegan protein shakes – I like some of the pea protein shakes available in the UK. We do offer a range of protein powders.
- Linda McCartney sausages