My Vegan Pantry & Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

It's been quite some time since I put together a pantry basics blog post. Grocery store shelves have changed over the years - for the better - so I thought I would post an updated list of some items that I keep on hand at all times. 

plant-based pantry basics & must-haves

Having these items on hand will bring you a ton of healthy meal combinations. These are just basics to add flavor and boosts to your other fruits and veggies. Obviously you need more than what is here - like tons more produce - for a balanced diet. But I have done pantry basic posts in the past that include things like avocados, lemons, sea salt, frozen bananas, and protein powders. 

As most of you know I follow a plant-based diet. I'm also vegan. I do think of those two things as not completely synonymous. Vegans care about animal rights/cruelty and the planet/environment. Vegans live a lifestyle that supports their cause and the changes they would like to see in the world. But you can have unhealthy vegans just like you can have healthy meat eaters. Veganism for me isn't as much of a diet as say eating plant-based. A plant-based diet to me is super clean, low in bad fats, high in fiber and fresh foods; it focuses more on the plants not as much on the foods that "contain no animal products" (i.e. oreos for example are vegan believe it or not but they aren't part of a whole foods plant based diet) if that makes sense.

Of course cheat foods are fine. I eat vegan donuts from time to time. But animal products like high fat meat and dairy contribute to disease - point blank - they also contribute to the destruction of our environment (enter veganism).

There are so many stories of disease reversal (and people going off their meds completely) by switching to this type of plant-heavy eating. I know countless people that made the switch for heart reasons, cancer purposes and diabetes. So for me, it's an ethical lifestyle and also a heart healthy healing way to eat and live. 

When first making the transition it can be challenging to continually make delicious meals that fill you up and taste amazing. I have tried almost every vegan food and condiment and here is a list of what I currently love to have on hand. Hope this helps. 

1. The Lotus ramen noodles, for example, are so versatile and kids love them as well as adults. You can make ramen soup (great for cold winter days) or you can cook them in a pan for a hearty, garlicy chewy noodle dish. Add veggies to them or even tofu for a complete meal. Eat with a salad for an boost of minerals, antioxidants and fiber. 

2. The red leaf lettuce and kale you see create my favorite salad combo. I like to combine these two greens (one is dense and one is leafy and airy) and eat them at almost every meal. Add it to pasta, on toast, with your ramen noodles, eat it alone as a salad with added garbanzo beans, etc. They are both always in my fridge. 

3. Garbanzo beans are my go-to for added boosts of protein in salads or in pasta or eaten alone. Keep them on hand. I like to buy the cold ones - store them in the fridge - ready to grab and go. No can openers needed. Speaking of garbanzo beans, have you seen all the cereals now made from beans? And of course the pastas too! We love love the Love Grown brand. There are lots of different flavors

4. Almonds are on here because they should always be in the pantry. They last a long time. So stock up and keep them on hand. You can make your own almond milk on demand. My kids ran out of their favorite store-bought almond milk the other day and so I just whipped up some of my homemade stuff so they could eat their favorite cereal. No need to rush to the store when you're out of milk. You can also make almond flour or almond butter at home in a pinch. Trader Joes sells raw nuts for at great price. 

5. Spike seasoning is another favorite. It's so old school but still so current - the herbs combination makes any vegetable taste delicious. You don't even have to add salt because the flavors are so great. 

6. Keep vanilla extra or vanilla bean paste on hand. You don't have to sweeten your almond milk, your chia pudding or even muffins and cookies as much if you add vanilla bean. It's a calorie-free, sugar-free, fat-free flavor enhancer. 

7. I try to cook without oil as much as possible. Ideally I would like a low-fat diet, but when I bake my vegetables or cook my noodles and tofu, I just love a good healthy fat to do that. Miyokos plant-based butter has seriously changed my life. It's basically cultured coconut oil (so it's obviously not low in saturated) and tastes amazing. Trader Joes sells it. 

8. Speaking of fat, Ripple has also changed the half & half game. Their half & half is unbelievably good. I use it in all kids of recipes. Check out my roasted red pepper pasta sauce that I featured on Instagram, it's creamy because of the Miyokos butter and this half & half. You don't get a weird after taste from it nor is it sweet like many plant-based creamers/creams tend to be. Try it in your coffee as well; you'll thank me. Target sells it!!!

9. Gluten-free oats are really crucial to a plant-based diet. They make a perfect breakfast (heat them up with some plant-based milk, add some of that vegan butter, vanilla bean and a touch of sweeter and berries). Or have you ever made overnight oats? Or you can add some dates and coconut to make a raw granola/muesli  - eat it with bananas and almond milk or with the Kite Hill yogurt. My Raw Vegan ebook contains breakfast recipes using gluten-free oats. Kite Hill and Forager make great yogurt alternatives. Try the plain flavors, you'll be shocked at how great they are and you can use them in any recipe that calls for plain yogurt! I'm definitely obsessed because yogurt isn't one of the things I love to make everyday. 

10. Turmeric is a spice that I love to keep around so I can whip up golden lattes. It's also an immunity booster and anti-inflammatory. Use it on vegetables when baking or in slow cooker dishes like curries or Indian style dishes. 

11. Nutritional yeast is something I use almost everyday (maybe 4-5 times a week). It's a great source of b12 (fortified) and adds a cheesy and nutty flavor to my sauces. You can even add toasted cashews and nutritional yeast to a blender and make a parmesan cheese type of seasoning. Have you tried my simple raw vegan tomato sauce? It uses nutritional yeast. So does my Queso Cheese dip. 

12. Has anybody heard of Brami bean snacks? Lupine beans (which is what Brami is) are high in plant-based protein, low in fat and fiber. For every 100 calories you get 13.4 grams of protein. Can you believe it? That's more than lentils and soy beans. At first they seem slimy and maybe unappetizing, but trust me, they are actually extremely addicting. Great emergency snack to keep in the car (you don't have to refrigerate them until you open them). 

13. Chia seeds don't go bad either. Keep them on hand for your overnight oats recipe and or make a good chia pudding (my go-to recipe below). Chia pudding, when made right, is to-die-for! Not only that but it's really satisfying and healthy for you. Chia seed jam is a game changer as well, have you tried that recipe yet?

14. Last but not least I use veganaise, tamari and sriracha type chili seasonings all the time. I pan fry mushrooms, tofu and tempeh in tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) and I make great dipping sauces with it. Vegan mayo isn't just for sandwiches, you can add it to cold potato, garbanzo and tofu salads or make creamy ranch or caesar dressings. Put it in your grilled cheese or savory wraps. Just a squirt or small spoonful of sriracha chili sauce adds a wonderful heat and spice to any sauce. Too much also makes dishes super spicy - which some people love. If you don't love overly spicy food just add a small amount for flavor. 

15. Manna Bread - this is a game changer! You'll love this sprouted low temperature cooked bread. It is so healthy, tastes nothing like processed bread. It almost feels like its healing the body as you eat it. Try it for lunch or breakfast. I have a bunch of recipes in my raw vegan ebook using manna bread. Grains should be apart of everybody's healthy diet if you ask me and this bread offers the perfect most easily digestible form of grains. 

16. Beyond Meat Chicken Strips. I'm sure you've all heard about Beyond Meat. They are making major waves in the food industry. I'm super impressed and always keep a bag of the frozen grilled chicken (vegan of course) strips on hand. They heat up really quickly in a pan and go well with any dish that needs some extra protein. I put it on salads, with rice or even in pasta. You can find it at almost any market - including Vons - these days. Amazon has them as well and the price is right! 

Chia Seed Pudding | Delicious, simple & vegan | #puremamas #purekitchenblog
Chia Seed Pudding Recipe | Delicious & Simple | Vegan & Gluten-free | #puremamas #purekitchenblog

Delicious Vegan Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

INGREDIENTS

Chia seed pudding | delicious and vegan! #purekitchenblog #puremamas
  • 2 cups fresh almond milk 
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean or extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or coconut sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine everything in a tupperware or airtight jar with a lid. 
  2. Store in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving. Preferably overnight. 
  3. Serve cold with fruit or other healthy toppings. 

Superfood Buckwheat Muffins (gf vegan)

These hearty superfood buckwheat muffins are packed and loaded with tons of protein, fiber and natural sweeteners. No eggs, no refined white sugar, no gluten and low in added fats. 

superfood buckwheat muffins | gluten-free | high protein | vegan

I love breakfast but get really tired of the same old boring routine: granola and vegan yogurt, smoothies smoothies or almond butter covered bananas. 

I want something that keeps my belly full, satisfies my breakfast taste buds, contains protein and that isn't full of added unhealthy fats and sugars. These muffins fit the bill and do the trick. A perfect pre-workout snack. 

The ingredients list might look long but don't let it fool you; if your kitchen has a healthy pantry, you probably have a lot of these ingredients already on hand. 

superfood buckwheat muffins | gluten-free | high protein | vegan

I don't know about you guys but I love cooking; it's my form of meditation. Having a food blog is more than that though because it is not only a creative outlet for me but it keeps me on my toes. Having to create tasty recipes in my kitchen that are super healthy without inventing the wheel - isn't easy at all!! But since I love games, I love challenges and puzzles, and I also love making others smile and inspiring others to eat healthy -- creating recipes for everybody to try is a win win win quadruple win. 🙌🏼🎖🏆

superfood buckwheat muffins | gluten-free | high protein | vegan
superfood buckwheat muffins | gluten-free | high protein | vegan

Anyways these superfood buckwheat muffins are moist, filling, totally healthy and kids love them, too! If you make them I would love to hear your thoughts either in the comments below or on instagram! Please share a photo if you love them? Don't already follow me on Instagram - check out my feed

superfood buckwheat muffins | gluten-free | high protein | vegan
superfood buckwheat muffins | gluten-free | high protein | vegan

Superfood Buckwheat Muffins Recipe

yields: 12 muffins

superfood buckwheat muffins | gluten-free | high protein | vegan

INGREDIENTS

Dry

  • 1 scoop (approx 1/3 cup) vanilla protein powder (ie. pea protein, rice protein)
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds or chia seeds (or a combo of both)
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Wet

  • 1/2 cup coconut nectar
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup raisins (sub chocolate chips if you feel like it)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Thoroughly blend all dry ingredients together with a whisk. Set aside. 
  3. In a food processor, puree/blend all the wet ingredients, except for the raisins. Blend until really smooth. 
  4. Add the dry mix to the food processor with the wet ingredients and puree until everything is evenly blended. Add raisins and pulse a few times until mixed well. 
  5. Grease a muffin tin or use paper muffin cups. Evenly pour the mixture into each muffin cup.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
  7. Let cook. Then serve.   

Matcha {superfood} Frappe

Boy oh boy have things been busy. Between moving homes (which is really the worst thing ever), and renovating the house - summertime for us means three kiddos at home, and a bunch of freelance work. Things have been insane around here, to say the least. 

Somehow I still have some time to cook (we all have to eat at some point still, right?). And today I am on the Honest blog sharing my favorite Summertime cool-off drink: Matcha Frappe.

I first had something similar to this at a new juice bar in my neighborhood. It was $9 or $10 - yikes - so I thought I'd better start making something like it at home. Turns out it's really easy. Essentially it's just homemade almond milk {homemade is the key}, matcha, ice and sweetener of your choice. I love xylitol in this recipe. But coconut sugar works, agave, or even just sugar in the raw. 

For this complete Matcha Superfood Frappe recipe and more details, check out the Honest Company blog ----->

{No Bake} Ginger Cherry Bars

I woke up yesterday in the mood for a fancy homemade breakfast. I wanted something that was more on the sweet side than the savory side. I rummaged through the pantry looking for baking flour; I thought muffins sounded good. Not sure which kind but something exciting.  

I was all out of flour though! So I grabbed almonds, gluten-free oats, GO RAW sprouted buckwheat groats {your pantry should always have this item stocked on hand} and dried cherries. 

gingercherrybars.png
gingercherrybars2.png

I processed all of these ingredients in the food processor to make a healthy no-bake breakfast bar.  And wow, what a great combo it was...healthy, hearty and sweet! These Ginger Cherry Breakfast Bars were born! The best part of it all - I didn't even have to even bake them! 

gingercherrybars3.png

Unfortunately, I didn't plan to blog about this recipe which resulted in not so wonderful photos. But at least you can get an idea. Right?  

These Ginger Cherry No-bake bars were devoured by the husband and kids (I only got one, darn it). 

Just to make things even more wonderful - I smothered some of them in chocolate. 

gingercherrybars4.png
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I mean why not?

I wish I had a su-chef here to help me with the dishes, but other than that, It was the perfect way to spend my morning. In fact, I was thinking "man, I could sell these bad boys"! But then I remembered I have already been-there-done-that! {wink} 

I highly recommend you try these bars. They are so wonderful to have around - just a quick snack or meal to grab on the go! BEWARE - in addition to being healthy, they are tasty and addicting. 

REMEMBER - the chocolate coating is optional. My kids thought it was the "best thing I've ever made" but I prefer it without the chocolate. 

No-Bake Ginger Cherry Bars Recipe {with chocolate coating}

yields 10-12 bars

DRY INGREDIENTS

WET INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup liquid sweetener {agave, honey, maple syrup - I used ginger syrup again}
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter {room temp}
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • pinch sea salt

CHOCOLATE COATING INGREDIENTS

  • 1 dark chocolate bar
  • anything else you might want to see on top - coconut, seeds, nuts, goji berries, etc. 

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a food processor combine the nuts and oats. Pulse for about 30 seconds on and off. Add cherries and repeat. Add the buckwheat groats and repeat.  
  2. Go ahead and add the wet ingredients. Be sure butter is at room temp. You don't want it to be cold. Pulse again for a bit longer until everything is well mixed up. See my photo above to get an idea of how chunky it should be. 
  3. Empty mixture onto a glass Pyrex style deep dish pan. Press it down until pan is covered. Lay wax paper over the mixture and press the mixture down using a flat, firm spatula until evenly spread. Remove the paper. 
  4. Refrigerate mixture for at least and hour.  
  5. Meanwhile melt the chocolate in the oven (about 250 degrees F) and while you're waiting for the bars to firm and chocolate to melt, maybe do all the dishes.  
  6. When ready, evenly pour the chocolate over the top of the refrigerated dough {and sprinkle whatever toppings you'd like at this time. I used coconut.}
  7. Refrigerate again for about an hour.
  8. Bars can be cut into squares or long bars or even circles. 
  9. Store any leftover bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Should last about 1 week. 
gingercherrybars6.png
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Fancy Oven Baked Sprouted Granola

Remember my dehydrated Millet Buckwheat Orange Zest granola? I promised to create a baked version soon. And today is the day! I'm sharing this oven-baked version of my sprouted granola over at Honest Company Blog today!  Click the link for more detailed photos. 

This is what I call fancy oven-baked Granola because it's sprouted first. Sprouting your grains first makes them higher protein and more digestible. Confused? UsNews.com explains this process, "there is a brief period in the life cycle of a grain or seed—right after it has started to sprout, but before it has developed into a full-fledged plant—when it's considered to be a sprouted grain. The outer bran layer will have split open, and the beginnings of a young shoot may be visibly peeking out of the grain. In this stage, some of the starchy portion of the grain will have been digested by the young shoot to fuel its awakening. It is this change in state that results in the observed nutritional difference between sprouted and conventional (ungerminated) grains."

Fancy Oven Baked Sprouted Granola

INGREDIENTS


• 1/2 cup millet, soaked in water for 1-2 hours and rinsed
• 1/2 cup buckwheat, soaked in water for 1-2 hours and rinsed
• 1 Tbsp. chia seeds, soaked in water for 10 minutes
• 1 cup certified gluten-free oats
• 1/2 cup sprouted sunflower seeds (you can buy these, sprout yourself, or just use raw seeds)
• 2 vanilla beans
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/3 cup coconut sugar
• 2 heaping Tbsp. good quality organic honey
• 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
• 1 pinch sea salt
*Try to use organic options when possible.

DIRECTIONS

1. First set the millet and buckwheat aside and let it soak in water for at least an hour. Do the same with the chia seeds, except for 10 minutes.

2. In a food processor, chop up the oats and sunflower seeds until they are evenly distributed and chopped but not so much they are turned into a flour (about 10 seconds).
3. Add chia seeds, coconut sugar, honey and melted coconut oil. Pulse again until thoroughly mixed (like 5-10 seconds).

4. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse one last time until the mixture is evenly combined (again about 5-10 seconds).

5. Put mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper try and grease the pan a bit using a coconut oil spray or just rub coconut oil with a towel.

6. Cook at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes. Please stir the mixture with a spatula every 5 minutes or so.

7. Let cool and enjoy. Store in a dry container in the fridge for a long shelf life. 

For more banter and a few extra photos you can check out the Honest Company Blog's original post.