I know, I know, being on a plant based diet makes things a bit difficult when it comes to going to the grocery store. You aren’t sure what you want vs. what is a necessity. You have to look at the labels of everything due to the fact that many items are often mislabeled, saying dairy-free but containing eggs etc.
It’s incredibly tricking business and this is when you have somewhat of an idea of what you want to eat. If you don’t, grocery shopping can become less of a jovial event and more of a daunting chore.
With this Plant-Based Diet Grocery List, I want to give you a good idea of what is essential when I am out shopping. Prices of everything will vary so that will not be included and I will try to keep the list to what I believe is widely available.
Let’s Get Started.
Where To Start
I like to start with the items I am more likely to forget if I start rushing or realize I have been at the store for far longer than I intended to be. You should do the same when writing your own list. There is absolutely nothing worse than coming home from the store and realizing you don’t have everything that you needed.
You also want to end the list with cold items depending on how long you will be there and how long it will take you to get home.
The only reason I mention this is because my grocery list will be broken down in categories of food group and I don’t want you getting an attitude with me if you put frozen blueberries in your cart prematurely and they melt leaving your grocery tote blue before you get home. I won’t be blamed for it :).
These items are going to be essential to your plant based diet and there are a wide variety to choose from. I would like you3 to not be basic and pick up at least one thing you wouldn’t normally get each time you shop.
Variety is important to a balanced diet, as many items contain different essential nutrients and plant compounds that are great for the body. Also, keep in mind you can freeze anything you buy in bulk for different uses down the road (after you peel, skin, chop the item and bag it properly before freezing.
- Banana- Key to smoothies, smoothie bowls, most of my protein shakes, oatmeal, fruit to go etc.
- Apple-available year round a great prices
- Citrus/Orange- try blood oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and other citrus items when available
- Jack-Fruit (Used as a meat when seasoned and/or marinated. I used it for tacos. Can also resemble a plant version of pulled pork.
- Avocado- Great fat source, great for smoothies, desserts, just add lime so it retains its color, also sauces and dips.
- Berries- pick a couple variations, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, grape, goji, acai I use them to make syrups, smoothies, desserts, add to oatmeal or other hot cereal.
- Limes/Lemons- a good addition to just about anything, drinks, food, salsa, sauces.
- Tomato- very good for you with great plant compounds. Salads, sauce, ingredient to a variety of dishes
- Pomegranate- The seeds make a good addition to just about everything, also high in antioxidants.
- Tropical Fruit- Pineapple, Mango, Papaya etc. Good for snacking, add a little tajin and you have a great snack
These are also essential to a healthy Plant based diet, providing you with a little protein and a wide variety of plant compounds and essentials for the body.
You will incorporate a good portion of leafy vegetables to your diet daily. They can be added in a number of ways. Drinking them in a smoothie is easier but they are far more versatile than that when you want them to be.
- Romaine Lettuce- Base of salad, addition to tacos, lettuce wrap as well as small side dishes.
- Cabbage- Great for pickling, fermentation (Kim chi), salad base, vegetable wraps, stir frys
- Kale- Good snacking green, can make into chips, salad base, side dish, main course.
- Collard Green- Main dish potential, great side dish, cooked down in water or stock.
- Spinach- Main dish potential, base or salad, side dish uses. Sauteed.
- Mustard Greens- Add a bit of spice, can be toned down with lemon or vinegar, salad base, side dish, stir-fry
- Radish/Beet/Turnip/Carrot Greens- Do not throw them away if you get them with these items- Use them for salad greens, side dishes
- Dandelion/Spring Mix- Great to add to main dishes, base of salad, side dish addition
- Swiss Chard- Great main dish- base of salad, side dish.
- Sprouts of Any Kind- These are full of nutrition, great for snacking or additions to any dish after the cooking process is complete.
These are great for main course, are typically roots in this list as well as starches. They will increase your feeling of fullness when you are eating but are not needed in as great a quantity as the leafy greens.
They add great nutrients in versatility to the diet and are key aspect in the shopping list.
- Cauliflower- This is a big one for your plant based diet. Can be a burger, main dish potential for everything, soups, hot breakfast (similar to cream of wheat or grits). Your most versatile Vegetable
- Okra- roasted, baked, can be made into interesting soup
- Eggplant Varieties, can be used in any dish main or side, cooked
- Squash Varieties- can be used to cook items inside, main dish, soups, stews
- Carrot- great versatile side dish chopped up, addition to anything, cooked whole as main
- Potato Varieties/ Kohlrabi, good for baking, side dish, addition to main, soups, tacos, burritos, fritters
- Peppers Varieties- Great addition to main or side dishes can be stuffed for main meals, add spicy element to anything.
- Corn- Great addition to main dish or side dish, soup, chowder
- Green Beans- Good side dish or addition to main,
- Asparagus- Great main dish, good for snack, bake, saute, steam
With most cooking is seen as a necessity however, in plant based cooking it is more important. In order to get that crisp browning when cooking in a pan without burning oil will be the key.
Oil is also used for topping to salads and vinaigrette and sauces for other meals. Keep that all in my when you are deciding what oil is best of you.
- Coconut Oil/ Coconut Butter- This is generally my number one go to in most cooking as I typically like sweet undertones on my food and the coconut oil will give you that (Adds and element of flavor)
- Avocado Oil- another favorite for high temperature cooking. Has a high smoke point and adds good fats. Can also be used for dressings and such. (Adds and element of flavor)
- Sesame Oil- I use for low temp cooking. It adds a nutty flavor that I like. I also use for sauces and dressings (Adds an element of flavor)
- Canola Oil- Use for just about any cooking when I don’t want any taste added at all. Very versatile cooking wise.
- Peanut Oil- I use for pan frying items has a small nutty quality.
These are all high in protein and great as a main course, side dish, a dip, or addition to anything. I use these for the majority of my protein intake daily and they generally give me anywhere between 100-150 grams daily if I am working out, much less when I am not as I don’t need to eat much.
- Split Yellow Pea
- Black Bean
- Red Kidney Bean
- Red/Yellow/Green Lentils
- Navy Bean
- Navy Bean
- Great Northern Bean
- Green Peas
These have decent protein and help the body feel full after eating. You want more of everything else in comparison to grains on your plate with the only exception being oatmeal of any form for breakfast. These can all be an addition to a main dish or a main dish themselves. With variety of side dish potential
- Oatmeal Variations
- Brown Rice
- Wild Rice
- Wheat Berry
Now for the List
The above were listed to give you a decent idea of some variations I use and how they are used in your meals so you understand why they are on the list and if necessary you can substitute them for other items you find in your grocery store/ farmers market for items that are similar in nature and purpose.
These are going to encompass the majority your plant based diet grocery list with the final additions being nut milk, nut butter, nuts/seeds, plant based meats, snacks. These items are optional and you can pick and choose whether you want them or not.
Also, keep in mind the sizes that I am suggesting that you get them in is just a reference point. Use them as a base and add based on who else you are feeding, how much they eat etc and how many trips to the grocery store you want to take.
- 5 lbs Brown Rice
- 3 lbs Steel cut Oatmeal
- 2 lbs Quinoa
- 2 lbs Amaranth
- 4 lbs Split Yellow Pea
- 4 lbs Adzuki
- 2 lbs Lentils
- 2 lbs Navy Bean
Vegetables (See List)
- Bunch of Spinach
- Bunch of Romaine
- Bunch of Mustard Greens
- 2 Bunches of Kale
- Head of Cauliflower
- Head of Cabbage
- 1 lb of peppers (mild)
- 1/4 lb peppers (spicy)
- 5 lbs Potatoes (red or white)
- 5lbs Sweet Potatoes
- 2lbs Carrots
- Bunch Asparagus
- Bunch of Sprouts
- Frozen Bag Mangoes
- Frozen Bag of Berries
- 2 lbs Oranges
- 4 lbs Bananas
- 1 lb Lime
- 2 lbs Avocados
- 2 lbs Tomatoes
- 2 lbs Apples
- Package of Jack fruit (marinated)
- 1 Mexican Papaya
Oil (As needed)
- 1 lb Coconut Oil
- 16 oz Canola
- 10-12 oz Sesame
- 10-12 oz Avocado
Optional (See List)
- 1 lb Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 lb Chia Seeds
- 2 lb Flax Seeds
- 1/4 lb Sesame Seeds
- 2 64 fl oz (Nut/Soy/Rice Milk)
- Jar if Nut Butter
- Loaf of Bread (7 seed, whole grain etc)
- 1/2 lb Vegan Cheese
- 4 Plant based meat patties
- 4-8 Plant based meat sausages
- 1 Container Coconut or nut milk Based (Nice Cream)
- 2 bags Natural Chips
- 2 boxes Natural Cereal
- 1 box Vegan Cookies
Get your necessities first. Make sure you know how often you are planning on going shopping and adjust the list accordingly.
If you only plan ongoing one a month for instance, make sure you increase the amount of grains, beans/ legumes etc and make sure to get frozen fruit and vegetables as well as fresh or make sure you get produce in enough bulk to prepare and freeze items for later in the month.
The key to this list is being able to interchange, like items for others based on seasonal availability and preference. I try and make a point to make my lists and information as universal as possible.
Let me know what you think below.
As Always, It was a pleasure.
Stan -Founder My Asparagus Tips