Keeping your kitchen cupboard well stocked means you can always have the basics of a good, nutritious meal at hand. Here are basic items for anyone who wants to start a plant based diet, or anyone who is looking to replace processed foods with natural staples. Either way, you will find these essentials can cover a huge variety of recipes, and also wholesomely serve to satisfy cravings when you leave your old diet behind.

Dried or canned chickpeas are perfect as they will keep for a long time in your kitchen cupboard. You can use chickpeas to make a hummus dip or use it for dinner in a stew. Need more inspiration? Check out our favorite chickpea recipes here. Planning and prepping your meal using dried chickpeas instead of canned adds an extra healthy touch to your diet.

Jarred Tomatoes
Jarred tomatoes are perfect bases for your sauces, soups, and stir-fries. Save yourself the hassle of buying fresh tomatoes and having to use them up during their short shelf-life, and buy jarred tomatoes instead. Always opt for jarred tomatoes over tinned/canned ones; since tomatoes are acidic storing them in tinned containers increases the rate of BPA which can leach out of the tin and enter your food.

Lentils need not just be for your koshary (although we love some healthy Koshary). Having them regularly in the stock means you can use them as an excellent source of plant based iron, protein, and fiber. Use lentils to whip up some soup, add to your salads for an extra protein punch, or even use ground up lentils as an alternative to traditional flour in desserts!

A simple change like getting rid of refined breakfast cereal and substituting it with rolled oats can have profound effects on your health. For reference, 1 cup of oatmeal contains 0.5g of sugar, while 1 cup of cornflakes can contain up to 11g of sugar.  Oats can also be used to make energy balls, homemade granola, or even a face mask!

Having avocado will make getting over cheese and various sandwich spreads easier because it’s so easy to incorporate, satisfy’s the body’s needs for good fats and tastes amazing too. Add avocado to salads and for creaminess in salad dressings. Avocado’s should be tender to the touch before using, and also keep the pit in place if you will store half to be used later.

Raw Nuts
Whatever your favorite nuts are, you should always have a stack of them tucked away somewhere in your kitchen. Raw nuts can be enjoyed on their own, added to stir-fries, or added to yoghurt for a light but filling snack. If you have a food processor, you can use them to make your own fresh and preservative free nut butters too.

Tahini serves your body with a very easily absorbable source of calcium, omega-3, and protein. These are all nutrients that your body needs in abundance, and by eating tahini you can achieve a very concentrated source of nutrients just by eating a little of it. Make a tahini dip to have next to your meal, or add a tablespoon to your salad dressings. However, be mindful about portions as just one tablespoon of tahini contains 90 calories.

Wholewheat Pasta
At TDC we don’t believe in demonizing specific foods; good quality, wholewheat pasta has room in any healthy foodie’s diet. Get some inspiration from these healthy pasta dishes, stock your kitchen pantry up with wholewheat varieties, and start nourishing yourself and your family with some comforting pasta.

Raw Cacao
We know what it’s like when the sweet tooth hits, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t satisfy it. Raw cacao powder can be used when making hot drinks or added to smoothies, sprinkled over fruit, added to peanut butter or for making date pops. This type of chocolate is the purest form you can find and is just as diverse, if not more so, as conventional chocolate.