Boy oh boy am I all thrown off after having Monday off from work and the blog. Mark and I went one of his favorite places on earth: IKEA. I love looking at the kitchen gear, and Mark loves looking at…pretty much everything else. It’s super fun to just go there and mozy along the furniture-filled maze that is an IKEA store.
After we spent a good 2 hours at IKEA, we drove to one of my favorite places on earth: Trader Joe’s.
To be honest, we usually go to Trader Joe’s without a grocery list because, with the exception of whatever I’m making for the blog that week, I’m a pretty predictable eater. I always have the same breakfast, snack, and dinner essentials on hand because I know they’re going to be delicious, healthy, and satisfying.
So am I a boring grocery shopper? Perhaps. But at least I know my pantry will be filled with my favorite ingredients for whenever a craving or a quick meal situation may arise. And, let’s be serious, I’m always in need of a quick meal or snack in the summertime because there are so many other things I’d rather do with my time (aka. relax in the sun).
Thus a list of my favorite vegan summer pantry staples was born. I’m really curious to hear what you’re packing away in your panty this summer, so be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments!
Is this a surprise? It shouldn’t be. I love oats SO very much. Even when it’s 95 degrees outside, I will eat a piping hot bowl of oats in the morning. It’s just not morning without my oats, you know?
And although I love consuming them for breakfast, I count on oats on so many things in the summer from baked goods to granolas to no-bake treats. Cannot survive without my oats.
It’s a good thing I found Mark because he is totally my popcorn equal. We both go CRAZY for air-popped popcorn. Like, insane. We make it at least once a week (although there was a time where we were making it every day, multiple times a day).
Now, we’ll usually reserve it for our Game of Thrones snack Sunday nights, but it’s such a healthy and delicious snack for whenever. When I’m snack-hungry, I’m always craving something crunchy. Popcorn to the rescue!
I buy the organic kernels at Trader Joe’s for something like $1.99. <– A steal!
#3: Canned Beans
If you follow me on Snapchat (@fooduzzi), you’ll know how much we have some sort of combination of rice and beans during the week. AND how much I’m in love with these Fat-Free Refried Beans from Trader Joe’s!! SO good.
Beans are a simple and quick way to add some protein and fiber to my diet, so I always keep a big stash of them in our pantry. On top of salads, in dips, paired with chips…I love ’em.
They’re also completely and totally necessary to fuel my full-on obsession with all-things Mexican food.
A MUST. I’m a big fan of brown rice, but Mark really prefers white jasmine. Any one you choose is going to be a good way to add some bulk to your meal. I’ve been really loving it with some salt and pepper, a big spoonful of hummus, and a squirt (or two) of Sriracha mixed in. My. Fav.
And, depending on which variety you decide to pick up at the store, you can have dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes!
I’ll take that all dang day.
Is there anything better than munching on salty chips and spicy salsa in the height of summer?
Nope. No there is not.
We are HUGE salsa fans; we have it in our pantry and fridge all.the.time. Again, it’s to keep up with our Mexican food addiction, but it really is a great way of brightening up and adding freshness to any dish. I even dip my roasted veggies in it sometimes! And Mark’s dad makes the stuff, so we’re usually swimming in it by the end of the summer. #thelife
#6: Coconut Oil
Ah, the wünder-oil!
I have this in the kitchen for so many different uses in the summer: cooking literally everything (like that stovetop popcorn I was talking about), for soothing sunburn, for unchapping chapped lips, for a moisturizing dry skin… the list goes on.
You can get jars of it from Trader Joe’s or, if you’re feeling like a food blogger, you can purchase this GIGANTIC 84 FL OZ CONTAINER from Costco. Just another reason why I love Costco so much.
#7: Green Tea
After I studied abroad in Italy, I quickly had to ween myself off of my coffee and caffeine addiction because, after having it multiple times a day every day while I was there, my heart would start to race when I drank it. So while I couldn’t drink coffee anymore, I seriously missed having something warm and comforting first thing in the morning.
Enter: Green Tea
I have a
mild total obsession with this green tea from Costco. In the mornings I’ll have it with a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a dash of turmeric, and in the afternoons I’ll have it iced. It’s a mix of matcha and sencha, and it tastes so much sweeter and fuller than all of the other green teas I’ve ever had!
I have dates in the pantry year-around because they’re SO helpful with vegan and refined sugar-free cooking. They’re sticky, caramely, and oh-so divine. They’re perfect for granola bars, snacks, and sweetening up pretty much anything they touch; they’re quite the miracle fruit!
And although I love cooking with them, you will definitely find me snacking on them with a smear of peanut butter in the middle from time-to-time. Because they’re higher in (natural) sugar, they always give me that (natural) boost of energy I so-often need at 3 PM on a Friday.
#9: Peanut Butter
Of course, like most days, I’m going to end on a nut butter note. I am peanut butter-obsessive, so I am constantly dipping, swirling, dunking, and scooping the stuff in many of the recipes you see here on Fooduzzi.
Not only do I love the taste, but I’m a huge fan of the fact that it’s a source of healthy fats and protein. I’m quickly becoming a part of #teamhealthyfats because they quickly fill me up and leave my ever-growing hunger satisfied.
And while I love it in desserts, dinners, and snacks, my all-time favorite way to enjoy this stuff is au naturale – aka. on a spoon.
You should try it in: Easy Peanut Butter Cup Tart and Sweet Potato Pancakes with Peanut Butter Maple Syrup and Peanut Butter Stuffed Cookies with Fudge Sauce and Thai Peanut Hummus
So what do you like to keep handy during the busy summer months?! I’m always looking for ways to add to my repertoire!
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