Whole Food Plant Based Core Cooking Ingredient tips

Ok, are you ready for this? I am going to give you most of my secrets for creating amazing tasting vegan food. I will give it to you in list form first because these are the things you should have in your pantry so that you can also create great tasting vegan food!

Onion powder, smoked paprika, Braggs liquid amino acids, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt free tomato paste, medjool dates, Rancho Gordo beans, nutritional yeast, raw-unsalted cashews and non-alkalized and black cocoa powder.

Now, I will explain the reason for each and where you can obtain them!

The onion powder I use is by Frontier but you can buy it through Amazon. It comes in a 160z bag. It is far superior to the little jars you can buy at the supermarket and gives dishes a great flavor.

Smoked paprika is something I stumbled upon when we lived in New Zealand. I had never heard of it before but decided to try it on the advice from a friend. I have been using it religiously ever since. It is great to use in bean dishes or dishes that would normally have meat in them. It can give just about any dish a smoky depth. mmmm.  You can get this in just about any supermarket now.

Braggs liquid amino acids is an essential ingredient that I used very regularly. It is a replacement for salt. The reason I feel like it is Ok to use is that it only has 320 ml of sodium vs 2300 ml of sodium in table salt. It is also derived from vegetables. Many supermarkets now cary it but if you can’t find it there, you can find it at a health food store like Whole Foods.

White wine vinegar and Balsamic vinegar are a must for any kitchen. These vinegars have a depth of flavor that you just can’t get from white vinegar. I use both regularly to make salad dressings. You can find one of my recipes in Vegan Kale Salad.

Salt free tomato paste adds a rich tomato flavor to any soup or sauce. Sometimes when you make a sauce and it just “needs a little something” , sometimes a little glob of tomato paste is all you need to give it a punch of flavor. Make sure that it is salt free so you don’t add unnecessary sodium to your dish.

Medjool dates. I choose to use medjool dates instead of normal dates because they are so much creamier and have a caramel flavor that is irresistible. I also find that they are much sweeter than your average date.

Rancho Gordo beans are the most delicious beans I have found. They carry many species of beans that you cannot find for sale anywhere else in the world. This is what the company specializes in. If you have a moment, you really should read about this company. It is amazing what they are doing for the world! Once you try their beans you will never go back to the conventional beans you find in the supermarket. They have a depth of flavor that I have never tasted before!

Nutritional Yeast is another vegan cooking staple ingredient. It has a rich, almost cheesy flavor. It is a versatile powder that you can add to sauces to give it a “cheesy” flavor or sprinkle it on your popped corn instead of butter. I use it in many of my recipes to give a dish a richer flavor. It is from Frontier but I buy it from iHerb in 160z bags.

Raw, unsalted cashews are also a must for your pantry. They are the base for all of my salad dressings and creamy sauces like Alfredo. I also use them to make cheesecake like my Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake. The alfredo recipe is soon to be one of my next shows.

Non-alkalized cocoa powder is something Dr. Fuhrman suggests in his book Eat to Live. It is much less processed and has 50% more of the alkaloids that are good for you. Black cocoa powder is a dark cocoa powder that tastes kind of like ground up oreo cookies. They can both be purchased through iHerb I 160z bags.

The ingredients that I have listed from iHerb are actually from a company called Frontier. I have a wholesale account with them which allows me to get an even better deal!

Essential appliances I would suggest are a high powered blender and a pressure cooker.  We use our Blendtec  blender every day sometime five or six times a day. I would say it is the most important appliance in our kitchen. A pressure cooker is another great appliance. I use it to cook my Rancho Gordo beans! We eat a lot of beans in family. Cooking beans the traditional way takes quite a few hours so I use a pressure cooker to save time. My pressure cooker is made by Fagor.

25 thoughts on “Whole Food Plant Based Core Cooking Ingredient tips”

  1. Hi Jill,

    I am really enjoying your videos! You are doing a great job. Your delivery is very informative, simple and sincere. As a raw vegan – Life Food Coach – it is nice to come across simple recipes to follow. Sending you love, peace and light.

    Shelbee Williams

  2. Jillian Minor

    Thank you for keeping things simple I am soaking my beans tonight and have my slow cooker on the counter ready for tomorrow so when I get home im can have a meal ready.
    I can’t wait to try the pizza

  3. Hi jill,

    I just want to say thank you so much for all the hard work and with sharing all of you knowledge about this plant base lifestyle.you are wonderful
    And because of you i really want to live this way. Thxs you for everything
    God Bless! J.W.

  4. I’ve just discovered your You Tube videos and have enjoyed them. I have been a vegetarian for 3 years and have decided to take things to the next level in 2018 with a completely plant based diet. I live in eastern NC and travel to the Triangle a couple of times a month. What are your favorite restaurants in the area that cater to the plant based lifestyle?

    1. Hello Beverly, there is the Fiction Kitchen and the Living Kitchen for healthy Plant Based food and Remedy Diner for Vegan comfort food in Raleigh. Sasool also has some descent vegan food. This area lacks in the vegan choices but these restaurants should get you through?

  5. I love your videos and your natural, easy-going way of presenting — you always make me smile! I’m trying many of your recipes and using a LOT of dates. Do you by them in bulk at a certain place? Thanks for giving us so many delicious dishes!

  6. I wish I had a bulk date source to share. Unfortunately the only bulk ones that I found that were semi-affordable had a lot of moldy dates. I tested it several times to make sure. I buy mine now at Trader Joe’s. They are the best price I have found so far.

    1. Lately I have been getting them from Trader Joes because they have the best price and yes, they are dried. =)

  7. Hello! Thank you for this wonderful pantry list. We are just starting this journey. I am really enjoying all of the recipes you have posted and so appreciate your site. I am wondering which brand of non-alkalized cocoa powder you recommend. I am at the iHerb website but I am not finding non-alkalized cocoa when I type it into the search bar. Thanks for any help you can provide.

    1. You’re welcome ? The cocoa powder I used to get from IHerb, they no longer sell but now I buy Anthony’s Organic Cocoa from Amazon.

  8. I just saw the post in the comments stating that non-alkalized cocoa powder isn’t offered anymore at iHerb. 🙁

  9. Hi Jill…thanks for all you do! I thoroughly enjoy your informative videos!

    The blog post says Frontier nutritional yeast from iHerb but the link takes you to amazon for Sari Foods nutritional yeast. This is probably a good thing since the Frontier NY appears to be fortified. What’s your opinion on fortified NY?

    1. That is an older video and I have since changed to the Sari brand because it is not fortified. Dr Fuhrman says that the nutrients that are usually added to nutritional yeast are actually harmful. The folic acid in particular. =)

  10. WFPB is great. Organic WFPB is even better. We need to rattle Rancho Gordo’s cage to motivate them to get with it and offer some healthy organic beans. They appear to be a little lazy.

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