It’s not nearly as complicated as you’d think! These are my kitchen staples that I buy weekly, though I do add additional fruits and veggies when they’re in season. This may look like a lot of food, but I go through it quickly because I’d rather prepare food for myself than eat at a restaurant any day. Now you can see what healthy vegans really eat! Remember: always buy certified organic!
“How to Truly Shop Organic”
1. Fuji and Granny Smith apples: I like to eat Fuji apples alone or with a bit of nut butter (almond, cashew, or peanut) and use Granny Smith apples for making juices and smoothies. The bitterness in the green Granny Smith apples is a great balance in juices and smoothies. An apple wakes you up better than a cup of coffee or caffeinated tea!
2. Almond milk: This is a staple in my fridge. Though I enjoy making my own nut milks from scratch, I buy fresh organic almond milk from the store as well as back-up since I use it for baking, too.
3. Berries: I either buy frozen or fresh depending on how often I’ll be home. If I’m leaving town for a weekend and know that I won’t finish them all in time, I’ll buy a bag of frozen mixed berries. Blueberries are my fave!
4. Bananas: A banana a day keeps the doctor away! They fill you up and provide plenty of potassium and fiber.
5. Basil: I miss the days when I grew my own fresh basil back in LA, but I still use it in many of my dishes for home and work.
6. Cucumber: I use cucumber in many juices and smoothies as well as water. I love making my own “spa water” to encourage myself to drink more water and keep it “exciting.” Did I seriously just call water “exciting”? Whatever, we all need lots of it!
7. Mint: Mint is a must! I use it in some salads, juices, smoothies, and I’ll even add a leaf or two to my tea and water.
9. Spinach: I consume at least 3 cups of spinach a day, whether its in a salad, juice or smoothie. It’s so easy to mix spinach because of the mild flavor, and it makes me feel strong like Popeye!
10. Kale: I make many massaged kale salads and add it to juices and smoothies. I find kale to work great for many of my dishes because the bitterness mixes with other strong flavors well. When it comes to nutritional value in veggies, the darker the green, the healthier it is, so eat your greens!
11. Coconut water: Though I wish that I could break my own coconuts at home, my neighbors would hate me, so I buy bottled coconut water weekly. Harmless Harvest is one of my fave brands, they’re originally from Brooklyn and total sweethearts, we like to trade products at health conventions (I’m with Mushroom Matrix). I drink it alone or add it to smoothies.
12. Chocolate bar: You heard that right! If you buy ONE chocolate bar, you can break off a piece each night for a treat. Sometimes I’ll bake my guilt-free cookies or make one of my nice creams, but I always have a chocolate bar in my fridge. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth; real, pure, raw cacao is all I need to get my “fix”! I’m a big fan of NibMor chocolate, I met the owners at a health convention and we realized that we had all attended nutrition school together. Their vegan hot cocoa mixes are delicious as well!
13. Carrots: I love munching on carrots coated in one of my Niki’s Dips hummuses or blended into a delicious carrot juice. I also make a killer carrot-ginger dressing that pairs perfectly with Asian-inspired salads.
14. Celery: Celery is a great diuretic, and you can easily sneak it into many juices and smoothies. I love eating it with nut butter, one of my dips, and adding it to salads and other veggie dishes as well for that extra crunch.
15. Quinoa or brown rice: I like to make a batch of quinoa or brown rice at the beginning of the week and eat a little a day, whether it’s tossed into salads or eaten with one of my savory sauces.
16. Zucchini: I make zucchini pasta at least twice a week, whether it’s with my beloved tomato sauce or pesto. I won’t share those recipes, but Niki’s Dips (and sauces) are now available for purchase if you’re a fellow New Yorker!
18. Niki’s Dips ingredients: I’ll never tell!
19. Gluten-free rolled oats: Usually I don’t need to buy these weekly, but I’ll add them to the list anyways!
20. Raw cacao nibs: Full of flavor and antioxidants, I buy a bag of these almost every week to add to smoothies, oatmeal, and other goodies.
21. Black beans: Filling and loaded with protein, I either buy bags and soak them at home or if I’m in a hurry or being lazy, I’ll buy cans and rise them thoroughly. I’ll toss them into a salad or eat half a cup mixed with veggies and hot sauce – easy and filling!
22. E3Live: I buy this every week or two depending on how often I take it (I keep it frozen). I try to get my fix at least once a day, I’m a huge fan!
23. Garlic: I’m pretty heavy-handed with garlic in most of my dishes, and I have yet to receive a complaint for that, so I buy plenty on a weekly basis. Not only does it add plenty of flavor, but it helps kill the bad bacteria in your body as well. Stinky breath? So what, its worth it! You should be brushing your teeth regularly and keeping mints on hand anyway!
24. Onions: I usually use red and white onions.
25. Almonds: I buy almonds almost weekly (unless I’ve already bought them in bulk). I eat them plain and raw, make almond milk, add them to dishes, or make almond butter.
26. Walnuts: I use them almost exactly like almonds, but walnuts are loaded with omega-3s, so they’re a must for everyone’s pantry!
27. Cashews: I make cashew cheeze for myself and for clients. Cashews are great for cooking, baking, and making nice cream because they’re the fattiest nut (healthy fat, but still… don’t overdo it!).
28. Dates: I like to add a few to a post-workout smoothie, desserts, or plain as a filling snack. Naturally sweet, full of fiber, and delicious!
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