If you’re already vegan or vegetarian, you’ll know being stocked up on your favourite trusty vegan ingredients makes life much easier (and more delicious). 

However, if you’re new to the game it can be a bit daunting to know what to cook and what add to your shopping list. 

Plus, it’s all the more confusing when supermarket aisles are bursting with branded vegan products, which are often expensive and highly processed.

If you’re already vegan or vegetarian, you’ll know being stocked up on your favourite trusty vegan ingredients makes life much easier (and more delicious). 

However, if you’re new to the game it can be a bit daunting to know what to cook and what add to your shopping list. 

Plus, it’s all the more confusing when supermarket aisles are bursting with branded vegan products, which are often expensive and highly processed. 

Likewise, you’ll find yourself in a similar quandary if you’re simply trying to eat more veg and cut down on meat, like a growing number of the population.

In fact, as well as a rise in the number of vegans and veggies, a 2021 report found 16% of Irish people stick to a ‘flexitarian’ diet. This sounds pretty extreme, but it’s simply a health focused plant-leaning food lifestyle that occasionally includes meat or fish.

Whatever you want to call it, eating less meat and dairy doesn’t mean that you need to go down the route of highly processed vegan replacements. 

Instead, with a couple of whole-food vegan ingredients you can make affordable, healthy and delicious meals in a jiffy. Read on for our guide to what vital vegan cooking essentials you need to stock your kitchen with. 

Dive into the world of grains and pulses, investigate tofu and tempeh, experiment with chia seeds or get involved with miso paste. These ingredients will add protein, texture, and flavour to whatever you’re cooking – we promise you won’t miss cheese!

10 Essential Vegan Ingredients: Vegan Cooking Staples To Stock Up On

1. Nuts

Any self respecting vegan is never without a stash of nuts in their bag. However, nuts are much more than a healthy, tasty snack. Nuts are also extremely versatile as vegan ingredients for both cooking and baking. 

For example, you can toss toasted almonds into salads, turn pine nuts into pesto, or use them to make nut milk or butter. Cashews are also great for making vegan desserts, creamy sauces and even vegan ‘cheese’.

Of course, they’re also pretty exceptional for your health too. 

2. Vegan Milk

Milk is a staple ingredient for cooking, so it makes sense to sub in a plant based alternative. From oat and almond, to the more obscure cashew and hemp, each variety has its own strengths. While oat is great in coffee, for example, you might also stock up on coconut for smoothies and curries.

To help you choose among the many non-dairy ‘mylks’ available, we’ve created a guide to the best vegan milk alternatives (*link*). It includes all the need to know facts on taste, nutrition, and (for all you coffee lovers) foaming ability. 

3. Beans & Lentils

Dried or canned, beans and lentils are endlessly versatile as vegan ingredients for all types of meals, plus they are nutritional powerhouses too. If you’ve a tin of one or some of the many varieties in your pantry you open yourself up to a world of culinary possibilities. 

Beans and lentils add heartiness and depth to pretty much any dish, from salads and soups to pasta and pilafs. You can make endless varieties of hummus using any bean too. What’s more, you use leftover bean juice as an egg replacer. Try whipping up chickpea water (aquafaba) into meringue if you don’t believe us!

4. Tofu or Tempeh

Tofu and the lesser known tempeh are both made from soy beans and brilliant sources of vegan protein. Eaten plain they are pretty bland, however, they are sponges for flavour. Keep a block of either in your fridge or freezer, ready to marinade and season how you wish, then bake or fry, add to curries, stir fries, sandwiches and salads. 

You can even crumble and cook tofu or tempeh like mince meat. It’s a delicious addition to any salad or buddha bowl, and can be used as an alternative to taco meat. And while extra firm tofu is best for baking and drying, vacuum-packed silken tofu can also be used to blend into dressings and puddings.

5. Grains

Get to know your grains and you’ll add a whole other layer to your cooking. Using a variety of grains boosts nutrition, texture, flavour, and makes vegan cooking more interesting. 

There’s a vast array to explore and choose from. Keep your pantry stocked with the likes of brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, spelt, farro, millet, and bulgur. Add to soups, salads and strews, or simply serve on the side of a dish. Many can be blitz in a food processor into flours for baking too. 

6. Dried Herbs & Spices

Make friends with your spice rack and you’ll never have a bland meal every again. A dash here and there can instantly bring ingredients to life, transform the flavour profile of a dish, and transport you to a different part of the world. Try cumin and paprika in hearty Moroccan themed stews, or turmeric and coriander for Indian-inspired curries. 

And it’s not only savoury dishes that can benefit from a little spice. Cinnamon, vanilla, and cardamom are among the spices you can use to enliven your baking. Even a touch of freshly cracked black pepper elevates the natural flavour of fresh strawberries. 

7. Nutritional Yeast

Although you may have never heard of nutritional yeast, its one of the vegan ingredients that deserves the most praise. It looks and sounds a little funky, but once you try it you won’t ever want to be without it. 

Nutritional yeast, affectionately known as nooch or hippy dust, is deactivated brewer’s yeast. These yellow flakes have a yeasty, almost cheesy, flavour that adds oomph to basically any savoury dish. Try it sprinkled into soups, stews and sauces, or on avo toast, potatoes and popcorn. 

What’s more, nutritional yeast is often found fortified with vitamin B12, a vitamin vegan diets are often lacking in.

8. Miso Paste

Miso paste is a versatile Japanese seasoning made from fermented soy beans. It’s loaded with the fifth taste, umami (think deep savouriness), and a little of this can go a long way to boosting flavour. Miso is also a great source of antioxidants, dietary fibre and protein.

You’ll find lots of varieties; dark, light, brown rice, white – each has a different depth of flavour. Use it to make miso soup, as dressings for salad, glazes for vegetables and tofu. And you haven’t lived until you’ve tried miso roast potatoes. 

9. Chia or Flax Seeds

Chia and flax seeds are both exceptionally high in fibre, omega-3s, proteins, and heart healthy fats. In fact, they’ve so much fibre that they tend to become sticky when mixed with water. This helps slow down your digestion and increase feelings of fullness. What’s more, this trait has culinary benefits. When combined with a little bit of water, fax or chia seeds also work as an egg substitute in baking.

There are endless other ways you can incorporate them in cooking and baking too. Try simply stirring into porridge, mixed into smoothies, and baked into breads and muffins. 

10. Tahini

Just like peanut butter is made from blended peanuts, tahini is a ‘butter’ made from blended sesame seeds. It has a mid, subtle flavour and is rich in minerals, protein, vitamin E, and B vitamins. 

Hailing from the Middle East, it’s traditionally used in hummus, sauces and with falafel. However, tahini is endlessly adaptable. Try on fresh fruit for a snack, spread on bread just like butter, use in baking, or blend into sauces for a creamy finish. Try mixing with miso paste, lemon juice and garlic, and drizzled over steamed vegetables, tofu, or tempeh. 

Anything else I need to add to my basket?

For sure, a plant based diet can be a wholly nutritious one, but even the best planned vegan diet can fall short of meeting certain nutrient requirements.

To help you ensure you’re ticking all the boxes, we’ve put together a guide to the top recommended vegan supplements (*link*). If you’re committed to eating a plant based diet these might be worth adding to your shopping list. 

A final note, when making any major change to your diet it’s always wise to first speak to your doctor, who can offer tailored advice about which vegan supplements you might need to consider.


DO YOU NEED A jade roller? EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE face sculpting skincare tool

It seems the jade roller wheeled its way into the general public’s consciousness only around 2017. The ancient skin smoothing and soothing tool caused a sharp spike on Pinterest that year, with researchers reporting that ‘derma roller’ pins saw a massive 345% jump in saves.

The chatter online steadily got louder. The beauty column inches racked up and influencer affiliate sales cashed in. Its roll out into the mainstream skincare lexicon spurred on by a slew of celebrities, Victoria Beckham among them, crediting their impossibly taut jawlines to the use of a jade roller. 

Read Article

How to Sleep Better: 7 Tips For a Good Night’s Sleep

While seemingly effortless and utterly essential, sleep comes wrapped up in a thick duvet of complexity and contradictions. It’s completely free, yet at the same time priceless; constantly available, but for some achingly unattainable; deeply healing, yet a lack of it causes spiralling suffering. 

In recent years, cracking the complex code to better sleep has become a status symbol. It’s almost cool to admit to going to bed early and getting 8 hours sleep every night. But for far too long sleep wasn’t given the kudos it deserved. 

Read Article

FROM AHA TO ZINC: YOUR a-z skincare ingredient GUIDE

Knowledge is power and knowing one skincare ingredient from another can make deciphering what you need a whole lot easier.

Use this A-Z dictionary as a guide to some of the most efficacious and commonplace skincare ingredients out there. Once you’re up to speed, you can figure what works best for your specific skin type and plot your routine accordingly. 

Be warned, packaging and marketing can be misleading. So cut through the jargon and check the ‘inkey list,’ the ingredients list on the back of the back. The higher your desired skincare ingredient is up the list, the higher percentage of it in the product. 

Read Article


There’s no escaping that as you age, your skin changes, and to keep it in tip top shape your skincare routine needs to step up a notch. While there’s no magic elixir in a bottle for perfect skin (sadly!), retinol come pretty close.

Retinoids (the umbrella term for retinol treatments, more on that below), are heralded as wonder products. You might have heard that they are incredibly good for skin, but also that they are somewhat tricky to use properly. 

The reality is that the transformative effects retinoids have on your skin are due to very potent formulations. These positive effects can come with some less appealing side effects too, when used without proper guidance.

Read Article
Meditation benefits

Meditation Benefits

MEDITATION BENEFITS: 9 Reasons You Should Meditate, According to Science

Most of us are aware of the benefits of meditation. You might have a vague awareness that it’s supposed to be good for stress and sleep. Maybe you’ve explored alleged meditation benefits a little further, reading somewhere it changes the structures of the brain.

Read Article
types of meditation

Types of Meditation


Body position, hand gestures, eyes open or shut aside, from the outside every meditator looks pretty much the same. Calm, peaceful, serene (or at least trying to be). But what’s happening on the inside varies dramatically. Not only is each individual’s meditation practice utterly unique – every single time they meditate – but they also could be following any one of a number of types of mediation.

Read Article