There are lots of wellness advocates/plant-based-recipe peeps that don’t buy any packaged goods and products. They make all of their own nut butters, milks, and breads. Their cabinets basically look like the bulk section of the grocery store and are perfectly lined with really pretty jars of all sorts of things…quinoa, berries they dried themselves, groats, and oats (or oat groats). It’s actually so incredible that sometimes I get a little envious.
I also have lots of jars and bottles of dried beans and things. But you’ll also find some cans, boxes, and jars that have seals that pop when you open them (and an expiration date, too). I work really hard to feed myself whole, plant-based foods that I make all myself, but I’m for sure not perfect. And sometimes, convenience is just nice.
So here’s a roundup of 8 products that are always stocked in my house – that I don’t make from scratch and don’t plan to any time soon. Making your own almond milk is awesome, but I’ve never really enjoyed cleaning out the nut bag at the end. And I know I could make my own veggie burgers, but most days I just don’t want to.
Take a look at this list and let me know some of your favorites too!
All of these products are plant-based, dairy + gluten-free, and no one paid me to promote them. They’re just my favorites.
On the top:
1. Hilary’s Veggie Burgers
I contemplated contacting Hilary’s to see if they would ship me these things in bulk, because we go through a ton of them in our house. It’s my baby Sid’s most favorite food, and he has one almost every day for lunch. The greatest thing about these burgers is the ingredient list. It’s ALL REAL FOOD. No soy fillers or additives or fakey stuff. Just plants. All of the different burgers are great, but I’d have to say my favorite is Hemp + Greens. I love it on top of a salad.
2. Tessemae’s Dressings + Marinades + Dips
I love this brand. Unlike most ingredient lists on dressings and dips, Tessemae’s are short + sweet, not full of weird oils and sugars. All of their dressings are gluten, dairy, and sugar-free PLUS paleo, vegan, and kosher. They’ve got it all covered. I love the Buffalo simmered with some jackfruit and turned into tacos or on cauliflower to do the whole buffalo-cauliflower thing. And all of the other flavors are great too.
3. Kite Hill Chive Cream Cheese
This cream cheese actually tastes like real cream cheese and not a bad vegan knock-off. It’s exclusive to Whole Foods, which can make it hard to find. But when you find it, get over the price tag and get a few tubs of it. You won’t regret it. And their soft-ripened cheese tastes exactly like brie. I have no idea how they’re doing this.
4. Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas
These things are my go-to when “lunch panic” hits. You know the feeling. When you suddenly realize it’s 1:00pm and you still haven’t eaten lunch yet and your tummy is grumbling and you’re starting to fade – but you’re also too “busy” to even make something. When this happens, I usually grab one of these tortillas, load it up with a spread and a ton of veggies, avocado, and hot sauce. And now…I’m about to go do that right now. BRB.
5. Califia Farms Almond Milk
Whenever I buy this, I can’t not think of this guy. We call it Wiz Califia Milk in our house. I don’t love making my own nut milks. And frankly, when you have a house full of people that drink smoothies on the daily, love big bowls of O’s (see below), and eat a lot of mashed potatoes…that can add up to a lot of almond milk to make every week. So, Califia is our go-to. And I’m not a coffee drinker, but if you are, they also have a whole slew of products to make you happy.
6. Barbara’s Honest O’s
Here’s a little game to play the next time you’re at the grocery store. Start picking up boxes of cereal, reading the labels, and looking for ones that doesn’t have added sugar. You’ll find about two. And Barbara’s Honest O’s is one of them. Sid loves these O’s, and we’ve always got a few boxes on hand.
7. Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta
I’ve tried a ton of gluten-free pastas and this is the best. That’s it.
8. Rao’s Marinara Sauce
Just like the cereal test, it’s pretty hard to find a jarred spaghetti sauce that doesn’t add sugar or soy additives. Not only does Rao’s not do this, but it also happens to be the best sauce I’ve ever tasted. It’s a little pricey – but less expensive than buying all the ingredients it would take to make a sauce this great.
Check out all my other favorite pantry basics right here.