Building A Healthy Plant Source Grocery List in 2023

Building A Healthy Plant Source Grocery List in 2023


Image Source: Artem Beliaikin/Pexels

The vegan diet offers many coveted health benefits, including weight loss, improved heart and kidney function, and reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and certain cancers. However, you can't enjoy the health benefits of eating vegetarian by merely eliminating animal products from your diet.

A poorly planned Plant Source way of eating may cause a deficiency in essential nutrients such as proteins, vitamin B12 and D, iron, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids and contribute to chronic disease development.

A Faunalytics study of current and former vegetarians and vegans found that about 2% of the U.S population are vegans/vegetarians, and a whopping 84% of them abandon their diet in 3 months to less than a year. When asked, 32% of the former vegetarians/vegans cited dissatisfaction with food, 13% mentioned inconvenience, and 6% cost as the primary reason they stopped eating the diet.

If you transitioned to the plant source diet without proper planning and adequate information, you would find that you spend most of your time brooding on what to eat, only to end up loading up on a fruit or salad bowl, smoothie, overnight oats, or roasted vegetables. It is only a matter of time before you too subscribe to the school of thought that vegetarian food is bland, boring, stressful, or costly.

What you have in your pantry and fridge will end up on your plate, so it is not only you who needs to embrace vegetarianism. You need to stock your fridge and pantry with wholesome vegan foods that can satisfy your nutritional, calorie, and special dietary needs and even your cravings.

Not to worry! We have put together a grocery list for vegetarians on a budget, looking to experiment and have fun or that desire to cut down time spent on meal prep. If you wish to enjoy your plant source journey, get a pen and paper and jot down the foods you’d love to stock or try.

Building A Healthy Vegan Grocery List

You need vegetables to make salad bowls, Buddha bowls, smoothies and juices, sandwiches, soups, and even quick snacks like potato chips, yam fries, or kale chips. They can be boiled, stir-fried, baked, roasted, or eaten fresh.

Asides from the fact that vegetables are rich in fiber and can keep you feeling fuller for longer, they also contain water, vitamins, macronutrients, micronutrients, and antioxidants. They go well with almost any ingredient and can be used in many comfort foods.

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  1. Fresh vegetables
  1. Allium
  1. Chives
  2. Garlic
  3. Leeks
  4. Onions
  5. Scallions (spring onions)
  6. Shallots
  1. Cruciferous
  1. Brussel sprout
  2. Cabbage
  3. Cauliflower
  1. Edible plant stem
  1. Asparagus
  2. Celery
  3. Rhubarb
  1. Leafy greens
  1. Arugula
  2. Baby spinach
  3. Bok choy (Chinese chard)
  4. Collard greens
  5. Kale
  6. Lettuce
  7. Spinach
  8. Swiss chard
  1. Marrow (summer squash)
  1. Cucumber
  2. Field pumpkin
  3. Straight-neck  squash
  4. Zucchini
  1. Root vegetables
  1. Beets
  2. Carrots
  3. Fennel
  4. Ginger
  5. Kohlrabi
  6. Parsnip
  7. Radishes
  8. Sweet potatoes
  9. Turmeric
  10. Turnip
  11. Yam
  1. Avocado
  2. Bell peppers.
  3. Hot peppers (e.g., jalapeno, habanero, cayenne, scotch bonnet, etc.)
  4. Okra
  5. Mushroom  (e.g., portobello, cremini, shiitake, oyster, etc.)
  6. Winter squash (e.g., butternut, kabocha, acorn, Hubbard, pumpkin, sweet dumpling, etc.)
  1. Frozen vegetables
  1. Broccoli
  2. Brussel sprouts
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Sweet corn
  5. Sweet potato chips (Fries)
  6. Stir-fry mixed vegetables
  7. Spinach
  8. Winter squash
  1. Canned vegetables
  1. Artichokes
  2. Kimchi
  3. Mushroom
  4. Olives
  5. Pickles
  6. Pumpkin puree
  7. Roasted red peppers
  8. Sweet corn
  9. Tomato (e.g., sauce, paste, diced, and sun-dried.)


Fruits make delectable desserts, beverages, parfaits, and breakfast foods. They can also be eaten alone as snacks, especially during a hot afternoon or when the late-night cravings hit. Also, if you wish to add vibrant colors to your meals, you can add fruits at the side.

They are rich in fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Many of them, including watermelons, oranges, pineapples, etc., have high water content, so they are excellent for increasing daily water intake.

  1. Frozen fruits
  1. Berries
  1. Blackberry
  2. Blueberry
  3. Elderberry
  4. Mulberry
  5. Raspberry
  6. Strawberry
  1. Grapes
  2. Mangoes
  3. Mixed berry blends
  4. Mixed fruit blends
  5. Peaches
  6. Sweet cherries
  1. Canned fruits
  1. Applesauce
  2. Diced mangoes
  3. Diced pineapples
  4. Fruit cocktail
  5. Mandarin oranges
  1. Dried fruits
  1. Apple slices
  2. Apricots
  3. Banana chips
  4. Black and red currant
  5. Cranberries
  6. Dates
  7. Figs
  8. Goji berries
  9. Mangoes
  10. Mixed fruit blend
  11. Mulberries
  12. Prunes
  13. Raisins
  1. Fresh fruits
  1. Citrus fruits
  1. Clementine
  2. Grapefruit
  3. Lemon
  4. Lime
  5. Oranges
  1. Melons
  1. Cantaloupe
  2. Honeydew
  3. Muskmelon
  4. Watermelon
  1. Stone fruits
  1. Apricots
  2. Cherries
  3. Lychees
  4. Mangoes
  5. Nectarines
  6. Plums
  1. Tropical fruits
  1. Acai berry
  2. Breadfruit
  3. Carambola (starfruit)
  4. Coconut
  5. Dragon fruit
  6. Guava
  7. Jackfruit
  8. Kiwi
  9. Papaya
  10. Passion fruit
  11. Persimmon
  12. Pineapple
  13. Pomegranate
  14. Tamarind
  1. Apple
  2. Banana
  3. Pear

Whole Grains

Whole grains are high in fiber and starch, which are good for you. If you want to bulk up your diet, stock your pantry with whole grains, such as rice, oats, bread, and pasta.

Some unrefined whole grains contain high amounts of gluten, so we advise that you prioritize any type of gluten intolerance you may have and avoid gluten-containing grains such as barley, rye, wheat, spelt, and wheat berries.

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  1. Unrefined grains
  1. Amaranth
  2. Barley
  3. Buckwheat
  4. Corn
  5. Farro
  6. Millet
  7. Oat groats
  8. Quinoa
  9. Rice (e.g., brown, wild, and black rice)
  10. Rye
  11. Seitan (vital wheat gluten)
  12. Sorghum
  13. Teff
  14. Wheatberry
  15. Whole grain baked goods (e.g., bread, muffins, rolls, and tortilla)
  16. Whole grain flour
  17. Whole grain pasta
  1. Refined grains
  1. All-purpose flour
  2. Breakfast cereal
  3. Bulgur
  4. Couscous
  5. Crackers
  6. Jasmine rice
  7. Oats (e.g., rolled, steel-cut, or instant oats)
  8. Pasta
  9. Pita bread
  10. Rice cakes
  11. Tortillas
  12. White bread
  13. White flour
  14. White rolls
  15. White rice

Legumes and Beans

Soy products are the most reliable source of complete protein for vegetarians.

  • Half a cup of tofu contains about 10 g of protein.
  • One cup of tempeh (166 g) contains approximately 31 g of protein.
  • One cup of cooked edamame contains 17 g of protein.
  • Half a cup of lentils contains up to 8.84 g of protein.

NB: The precise amount of protein varies depending on how the dish is prepared.

You can add legumes and beans to your soups, stews, sandwiches, salads, casseroles, or blend and use them as a dipping sauce or spread.

  1. Beans
  1. Dried beans
  1. Black beans
  2. Cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
  3. Fava beans
  4. Kidney beans
  5. Lima beans
  6. Mung beans
  7. Navy beans
  8. Pinto beans
  9. White beans
  1. Canned beans
  1. Baked beans
  2. Beans soups
  3. Black beans
  4. Cannellini beans
  5. Chili Sin Carne
  6. Kidney beans
  7. Navy beans
  1. Lentils (canned/dry)
  1. Black beluga lentils
  2. Brown lentils
  3. Green lentils
  4. Puy lentils
  5. Red lentils
  1. Peas (dry, canned, or frozen)
  1. Black-eyed peas
  2. Field peas
  3. Green peas
  4. Snap pea
  1. Chickpeas (dry, canned, or frozen)
  2. Soy products
  1. Edamame
  2. Soybeans
  3. Soy nuts
  4. Tempeh
  5. Tofu (firm, marinated, soft, or smoked)

Healthy Fats

A vegetarian diet lacking in healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, nut butter, and plant oils may cause a deficiency in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Nuts, seeds, and nut butter make for great snacks and bread spreads. You can also add them to smoothies or use them as toppings on cakes, desserts, parfaits, or soups.

You can use oils in stir-fry, roasts, grills, and salad dressings. Or, they can be used to grease your baking pan before you pour in the cake mix or layer the vegetarian zucchini lasagna.

Image Source: Marta Branco/Pexels

Nuts, Seeds, and Nut Butter

  1. Nuts
  1. Almonds
  2. Brazil nuts
  3. Cashew nut
  4. Hazelnuts
  5. Macadamia nuts
  6. Peanuts
  7. Pecans
  8. Pine nuts
  9. Pistachios
  10. Tigernuts
  11. Walnuts
  1. Seeds
  1. Chia seeds
  2. Flaxseeds
  3. Hemp seeds
  4. Poppy seeds
  5. Pumpkin seeds
  6. Sesame seeds
  7. Sunflower seeds
  1. Nut and seed butter
  1. Almond butter
  2. Cashew butter
  3. Coconut butter
  4. Peanut butter
  5. Sunflower seed  butter
  6. Tahini (sesame butter)
  7. Watermelon seed butter


  1. Avocado oil
  2. Canola oil
  3. Coconut oil
  4. Extra virgin olive oil
  5. Flaxseed oil
  6. Grapeseed oil
  7. Safflower oil
  8. Sesame oil

Dairy Replacements

You need dairy replacements to add creaminess and indulgent flavors to your vegetarian desserts, baked foods, breakfast cereal, bread spreads, and comfort foods; Think vegetarian mushroom risotto, vegetarian burgers, mac n cheese, vegetarian carbonara. You can use them to sweeten or thicken your tea, coffee, or smoothies.


  1. Almond milk
  2. Cashew milk
  3. Coconut milk
  4. Oat milk
  5. Hemp milk
  6. Rice milk
  7. Soy milk

Yogurt/Butter/Cheese/Ice cream

  1. Yogurt
  1. Almond yogurt
  2. Cashew yogurt
  3. Coconut yogurt
  4. Soy yogurt
  1. Butter
  1. Coconut cream
  2. Margarine
  3. vegetarian butter
  1. Cheese
  1. Cashew cheese
  2. Nutritional yeast
  3. Vegan Cheddar
  4. Vegan cream cheese
  5. Vegan Mozzarella style shreds
  6. Vegan Parmesan
  7. Vegan ricotta cheese
  8. Vegan sour cream
  1. Ice cream
  1. Cashew ice cream
  2. Coconut ice cream
  3. Soy-based ice cream
  1. Vegan protein powder


With condiments like herbs, spices, dips, sauces, and vegan flavoring, you can bid farewell to boring vegan food. Not only do they add flavor and aroma to food, but they also have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-boosting health benefits.


  1. Basil (fresh, dry)
  2. Bay leaves 
  3. Chives (fresh, dry)
  4. Cilantro (fresh, dry)
  5. Italian seasoning
  6. Oregano
  7. Parsley (fresh, dry)
  8. Rosemary (fresh, dry)
  9. Thyme (fresh, dry)


  1. Allspice powder
  2. Cajun mix
  3. Chipotle mix
  4. Cinnamon powder
  5. Cumin
  6. Curry powder
  7. Garam masala
  8. Garlic powder
  9. Ginger powder
  10. Ground nutmeg
  11. Onion powder
  12. Pepper (e.g., ground black pepper, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, white pepper, black peppercorns. etc.)
  13. Salt (e.g., sea salt, black salt, Himalayan salt, kosher salt, etc.)
  14. Turmeric powder

Dips and Sauces

  1. Dijon mustard
  2. Honey-free BBQ sauce
  3. Hummus
  4. Ketchup
  5. Miso paste
  6. Hot sauce
  7. Pesto
  8. Salsa
  9. Soy sauce
  10. Sriracha sauce
  11. Sweet chili sauce
  12. Tamari (gluten-free version of soy sauce)
  13. Vegan cocktail sauce
  14. Vegan guacamole
  15. Vegan mayo
  16. Vegan salad dressing
  17. Vegan teriyaki sauce
  18. Vegan Worcestershire sauce

Vegan flavoring

  1. Curry paste
  2. Flavor extracts (e.g., almond, banana, coconut, strawberry extract, etc.)
  3. Harissa
  4. Lemon juice
  5. Liquid smoke
  6. Nutritional yeast
  7. Rice wine
  8. Sambal oelek
  9. Sauerkraut
  10. Vegetable broth
  11. Vinegar (e.g., apple cider, red wine, balsamic, and white wine)


This category covers foods you need to shop for if you love to eat dessert cakes, cookies, and pastries. We’ve also added a list of vegan-friendly sweeteners you can use in your tea, baking, coffee, or soups.

  1. Arrowroot powder
  2. Baking mixes
  3. Baking powder
  4. Baking soda
  5. Cocoa powder
  6. Coconut flour
  7. Coconut flakes
  8. Cornstarch
  9. Flax eggs (ground flaxseed mixed with water)
  10. Flour (e.g., all-purpose, chickpea, coconut, almond, etc.)
  11. Yeast

Natural Sweeteners

  1. Beet sugar
  2. Coconut sugar
  3. Date paste
  4. Date syrup
  5. Marmalade (fruit preserves)
  6. Organic agave syrup
  7. Organic whole cane sugar
  8. Pure maple syrup
  9. Stevia
  10. Vegan-friendly dark chocolate chips


You will need drinks or beverages that will help you unwind and relax, keep you alert and energized, or serenade your sweet tooth. Look out for these:

  1. Coffee
  2. Flavored or sparkling water
  3. Freshly squeezed fruit juice
  4. German mulled wine
  5. Herbal infused tea (e.g., chia, matcha, chamomile, peppermint, oolong, etc.)
  6. Organic kombucha
  7. Vegan hot chocolate

Healthy Meat Replacements

  1. Beyond Meat Burger
  2. Button, cremini, or portobello mushrooms
  3. Seitan
  4. Tempeh bacon
  5. Plain or flavored tofu
  6. Pulled jackfruit

Non-Vegan Foods to Avoid

  1. Cheese, milk, cream, butter, ghee, ice cream, and other dairy products.
  2. Eggs.
  3. Fish and shellfish.
  4. Honey.
  5. Mayonnaise.
  6. Red meat and poultry.


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