If you’re just starting on your vegan journey, or maybe just want to eat a little bit more plant-based, this post is for you! These are some really easy vegan grocery list swaps you can make. These were all purchased from Whole Foods, but any large grocery store should have most of these items.

Vegan grocery list: For your fridge

  • Nut Milk. This is so standard these days, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding non-dairy milk options at any grocery store. If you don’t want a nut milk, try Oat Milk!
  • Sour Cream. Did you know that vegan sour cream is actually SUPER easy to make yourself with cashews and some apple cider vinegar and lemon juice in your blender? If you aren’t the DIY type, I love Tofutti for a non-dairy option. While it doesn’t taste the same as the dairy version, I think it’s great mixing up with some chipotle adobo sauce and making my own sour cream sauce!
  • Butter. There are so many non-dairy butter options available, but my favorite by far is Miyokos! You can use it as you would to spread on top of your toast in the morning, or melt in a pan before cooking your hashbrowns, etc. It’s also great for baking too!
  • Yogurt. Again, this is a super simple one to make a swap! There are cashew yogurts, almond milk yogurts, oat milk yogurts, coconut milk yogurt, honestly the list goes on and on. They come in all the same flavors that dairy yogurt does so there isn’t any reason to keep buying the one that harms our cow friends!
  • Tofu. Tofu is SO versatile. Not only is it a winner for protein and essential amino acids, it’s really awesome to blend up in a food processor and use to make creamy sauces for pasta!
  • Mayo. I was NEVER a mayonnaise fan before becomming vegan. Honestly, the stuff just grossed me out! But I have to say, the ingredients in vegan mayo do not gross me out and I’ve come to realize that sauces is where SO much flavor comes from. Vegan mayo provides a really awesome base to use for a lot of sauces over some protein bowls!

Vegan grocery list: For your pantry

  • Nutritional yeast. This is another really versatile item to definitely add to your vegan grocery list. Nutritional yeast is not only…wait for it…super nutritional, but it also has a really rich almost cheesy flavor. It’s delicious for adding on top of popcorn, on top of pastas or mixing in with sauces, adding into pestos, mixing in with tofu for “scrambled eggs”, and so much more.
  • Agave. A great natural sweetener and alternative to honey. Maple syrup is another good option, but agave has a bit more of a “honey” flavor. I love adding it in smoothies for a little extra sweetness, and it also is great in some Asian style sauces when you just need that little hint!
  • Flaxseeds. I would recommend buying them pre-ground if you don’t have a spice grinder. These are one of the best things to use in baking as an egg substitute. Just mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds with 2 tablespoons of water to sub for 1 egg. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and it will coagulate similarly to an egg and help bind your mix. Flaxseeds are also dense in fiber, omega 3s, vitamin B, and more. You can add a tablespoon to your smoothies in the morning too for a little extra kick!
  • Coconut Milk. I’m talking about canned coconut milk! This is another favorite way to make creamy sauces! Sometimes I cook rice or pasta in the coconut milk instead of water for a coconut flavor, extra nutrients and a creamy texture! When you open the can (depending how cold it has been), you may find a thicker, denser bit of coconut cream on the top. You can also scoop that out carefully, and you can use that to make your own whipped cream in a mixer!
  • Organic Sugar. It’s not very well known that non-organic sugar actually isn’t technically vegan. Regular sugar gets ground through animal bones before it makes its way into your kitchen. There’s really no way to guarantee that little flecks from the bones don’t also make their way into your kitchen! So, be sure to add this to your vegan grocery list. All sugars labeled organic (confectioners, brown sugars, coconut sugars, etc) do NOT use bones.
  • Chocolate Chips. Many grocery stores now also carry chocolate chips made with oat milk instead of cow milk. They honestly taste exactly the same, and don’t harm the cows or the planet, so that’s a win in my book! Lots of chocolate is vegan if it’s dark enough, but always double check the package ingredients for any animal products, or just look for the “vegan” symbol on the packaging.
  • Liquid Aminos. This is a great addition for any sauces that call for fish sauce! It’s great mixing in for dressings in Asian dishes. Liquid aminos are amino acids from fermented coconut sap, or from soybeans. It has a salty flavor, almost like soy sauce. Bonus that you get in some of your essential amino acids!

grocery shopping in general

Even if you’re not ready to make a switch to vegan at this point, keep your eyes out next time you go through the grocery store. Maybe walk a bit slower, and you might find there are actually TONS of vegan alternatives for you to try! Going vegan is often seen as a “limit”, your “limiting” what you can eat. Really, that’s just a frame of mind. I eat WAY more foods now that I’m vegan than I ever did previously and don’t see it as a limit at all. And for all the favorites like ice cream and sour cream, I can still buy the vegan version!

vegan grocery shopping

After having some amazing vegan pecan pie over the holidays, I knew I wanted more pecans in my life! The problem with pecan pie? It’s time consuming to make a full crust, and the pie is just so big that you need so many people to help finish it! Enter, vegan pecan pie tarts!

pecan tartlet

what you’ll need for vegan pecan pie tarts

CRUST

  • almonds
  • whole wheat flour (or flour of choice)
  • maple syrup
  • coconut oil
  • medjool dates
  • cinnamon

FILLING

  • coconut oil
  • all purpose flour (or flour of choice)
  • maple syrup
  • water
  • organic dark brown sugar
  • salt
  • pecans
  • vanilla extract
pecan pie tartlets

why you’ll love vegan pecan pie tarts

They are easy to serve – no more messy cutting into a pie. They’re already all set in individual serving size. These are way faster than making a regular pecan pie from scratch (those crusts are so time consuming!) They use a simple cupcake muffin tin so you don’t need any fancy baking supplies. You can eat them with your hands, or dress them up and serve them on a plate as you would with pie. They are also undetectably vegan – my brother is a pecan pie fan and thought they’re as good as any he’s had!

vegan pecan tart

how you’ll make these tarts

You’ll need a food processor for the crust, some coconut oil to grease the muffin tin, and the muffin tin. Once you make the crust, you’ll get those in the oven while you start preparing the filling. The filling gets made quickly, so it’s best to have all of the ingredients pre-measured and ready to go since you’ll make this over the stove. Then you’ll scoop the filling into the crusts, and you’ll bake it a bit longer at a lower heat so the crust doesn’t burn. Pop them out carefully – I slide a toothpick around the outer edge and gently apply pressure upwards once I have all sides loose.

pecan pie tartlet

ingredients

CRUST is adapted slightly from Deliciously Ella’s recipe here:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil {you can pull it straight from the jar without melting}
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

FILLING is adapted slightly from America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, Vegan For Everybody

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup water, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup organic dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

directions crust

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease two muffin tins with coconut oil
  • blend all ingredients in a food processor at least 1 minute. It should stick together slightly, but not be too wet.
  • scoop a large spoonful of the mixture into a muffin hole in the tin and press with your thumb to shape it, leaving a space in the middle where the filling would go. It’s fine if they are not pressed perfectly even, just do your best. Once you have them all filled, go back if you have any extra of the crust to make sure you go up all the way on the sides, that way you have more space for the filling!
  • bake next to each other on the middle rack for 15 minutes at 350 degrees
  • after you take them out of the oven, take a small toothpick and very carefully and gently go around the edges to slightly loosen any bits that are baked into the pan (this will make removal of them a bit easier later)

directions filling

  • get all ingredients measured out and prepared at your workstation, including toasting and chopping the pecans {I toast mine in the toaster on a foil sheet for about 2 minutes, careful to make sure they don’t burn}
  • reduce the oven heat to 275 degrees F after the crust has come out
  • in a medium pot heat the oil over medium heat until fully melted
  • add maple syrup, water, sugar, and salt and stir for about 1 minute
  • bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to medium – low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally to thicken. Keep stirring every so often for about 3 minutes
  • turn off the heat and stir in the pecans and vanilla extract
  • carefully scoop the pecan filling into the crust holes, filling as high as the crust edge goes (the mixture doesn’t rise during baking so you won’t overflow)
  • if you have any extra mixture leftover, I love saving it in the refrigerator and using it as an ice cream topping!
  • bake for 20-25 minutes, until pecan filling mixture has some small bubbles
  • use the toothpick to go around the edges of the crust again to make them easier to remove. Let them cool 10 minutes before trying to remove.

Other dessert recipes you may like:

vegan pecan pie pinterest

Granola is something that goes quickly in this household! Between topping our breakfast smoothie bowl with it, eating it mixed in cashew yogurts, or having a bowl on its own for breakfast (or dessert!) we go through a lot. It’s way easier to know how to make it at home than to keep buying it from the store. Plus, you get control over the flavors you want! This apple cinnamon granola is one of my favorites!

apple cinnamon granola

what you’ll need for apple cinnamon granola

  • old fashioned oats – of course!
  • cinnamon, salt – for flavoring
  • chopped apple – use your favorite kind of apple here, any will do!
  • whole wheat flour – this will help bind the granola so you end up with some nice clusters! You can also swap for another flour if you prefer.
  • coconut oil – melted, this will also help to bind everything together
  • maple syrup – for sweetness {I’ve tried subbing for agave on multiple occasions and the granola always came out too soft and would burn much faster, so I definitely recommend maple syrup here}
  • vanilla extract
  • chopped almonds – or another nut of your choice
apple cinnamon granola

why you’ll love homemade apple cinnamon granola

Once you get the basics down, you can really swap in and out so many different ingredients to get it to your liking. It’s nice to always have granola on hand for that extra crunch and I always enjoy my homemade granolas much more than the store bought. Maple syrup can get pricy, so you could go with a less expensive kind since we are just after the sweetness here, but beware of low quality brands that include lots of added sugar.

apple cinnamon granola

ingredients

  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (you can add 1/2 too, but it yields a less sweet granola)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup chopped apple – i kept the skins on, but you can also peel

directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F

Mix the oats, cinnamon, salt, flour, and almonds together.

In another bowl mix the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla together and then pour into the dry mixture.

Stir in the chopped apples.

The mixture should be wet, but not soaking. If it feels too wet, add a little bit more oats until it is more like a wet sand consistency.

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pour the mixture on the parchment paper lined sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, mixing around halfway through. Granola can burn easily, so keep a close eye on it.

Best consumed within 3 days and stored in airtight container.

Other tasty snacks you may like:

Protein Date Balls

Oatmeal Cookie Protein Bliss Balls

apple cinnamon granola pinterest
apple cinnamon granola

Protein bliss balls are the easiest thing to make, and pack a punch with nutrition. These babies reminded me of oatmeal cookie dough, and so got their name.

protein bliss balls

what you’ll need for these protein bliss balls

  • unsalted nuts – any nuts will do, I use almonds and walnuts but they’d also be delicious with macadamia nuts, pecans, cashews.
  • old fashioned rolled oats – for texture, fiber and bulk to the protein bliss balls
  • vanilla protein powder – any protein powder works, I have tried with quite a few and my personal favorite is Tropeaka Lean Protein Powder in Vanilla
  • medjool dates – they’ll help everything stick together and provide sweetness
  • salt and cinnamon – for flavor
  • raisins – optional
  • water as needed to help bind
oatmeal cookie protein bliss balls

why you’ll love these bliss balls

They’re a quick and healthy snack to grab. Dates are packed not only with lots of fiber, they also provide a ton of potassium, magnesium, manganese, and copper. The protein powder gives you a little boost there, and the oats add some energy with their carbs and a little more fiber. The added cinnamon and raisins really give it a cookie dough flavor so these also work for dessert, while still being guilt-free.

protein bliss balls

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 3 Tablespoons vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 2/3 cup medjool dates pitted (about 10 dates)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup raisins – optional
  • water as needed to help bind

directions

  1. add all of the ingredients, except for the water, into the food processor and blend for about 1 minute until the dates really breakdown and the mixture turns a little sticky
  2. turn off the processor and test the mixture by pressing together with your fingers to see if it sticks together. If it’s not wet enough and doesn’t stick, add one tablespoon of water and mix and try again. Don’t over-add water.
  3. once the mixture sticks together, roll them into 1 tablespoon size balls.

This recipe makes about 15-18 tablespoon size balls.

Store in an airtight container on the counter. They’ll last for 1 week at room temp, or 2 week if you keep them in the refrigerator.

You may also enjoy a similar recipe:

Protein Date Balls

protein bliss balls pinterest
protein bliss balls

Learning how to set goals and achieve them does not need to be a scary thing. It does not need to be an end-of-the-year thing. And most definitely should not make you feel guilty about where you’re currently at.

Before I knew how to properly set goals, I was overwhelmed with trying to meet all the goal “criteria”. Is it measurable, achievable, blah, blah, blah. My version still uses these pillars, but in a less structured way. These buzz terms just make it way more complicated than it needs to be. Goal setting does involve time — after all, it’s your process of how you’re going to get from A to B, but it can be a fun and insightful process.

So here are my tips…

how to set goals starting process

This part requires the most up front thinking. It’s probably the part you least want to do, but is also the most important. DON’T SKIP THIS STEP. Start by writing down (yes, write down) all of your ideas. Some good prompts are:

  1. What you want your future to look like?
  2. How do you want to feel next year? What do you want out of the next year?
  3. Who do you want to be? What kind of person?
  4. What makes you excited?
  5. When looking back on this pas year, what worked and what didn’t work?
  6. What do you imagine saying “yes” to, and what do you imagine saying “no” to?

This process should take a good hour. Really dive deep on what you picture for the following year.

consolidate your vision

Once you have all of these ideas written out, start to look through for patterns. Do you see certain words popping out a lot? Or maybe certain names? Do you get a general vibe or feeling from what you wrote down, perhaps growth focused, perhaps health focused, etc? Once you go through and pick out some patterns or ideas you really love, start to reconfigure those into initial goal ideas. This may involve re-wording some of your ideas, or combining words you see throughout into one consolidated goal idea, or simply picking out patterns. My goal ideas at this point usually are just categories, for example “Less Waste”, “Exploration”, “Balance”, “Personal Fulfillment”, “Financially Responsible”.

draft your goals

From your goal ideas, pick 1-8 that you are most passionate about. Are you willing to sacrifice things to meet these ideas? Will you get closer to where you want to be with everything you wrote down in your first step? Consider adding in a verb here (this is where that “actionable” comes in). But honestly, if your goal is “take care of myself” that’s fine too because we’re going to build out the action part in the next steps to make it more specific.

how to take action on your goals

Once you have your goals written out, you are going to take a deeper dive into each one to create actions around it, and a timeline. To come up with the actions within the goal, I find it’s best to think about what needs to happen from now, to the end of the year (or quarter, however long you want to have this goal for) – what are all the things you’re going to DO from now until then? Then, break the goal down into 2-3 mini goals, each mini goal having 1-3 actual steps to achieve. For example, a goal of “Enhance Relationships” could have mini goals of “Enhance family relationships” with actionable items of – make a list of fun activities to do with my nieces – plan a recurring bi-weekly facetime call with my parents – plan a quarterly family activity; “Enhance friendships” could have – text a check in every week to 3 friends – Host a quarterly dinner or game night – write down birthdays and purchase cards to have on hand. And the third mini goal of “Prioritize my marriage” could have- date night on the 19th every month – put away our phones after 8pm – read the marriage book together. These are just examples, yours may look totally different!

goal timelines

The next thing you’re going to do is make a deadline when you are going to complete those smaller tasks under each mini goal! Some of these tasks might be monthly, like a monthly date night, or some of them are quarterly, like planning a family activity. Schedule EVERYTHING out in your calendar and make sure you’re spacing these steps out throughout the year so you aren’t overloading yourself in January, February and March. If you try to do too much at once, it’s not going to stick! Maybe some goals you’re in okay shape on, so you can wait to work on your finance goals until July, etc.

goal tracking

I honestly hate this term, but it is important to make sure you’re actually sticking with your goals and that they’re working for you. I set up a calendar, basically a “To Do” list, so I can make sure I’m tracking if I’m taking my vitamins, how many times a week I’m working out, if I checked in with my friends, etc. If there is a task or part of a goal that just doesn’t excite you, then maybe remove it next quarter, or reword it so it motivates you and change the mini goals! Look back at your big picture of where you want to be as well, sometimes that lights a fire.

why set goals?

Have you heard the phrase, “nothing changes if nothing changes”? Learning how to set goals is important to help you live a life that YOU want to have. There are bound to be curveballs, and that’s okay. Some things might not get done, but just because one or two things didn’t happen or you fell off the wagon for two months straight, that doesn’t mean you should throw in the bag. Any progress is good, and we’re all about progress not perfection! Goal setting has become a big part of my life to hold myself accountable to ME. Only add goals on your list that YOU want to achieve, because if you are doing something for the wrong reasons, believe me, it won’t stick and you won’t achieve it! Take care of yourself and give yourself grace – life is sticky and messy and sometimes but flowers grow through dirt, and so can you!

my favorite goal planners + tracking

Spark and Bound

Cultivate What Matters

Enlightenment Planner

spark and bound notebook

To be honest, peppermint is not my favorite flavor. But this holiday season, I decided to test it out in a way that would not be overpowering. Enter, the vegan chocolate peppermint cookies!

chocolate peppermint cookie

ingredients you’ll need for these cookies

I used the exact same chocolate cookie as my Chocolate Crinkle Cookie recipe. Super minimal, yet effective.

  • vegan butter melted
  • sugar – I have only tried with regular granulated sugar but you could test out coconut sugar
  • unsweetened chocolate
  • flaxeggs
  • pantry items of vanilla, flour, salt, baking soda
  • vegan peppermint candy pieces {Red 40 dye is vegan! If you can’t find, you can get vegan candy canes and pulse in the food processor}
vegan chocolate peppermint cookie

why you’ll love these chocolate peppermint cookies

If you are not a huge peppermint fan like myself, you know how wrong too much peppermint can go. I debated adding peppermint extract to the dough itself, but honestly, the peppermint candies are the perfect amount. You can still taste all the yummy and moist chocolate, and get a nice crunch and subtle peppermint flavor.

holiday chocolate peppermint cookies

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter or melted refined coconut oil (make sure it is refined so it doesn’t have the coconut flavor; I think the butter works better!)
  • 6 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted over a double boiler
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 flaxseed eggs (4 tbsp of ground flaxseeds, stirred with 8 tbsp of water) Let sit for 10 minutes to coagulate
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegan peppermint candies crushed

directions

  1. Get the flaxseed eggs going. Mix 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds with 8 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Stir to make sure all the flaxseed is exposed to water. Then let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Melt 1/2 cup of vegan butter (I love Miyokos) I just melt it in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Or melt 1/2 cup refined coconut oil if you don’t have the vegan butter. You can also use canola oil. I personally think the butter gives the best finished product!
  3. Then melt 6 oz of unsweetened chocolate over a double boiler so it doesn’t burn.
  4. Pour the vegan butter into a mixing bowl. Add the melted chocolate and sugar.
  5. Mix the three ingredients well.
  6. With the mixer still going, add a spoonful of the flaxseed eggs 1 at a time (as if you’re adding 1 egg at at time). Let each spoonful mix into the batter before adding the next. Keep mixing well!
  7. Add the vanilla
  8. Once the wet ingredients are well mixed, add the 2 cups of flour with the mixer still running.
  9. Follow with the salt and baking soda.
  10. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare the cookie sheet with one sheet of parchment paper.
  11. Put the crushed peppermint candies in a shallow bowl.
  12. Scoop about 2 tablespoons worth of dough and roll into a ball with your hands.
  13. Roll the dough ball into the candies and coat thoroughly. You may have to press the candies into it a little bit.
  14. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes
  15. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet at least 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

Kugel is a classic Jewish dish, and this is my vegan noodle kugel version! It seems like every family has their own heirloom recipe. My favorite noodle kugel is from my grandmother’s recipe who died when I was only a few years old, so I unfortunately don’t have any memories of her making it. But my mom continued to make her recipe for us and has become very nostalgic for me.

When I started eating entirely plant based, I knew I needed to make a vegan version of this favorite recipe of mine. I expected to need multiple versions to get it right, but it actually turned out to be very straightforward with the plant substitutions!

vegan kugel

what is kugel?

It is a traditional Jewish baked casserole, typically served at lots of holiday feasts. It can be savory or sweet, but I’ve only ever had the sweet versions, so this one is too! It also has lots of eggs and dairy and when it bakes, the casserole becomes very custardy. It also typically uses egg noodles which are thin and don’t fall apart when served.

vegan hanukkah food

what you’ll need for vegan noodle kugel

  • golden delicious or pippin apples {these give the best flavor!}
  • some sort of noodle — I went for corkscrew shape to mirror the egg noodle shape, but this recipe would also be successful with bowties that are going to be a similar thickness to the traditional egg noodle.
  • 14 oz package of silken tofu. Silken will be the only way to get the super creamy consistency.
  • vegan butter
  • raisins – you can use any color you like, I usually do a mix of golden and dark
  • chopped walnuts – they give a really nice texture in the otherwise fairly soft dish
  • lemon rind
  • unsweetened almond milk – or another unsweetened plant milk
  • pantry items like sugar, cinnamon, vanilla
vegan noodle kugel

why you’ll like this vegan noodle kugel recipe

It’s really easy to make, and then just goes in the oven to bake. Because it’s a casserole dish as well, you’ll likely end up with leftovers. It also tastes pretty darn similar to the dairy and egg version. Mine didn’t “stick” together in the exact same way as the traditional version, but I thought the taste was spot on!

vegan noodle kugel

ingredients

  • 2 golden delicious or pippin apples, chopped
  • ribbon noodles, corkscrew noodles, or bowties
  • 1 14 oz package of silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

directions

  1. preheat oven to 325 and place rack in the middle
  2. press to drain the tofu at least 15 minutes. Then blend in the food processor until thoroughly creamy, about 1 minute or a little more.
  3. cook noodles according to package and drain
  4. in a large bowl or pot, mix together the creamy blended tofu, the chopped apples, sugar, melted vegan butter, cinnamon, lemon rind, vanilla, unsweetened almond milk, raisins and walnuts. Stir well.
  5. Add the cooked and drained pasta to the creamy mixture and stir well to fully coat the pasta.
  6. Pour pasta mixture into a 8″x11″ casserole dish, making sure to scrape out the bowl to get all of the creamy mixture into the casserole dish.
  7. Bake uncovered for 55 minutes. Check at 45 minutes if your oven runs hot. The top should get crispy, but not burn. Let it sit 10 minutes before serving.

Other pasta dishes you may like:

Homemade Pesto Pasta

vegan noodle kugel

This year may look a little different with COVID keeping many families apart this holiday season. So I’ve got a 4 person Christmas table design ready for some inspiration! Just because all of your family may not be together, doesn’t mean you can’t still make it cozy and intimate for the loved ones or friends in your household. All photos below are by The Ganeys.

christmas tabletop design
christmas desserts
christmas table design napkin
christmas table design treats
christmas star bread
christmas sugar cookies
christmas table design apple cider
christmas menu

For more tabletop designs, check out our tips on How To Design a Modern Thanksgiving Table.

It can feel overwhelming or daunting to go on journey to be more eco friendly. So I’m breaking it down into bite size pieces with this sustainable swaps series. Today, I’ll be focusing on sustainable swaps for your kitchen.

There are lots of little things we can do as individuals to reduce our footprint and impact on our planet. These are just a few easily actionable items you can swap to this month to make your kitchen a little bit greener!

Swap for reusable paper towels

unpaper towel sustainable kitchen swap

Instead of constantly buying paper towels that get tossed in the trash, try out some resusable paper towels. I find it becomes more convenient to use the reusable option when I keep a small basket under the sink to put the used ones in as I clean. These reusable options will last for years and don’t continue to cut down our forests. It can take some time to get used to reusable paper towels, so you can start by taking a baby step by committing to use these to wipe down the countertops and table surfaces. The more reasonable switch you can make, the longer lasting the change will be and therefore more impactful!

Ditch plastic, single use straws

eco friendly glass straw

Making the swap from plastic straws to bamboo, stainless steel or glass options is one of the easiest swaps to make. There are seriously endless reusable straw options out there these days, theres really no excuse to use a plastic straw these days. It is estimated that in the US we use 500 MILLION PLASTIC STRAWS EVERYDAY! These are all SINGLE USE and go straight into landfills and our oceans. Reusable straws are not only stylish, but a zillion times more eco friendly than single use plastic ones. If you want something extra aesthetically pleasing, check these out!

Swap to a reusable dish soap container

blueland reusable dish soap sustainable

You can ditch the plastic dish soap vessels and opt for this great reusable option from Blueland. According to Blueland, a household goes through 30 of the single use plastic dish soap bottles every year. In my apartment building of 20 units, thats 600 plastic dish soap bottles! Just from my building alone! When you realize how much waste there is, it’s a lot easier to know that your small actions are going to have a mighty big impact. Being confident in my positive impact also helps me stick with a swap that may not seem the most convenient at first.

Use recycled trash bags

grove recycled plastic bag sustainable kitchen swap

Instead of buying your trash bags at the store that are made with brand new plastic, commit to purchasing these bags made from 100% recycled single use plastic. We are all going to create trash, but even in your trash you can still make a more conscious decision and effort to be more sustainable. For this sustainable swaps for your kitchen, why not use bags that are made from past single use plastic trash!? Plus, with every purchase you are supporting Grove Collaborative’s mission to remove litter from our waterways. Win, win!

say yes to silicone bags

stasher bags sustainable kitchen swap

You’ll find no shortage of silicone kitchen bags out there! I personally use Stasher bags and LOVE them. While you do have to take the effort to clean them out after you use them, it is well worth the effort for how much plastic you’re saving from landfills and our oceans. Also, Stasher makes it super simple for you because all of their bags are dishwasher safe AND freezer safe! They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so I actually find they are more versatile than any other bag!

cut out the saran wrap

wax paper sustainable kitchen swap

Saran wrap is one of the biggest single use plastic culprits. Now, you can just use these reusable storage wraps! You simply wash them in cold water after each use and hang to dry (I usually lay it across the top of another bowl or cup on my drying rack). The best part, once you get all the use you can out of these, they are 100% biodegradable and compostable. I have not found a vegan wrap option, all I have found do contain beeswax. Please let me know if you have a vegan option you love!

While it can feel like a big monetary commitment initially to make sustainable swaps for your kitchen, a lot of the swaps are going to be reusable, so in the long term, that actually means more savings for you, and more love for our planet.

These protein date balls are the perfect mid-day snack, post-workout snack, and even dessert. Date balls are so versatile and healthy you can feel good eating them anytime of the day.

protein date balls

why you’ll love these date protein balls

They’re packed with tons of protein from the two types of nuts – almonds and walnuts – and protein powder. Plus, you’ll get an extra boost of fiber, vitamins and minerals from the medjool dates and coconut flakes!

I love these because they’re SO simple to make, the flavor packs a punch, and they’re a great grab-and-go quick snack. Because of the fiber in the dates, they’re actually a little filling despite their size so they’re great post-workout.

date balls food photography

how to make date protein balls

They literally could not be easier. Gather all the ingredients and pit the dates. Then toss it all into the food processor and blend up! Blend them about 1 minute, and then scoop about 1.5 tablespoons worth and roll into a ball. boom! That’s all you have to do!

coconut date balls

ingredients

1/2 cup almonds

1/2 cup walnuts

1 cup pitted Medjool dates

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3 tbsp Tropeaka Lean Protein Vanilla

1 tbsp water

directions

  1. pit the dates and put them in a food processor
  2. add all the other ingredients to the food processor
  3. blend! about 45 seconds and you’ll see a loose “crust-like” consistency form. Turn off the food processor.
  4. test to see if the mixture sticks together when you press between your fingers. If not, add 1 tablespoon of water. The mixture should not be wet, but just wet enough that it sticks together when pressed into the balls!

If you’re looking for other protein packed favorites, try this pumpkin spice almond butter.

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