The first day of Autumn is coming up next week. To me, that is the official start of the three month-long holiday season. Now is the perfect time to start stocking your pantry and freezer with non-perishable items and baking supplies! Starting early also gives you the opportunity to gather coupons and save money on things you would otherwise buy last-minute and pay full price for.
Everyone has their favorite brands and products, but I’m going list what I use most of during the holidays and suggest brands if need be.
Items to Have on Hand for the Holidays
In the Pantry:
Whole wheat flour
Egg-replacement powder (Ener-G brand)
Vegan chocolate chips (I use Whole Foods brand, because they’re cheapest!)
Various decorating supplies (sprinkles, colored sugar, food coloring – I use Wilton gels)
Dried fruits (Raisins, apricots, dates, cranberries, etc.)
Vanilla extract, almond extract
Various nuts (Pecans, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, etc.)
Various seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, poppy, sesame, etc.)
Various oils (Olive, vegetable, canola, peanut, flaxseed, etc.)
Various vinegars (White, apple cider, red wine, balsamic, etc.)
Various jams, jellies, chutneys
Nut butters (peanut, almond, etc.)
Vital Wheat Gluten
Canned pumpkin (x10!)
Canned tomatoes (including tomato paste)
Vegetable broth/bouillon (also No Chicken Broth and No Beef Broth – Imagine Foods or Superior Touch)
Canned vegetables and misc. (artichokes, roasted red pepper, olives, capers, pickles)
Cream of Mushroom soup (as a base – you know you have to have green bean casserole at some point over the next few months. I use Imagine Foods brand.)
Dried herbs & spices (Garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, paprika, sage, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, whole cinnamon sticks, cloves, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, dill weed, poultry seasoning, rosemary, allspice, ginger, cream of tartar, etc.)
In the freezer:
Frozen fruits (strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
Frozen vegetables (corn kernals, green peas, green beans, etc.)
In the refrigerator:
Non-dairy margarine (I use Earth Balance – buy sticks for easy and quick measuring)
Non-dairy milk (soy, almond, etc.)
Non-dairy sour cream (Tofutti)
Non-dairy cream cheese (Tofutti)
Crescent rolls, pizza dough, bread sticks (these can be homemade, but it’s nice to have an easy solution ready and on-hand – Pillsbury brand is vegan, as well as some store brands)
Whatever is in season! Buy your produce once you have your menu(es) ready for the week and know what you’ll need an use.
Measuring cups (for both dry and wet ingredients)
Cake, muffin, and loaf pans
Various pots and pans
The list goes on..
Obviously, most people who cook often will have the majority of these items in their kitchen already. But this is just a little reminder that you can use as a checklist for your next trip to the grocery store. You don’t want to be in the middle of a crucial holiday recipe and be caught without a key ingredient. The best thing you can do this time of year is plan your menus in advance, go through your kitchen to see what ingredients you already have, and make a list of what you need. That way you won’t overbuy and you’ll be all set for the week.
I need to go through and check my kitchen’s inventory. I’m ready to start cooking!