Plant-Based Cooking 101: Building a PlantPure Kitchen

by PlantPure Team January 14, 2016

Plant-Based Cooking 101: Building a PlantPure Kitchen

Submitted by Kim Campbell, director of culinary education.

The first step toward building a plant-based kitchen is cleaning out the pantry and refrigerator. I recommend you toss or donate (local food banks will take unopened items) all of those food items that are not healthy or considered plant-based. To figure out what stays and what goes, you must understand a food label. Here are my tips for deciding if a product is worthy of remaining on your shelves.

Decoding Food Labels

  1. Begin by reading the ingredients. Don’t believe what is on the front of the food label. The front of a package is nothing more than a clever advertisement.
  1. Ingredients
  • Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight.
  • Avoid all oils. Common ones include butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, lard, palm oil, milk solids shortening, hydrogenated fat and oils, partially hydrogenated fats and oils, monoglycerides, diglycerides, and lecithin.
  • Avoid products that have sugar in the first three to five ingredients and those that contain multiple sugars. Common sugars: high fructose corn syrup, cane juice extract, evaporated cane juice, dextrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, maltose, sucrose, honey lactose, liquid sugar, molasses
  • Avoid all dairy products: casein, whey lactose, milk solids
  • Grains should be whole grains; look for the word “whole” in front of the ingredient. Avoid the following terms: wheat flour, enriched wheat flour, white flour, fortified, enriched, or unbleached wheat flour.
  • Ingredient lists should be short and simple. Less is more.

  1. Nutrition facts
  • Serving size: Make sure the serving size is reasonable.
  • Fat calories: To find a percentage of fat calories, divide the fat calories by the total calories to get a percent of calories from fat. Do not exceed 15%–20% of calories from fat.
  • Sodium: Look for a 1:1 ratio of sodium to calories. If the calories are 100, the sodium amount (in milligrams) should be very close to that number.

 

In next week’s post, we’ll go over a list of items every new plant-based cook should have in her pantry and freezer.




PlantPure Team
PlantPure Team

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