Alain Coumont, founder of Le Pain Quotidien, loves showcasing vegetables in his cooking. Here are his vegan pantry essentials.

By Rebecca Rose
January 07, 2016

Agave Syrup

“I like agave syrup because it’s a raw sweetener—it’s squeezed from the agave plant [the same succulent used to make tequila]. It has a fairly neutral taste, so it’s great for baking.”

Raspberry Scones
Grilled Tofu with Asparagus and Nori Vinaigrette
Strawberry Almond Smoothie

Cashew Butter

“It has the fat content of cream or butter, as well as the fiber and protein content of nuts. It can give baked goods and mousses great texture.”

Raw Sweet Corn and Cashew Chowder
Beet, Fennel and Jicama Salad with Macadamia Nut Dressing
Apple Nut Breakfast Porridge
Yuzu Kosho Cashew Butter Toasts

Cold-Pressed Oils

“To make refined vegetable oils, factories grind the ingredients, mix them with water and pull out the oil with a solvent. The flavor goes into the air. Cold-pressed oils don’t go through this process, so they have more nutrients, and they still taste of something.”

Dairy-Free Milks

“Soy milk is an easy substitute for dairy. Almond and rice milks are also delicious.”

Herbed Brown Rice Salad with Corn, Fava Beans and Peas
Soy Milk Smoothie
Cinnamon Banana Bread

Whole-Grain Flours

“The difference between whole-grain wheat flour and refined all-purpose flour is like the difference between cornmeal and cornstarch. Cornmeal tastes like corn; cornstarch doesn’t taste of anything.”

Rye Berry Bread
Pizza Dough
Turkish Ridged Flat Bread