Healthy Cookbooks to Keep You Inspired All Year Long

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Most of us start off the new calendar year with the best of intentions to eat healthier and cook more at home. But by the time we get through February, we’ve slipped. By April…all bets may be off. But eating healthy is a lot more effortless when we’re feeling inspired. Check out these cookbooks for fresh recipes you’ll want to cook all year long.

If you’re feeling underwhelmed by the offerings at your farmers market this time of year, turn to Joshua McFadden for some seasonal inspiration. The Portland, Oregon-based chef has a knack for turning the less-loved veggies of winter into gorgeous and nutritious dishes that will earn you cooking glory when you set them down at your table. “Expectations are low for fresh produce in the dead of winter. Yet the range of what’s available in the cold months is stunning: roots, potatoes, the whole crazy world of winter squash, and, of course, cabbage,” he writes. Best yet, once winter warms to spring (and then summer, which McFadden divides into three parts: early, mid, and late), you’ll be excited to turn the page to the next chapter.

We’ve all heard the phrase “beauty comes from within,” but Carla Oates has a more specific stance: it comes from the gut. The founder of a natural beauty company of the same name, Oates’ pretty tome contains more than 150 gluten-free (and mostly dairy-free) recipes for every meal of the day (plus drinks and desserts) designed to nourish the body from the inside out.

If you’ve considered making fermented bevies at home but were intimidated by the process (or if you’re just tired of constantly ponying up $9 a bottle for kombucha in grocery stores), this book is for you. “You can make fermented drinks without an advanced degree in chemistry. After all, humans fermented nicely for thousands or tens of thousands of years before anyone had heard of microbes,” writes authors Alex Lewin and Raquel Guajardo. The authors share the principles of fermentation, along with recipes for kombuchas, beet kvass, fruit juice sodas, tepaches, ciders and fermented cocktails.

Turns out boxing powerhouse Laila Ali is a champ in the kitchen too. Many of the recipes in this new cookbook are comfort foods she’s lightened up to amp up their nutritional value. Parents will love the section of family-friendly recipes ready in 30 minutes or less.

After getting diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in his thirties, Spanish chef Seamus Mullen needed to drastically change his diet and lifestyle. With the help of renowned integrative medicine expert Dr. Frank Lipman, he did just that by cutting out processed foods, grains, refined sugars, dairy and factory-farmed meats. He shares his learnings, along with produce- and high quality meat-centric recipes in this collection. (Rest assured, they’re just as delicious as his restaurant fare.)

Lindsay Maitland Hunt aims to make good-for-you home cooking easy in this approachable new cookbook. Think batch breakfasts and no-cook lunches you can make ahead of time to make your work week easier and more nutritious, hearty mains made with veggies or lean meats, and dressings that won’t cancel out all the healthy ingredients you put into those salads and grain bowls. She even cracks the code on sweets cravings in a chapter on treats, which includes a brilliant Single-Serving Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookie that takes just a few minutes to make (and doesn’t leave you alone with a whole batch!)

Salma Hage’s book is an instant remedy for a healthy-but-bland diet. Her 140+ recipes are made with vibrant produce, warming spices, and are all meat-free.

For those feeling limited by a vegan diet, this nearly 500-page book devoted to vegan cooking is a near-endless source of fresh ideas. Chef and globe-trotter Jean-Christian Jury has included recipes inspired by 150 countries around the world, any of which will get vegans out of their tofu, steamed veggie and brown rice rut. There’s even a “Guest Chef” chapter showcasing recipes from some of the world’s top chefs, including Dan Barber and Eric Ripert.

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