Health, Hustle + Heart

The 7 Best Healthy Cookbooks (for cooking with natural, whole-foods)

HealthFrancesca MasperoComment
The 7 Best Healthy Cookbooks (for cooking with natural, whole foods)

I am such a sucker for cookbooks. I rarely follow a recipe to the letter but I am always seeking inspiration, and as much as I love blogs there is something so much more satisfying about flicking through a recipe book in your hands. Luckily there are loads of healthy cookbooks on the market these days. I took the liberty of buying them all and testing out a whole bunch of recipes from each! Such a chore ;)

I actually own about another 10 health-focussed cookbooks but they didn’t make the cut since I really only use and love using these seven, particularly the first five. Even though half them are vegetarian/vegan and the other half are more paleo in philosophy, they’re all veggie-centric with a natural, whole-food focus. There are plenty of plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and sugar-free options in each so no worries if you’re a fussy/discerning eater.

These cookbooks are so gorgeous and the recipes so well crafted that I daren’t stray from the ingredient list or instructions, so when I say that the recipes are wonderful, I mean that they are truly WONDERFUL. Here you have it:

The 7 Best Healthy Cookbooks

1. The Green Kitchen by David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl

(V, RSF, mostly GF, mostly DF)

What better place to start than the first healthy recipe book I ever bought? This is honestly a work of beauty and the first modern cookbook I came across that celebrated cooking with whole foods as a way of life. I had only just come across Luise and David’s blog when they released this book, but I took very little convincing. I love their ethos and I adore the Scandi aesthetic. The recipes are creative, rustic and beautifully captured. These guys also write the most interesting and inspiring recipe captions.

Personal favourites include the Baked Crunchy Blackberry Oatmeal (the pioneer of baked oatmeal), the Portobello & Peach Burgers, and the Chocolate & Blackberry Milkshake. I also make the Sicilian Parmigiana Di Zucchini on a regular basis, which is much healthier and lighter than a traditional lasagne. 

2. Green Kitchen Travels by David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl

(V, RSF, mostly GF, mostly DF)

I actually only got hold of David and Luise’s second book at the end of May as a birthday present, but I had been eyeing it up for quite some time. It’s just as good as at the first but, as you’re expect, the food is a lot more diverse and international. The photography is as stunning as ever though. This cookbook capture all kinds of flavours and snaps from their adventures oversees. This is some serious travel inspo! If you’ve got kids it also has a section on travelling with them, which (I imagine!) would be helpful.

I haven’t tried too many of the recipes yet but I really enjoyed the Baked Aubergine Rolls and can’t wait to try the Chermoula Baked Cauliflower.

3. My New Roots by Sarah Britton

(V, RSF, mostly GF, mostly DF)

Sarah Britton has a wildly popular food blog called My New Roots, and now a cookbook by the same name. ‘Irrestitable, Natural Food That Happens to be Good for You’ - that’s the subtitle for this recipe book and I couldn’t have put it better myself. Sarah provides a great introduction to cooking with whole foods and starts with a very handy section on the ‘essential techniques’ such as soaking and cooking grains, making staples like ghee, nut milks and nut or seed butters, growing sprouts and ‘the holy trinity of flavour’. The book is actually split up into five seasons because in Tradition Chinese Medicine summer is split in two: early summer and late summer. I baked the Carrot Rhubarb Muffins right off the bat which were delicious but the Butternut Stacks with kale Pesto, Kasha, and Butter Beans were the real deal. Oh, and the Rooibos-Poached Pears with Chocolate Olive Oil Sauce… divine. It would be remiss of me not to mention that Sarah’s ‘Life Changing Loaf of Bread,’ which launched her to food blog fame, also makes an appearance with the addition of olives and caraway.

4. The Art of Eating Well by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley

(P, RSF, GF, mostly DF)

Jasmine and Melissa are sisters with experience in modelling and restaurant marketing that have combined their talents and interest in food and health to launch a business catering wholesome and healthy food to their friends. Word spread and they were soon catering for celebs scored the gig as food bloggers for just months after starting their own blog. Like the other, this book also has a great introduction to eating whole foods and how to incorporate more healthy staples into your diet. They also give a run-down of any specialist ingredients like carob, pomegranate molasses and chickpea flour that will be useful to a newbie healthy cook.

My favourites include the simple but delicious Lamb Meatballs and Cauliflower Tabbouleh, the Feta and Black Bean Burgers, and the Pistachio, Fig and Goats’ Cheese Trifle.

5. Get The Glow by Madeleine Shaw

(P, RSF, GF, DF)

I’ve reviewed Madeleine’s cookbook before here and interviewed her here so needless to say I’m a fan. the book included Maddy’s 6-week ‘Get The Glow’ programme that she uses with clients that has just enough health info to make you feel empowered without getting bogged down by the details. This book has sections dedicated to ‘Speedy Suppers’ and ‘Weekend Wonders’ so you can’t go wrong all thought the week.

I’m a long-time fan of her Raw Chocolate Brownies, but the Poached Egg, Quinoa and Beetroot Bowl (a breakfast dish), and the Sticky Toffee Pudding are also definitely worth a mention!

6. Honestly Healthy by Natasha Corrett and Vicky Edgson

(V, RSF, mostly GF, mostly DF)

The basic premise of this book, created by a healthy chef (Natasha) and a naturopath and nutritionist (Vicky) is to eat a more alkaline diet (mostly plants), which would be a great change for most people to make. The guys are very popular in the UK and even have a celeb following, including Victoria Beckham. Predictably the recipes are delicious but there area few ingredients like agave syrup that I would give a miss or replace with alternatives. 

The Thai Yellow Curry is brilliant and the Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew is a winter staple in my kitchen.

7. I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson

(P, SF, mostly GF, mostly DF)

Sarah Wilson is the woman behind the ‘I Quit Sugar’ stampede and though she now has a whole collection of cookbooks to her name, this was the first. it includes her complete 8-week sugar detox programme and 180 sugar-free recipes that will keep you on the straight and narrow (if that’s where you want to be). I don’t use this one nearly as much as the others above but the recipes are pretty basic so I’ve memorised a few that get regular use like the Almond Butter Bark, the Chocolate Nut Butter Cups, and the Coconut Chocolate Butter, which make great alternatives to conventional or even ‘healthy’ sweet treats. should mention that this one does include

If you bought just one of these cookbooks you’d be all set to start whipping up a culinary storm and feeding your fine self with delicious healthy foods. 

The first five are hands-down my all-time favourites but Honestly Healthy and I Quit Sugar are also great options, especially if you’re looking for something more specific to a vegetarian diet or a sugar-free lifestyle.


V - vegetarian

P - paleo-inspired/includes meat

DF - dairy-free

mostly DF - some recipes call for dairy but substitutions for dairy are also offered

mostly GF - some recipes contain low-gluten grains, e.g spelt or rye. 

GF - gluten-free

RSF - refined sugar-free

SF - refined sugar- and fructose-free/low-fructose.

Which healthy recipe books do you love? Let me know in the comments - I'd love to hear from you!

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