People often ask me what I think of popular ‘healthy’ books and products. Unfortunately, I can’t always rave about the latest diet cookbook based on bad science and sometimes dangerous eating plans. But, there are plenty of healthy cookbooks that I do love and I’ve listed them here to share. Every single one of these items I have purchased personally for myself and LOVE. If you have a favourite healthy cookbook that’s not here, tell me about it! I’ll let you know what I think and hopefully add it to the list.
My Favourite Books
Look Inside Your Body
I love how this book introduces kids to how their body works. It’s lift the flap so will appeal to many young kids, but the information is sufficient that they will continue to refer to it for a few years to come. I have bought this one for my 3 year old for Christmas so I will add to this review once she has had a good look herself.
A Whole New Way to Eat
If you’ve been eating healthily for a little while and are ready to add some zing to your meals, this is the book for you. While the abundance of ‘superfoods’ may not be completely necessary and would send you broke if you cooked every meal from this book (there is a lot of coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and goat milk used), they do make for some lovely and interesting meals. The variety of new ideas and made-over classics means you’ll keep coming back to this one. With a few ingredient substitutions, it’s becoming one of my go-to cookbooks. My favourite recipe: Green Brekkie Bowl
This book is used so often in our house, I keep it in the kitchen. It’s a compilation of information and recipes he has developed by learning from doctors, nutritionists and experts about the world’s healthiest people. The meals are well balanced and full of flavour with a lot more fresh vegetables than we’re used to seeing from his cook books. Despite the super food in the title, it uses regular supermarket ingredients. It also includes 40 pages on a Jamie’s healthy living philosophy (no kooky ideas here, just drinking water, eating wholefoods, reducing alcohol and getting plenty of sleep). My favourite recipe: Green tea roasted salmon, ginger rice & sunshine salad.
Fresh & Light
Just as the title suggests, this book is full spring and summer inspired recipes that are every bit a treat as they are healthy. It’s full of fresh ideas for using up your latest fresh produce haul. This is the oldest book on my list, but it is one I keep coming back to for impressive but simple dishes. My favourite recipe: Crispy lemon fish with yoghurt tartare.
Life in Balance
If you’re trying to get some more vegetables and wholegrains in your day, this is the book for you. It’s got plenty of meat options too but the focus is on fresh natural wholefoods the whole family can enjoy. My favourite recipe: Moroccan chicken and carrot salad with whole-wheat couscous.
One Handed Cooks
Allie Gaunt, Jessica Beaton and Sarah Buckle
It’s a must for anyone feeding babies, toddlers and kids. This is one of the few books that I love every recipe and I 100% agree with the nutrition and feeding information. This book was written by a nanny, an Acredited Practicing Dietitian and a primary school teacher. The book is organised by ages/eating ability and the best part is the section family foods section “one meal three ways” which gives you inspiration for how to make one meal served three ways for baby, toddler and older kids/adults. My favourite recipe: Salmon and ricotta cakes.
Superfood Family Classics
This is a true Jamie Oliver style book, but with a fresher focus on more vegetables and smaller (but still reasonable) portions. Plenty of comfort food recipes and crowd pleasers. A good ‘just starting out’ book if you’re cooking for others who might not be ready for superfood salads just yet. My favourite recipe: 7-Veg tomato sauce.
The Art of Eating Well
Hemsley + Hemsley
While the nutrition information in this book doesn’t pass my evidence test, the recipes are great. They’re modern, plant based and make use of the superfoods you bought that are hiding in the back of the pantry unopened. A great book if you’re interested eating more wholefoods but have some fussy familiar members to impress. My favourite recipe: Lamb meatballs with cauliflower tabbouleh.
The Bikini Body 28-Day Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Guide
I hate the title of this book and even I am surprised this book has made my list (!!) as I’m not usually an advocate for diet and exercise programs. BUT the recipes are great! They’re based on the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and there’s plenty of useful nutrition and shopping tips throughout. I wouldn’t recommend following the meal plans as they can end up being very carbohydrate heavy, but the individual recipes are perfectly nutritious and balanced. A few of the main meals I have cooked needed tweaking with some extra spices for flavour, but this is easily fixed if you’re a regular in the kitchen. There are plenty of breakfast and snack ideas which alone make this book worthwhile. My favourite recipe: Choc Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl.
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Australian Healthy Food Guide
My last favorite is a monthly magazine and I LOVE it. I have three years of magazines on my shelf and I regularly refer to them for recipe ideas. Australian Healthy Food Guide is one of the few magazines that actually lives up to the headlines on the cover. The editor is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and an Exercise Physiologist and the regular contributors are experts in their fields. Buy it for the recipes, healthy product finds a and new research highlights. It’s available in newsagents and supermarkets. An annual subscription makes a great last minute gift.