Recipes are everywhere on the internet, but they will never replace the enjoyment of cracking the spine of a printed cookbook, thumbing through the crisp pages for inspiration, and bookmarking the most appealing recipes to try. Food blogs, be they vegan, Paleo or anything in between, aren’t the same as using a family cookbook that’s been passed on for a few generations – stains, dog ears, and all. Fortunately, the cookbook industry doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, and there are a glut of healthy cookbooks lining store shelves, which provide a cornucopia of gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, Paleo and whole food inspiration.
Home cooking is one of the best ways to nourish your body, especially if you are dealing with health challenges. We love these Top 35 healthy cookbooks – so if you’re looking to add to your cookbook collection, we highly recommend picking up a copy of one (or more!) of these!
Batch by Joel McCharles and Dana Harrison
Joel and Dana have published hundreds of recipes on their blog, Well Preserved, and now they’ve amalgamated more than a decade of knowledge into their first cookbook. This incredible guide covers a variety of preserving techniques, including canning, dehydrating, salting and smoking, and our ultimate favourite, fermentation. This book will become your preserving bible!
My New Roots by Sarah Britton
Everyone knows and loves Sarah Britton’s My New Roots blog, and now you can have her in the kitchen every day with her beautifully photographed cookbook that is organized so you can cook with the seasons. We love this healthy cookbook because it contains plenty of simple meals that are easy to throw together, but also has a number of fun ‘cooking projects’ if you want to get fancy.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat
This beautiful book, written by one of our favourite food activists, was adapted into an equally beautiful Netflix documentary. This large tome contains recipes and fun illustrations, but more so is an instruction manual for how to use basic ingredients and techniques to amp up the flavour of whatever you’re cooking.
Vegetable Kingdom by Bryant Terry
We love our vegetables and love when vegan and vegetarian cookbooks show us whole food ways to use them. Bryant Terry’s newest cookbook showcases veggies to their fullest potential and how they can be transformed into satiating meals, all with an African-infused spin.
Yum Universe by Heather Crosby
If you’re looking for gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and meat-free recipe inspiration, this one’s the ticket for you. And it isn’t just the recipes that will float your boat – it contains plenty of lifestyle information that will help you transition to a plant-based diet and learn how to love vegetables.
Korean Paleo by Jean Choi
This healthy cookbook, by the author of the popular blog What Great Grandma Ate, is full of Korean-inspired Paleo recipes that are riffs on Jean’s family favourites. Everything is gluten-free and grain-free, and the specialty ingredients used in the recipes are easy to find at most grocery stores or online.
Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon
Angela’s first cookbook is one of the most popular among our Culinary Nutrition Experts – her recipes always make their way into program menu plans created by our students! Her second vegan cookbook has gorgeous photos, we-must-make-that-right-now kinds of recipes, and best of all, it’s all so easy to execute on a daily basis.
Against All Grain by Danielle Walker
There are a lot of Paleo cookbooks on the market, but we keep returning to Danielle’s debut cookbook for Paleo cooking tips and recipe inspiration. This book re-creates all of the conventional favourites in a nutritious, grain-free way, and if you’ve got kiddos eating at your table there is also a collection of kid-friendly recipes to entice them to gobble up what’s on their plates.
The UnDiet Cookbook by Meghan Telpner (ACN Founder + Director)
This cookbook is the absolute definition of culinary nutrition. Every single ingredient in every single gluten-free recipe works to build our health, and items can be customized to every diet – whether you’re dairy-free, vegan, Paleo, soy-free, and everything in between. Plus, there are handy edible beauty recipes, entertaining tips, and travel advice. An essential resource for anyone who is interested in living a vibrant, healthy life.
The Palestinian Table by Reem Kassis
This cookbook is brilliant for both its incredible recipes and its storytelling. The food in this book is simple yet bold, and the recipes that require more time to prepare are still straightforward. Through Reem’s writing, you’ll also learn a ton about Palestinian food, heritage, and cooking.
Eat Better, Live Better, Feel Better by Julie Cove
The health world is abuzz with detoxing and alkaline diets, but sometimes it can be difficult to figure out how to follow them without feeling restricted or living on lemon juice and cayenne water. In this beautifully styled cookbook, Julie breaks down the science behind the alkaline diet, offers a simple four-step process to adopting an alkaline lifestyle, and features 150 easy recipes to get you started.
The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther
North Americans are getting sicker and fatter, and now we’re beginning to realize that looking back to the way we ate throughout history is actually the key to improving our health now and into the future. This cookbook focuses on traditional food philosophy, which eliminates processed foods and welcomes healthy fats, fermented foods, organ meats, and some gluten-free grains. Jenny shows you how to build a traditional food kitchen and how to actually cook with them without being grossed out!
Secrets From My Vietnamese Kitchen by Kim Thúy
Kim is a lawyer turned restaurateur turned novelist, and the beautiful lyricism of her fiction writing echoes in these Vietnamese recipes that tell the stories of her mother and five aunts.
Plant-Powered Families by Dreena Burton
Vegan eating can sometimes be a tough sell, especially to children who have picky-eating tendencies. Dreena Burton is basically the queen of vegan eating, which is why we trust that her vegan recipes are going to be delicious winners. This healthful cookbook not only contains more than 100 whole food vegan recipes that have been tested by Dreena’s three children but also has tips for feeding healthy children from toddlers to teens.
The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Tom Malterre and Alissa Segerston
Food can be harmful or healing – and in this incredible cookbook, Tom and Alissa show you how to create meals that are the latter. We appreciate that this cookbook teaches us to find the best diet to support our health, rather than telling us exactly what we should do – because a single approach doesn’t work for everyone! With over 300 recipes, you might find that you don’t need to buy another cookbook (though with so many great options, we’re sure you’ll want to).
Anti-Inflammatory in 21 by Sondi Bruner (ACN Head Program Coach)
Inflammation is at the root of most health conditions and a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet can help to both prevent disease and manage existing issues. This healthy cookbook is a trove of information about food and inflammation, and we adore it to bits because every single recipe has only 5 ingredients! It’s a breeze to eat well when recipes are this simple (and delicious).
Living Lively by Haile Thomas
At just 19, Haile has a lengthy list of accomplishments including starting her own wellness nonprofit, being the youngest-ever to graduate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, reversing her father’s Type 2 diabetes (when she was just 8!), and speaking at major conferences around the world. Her first cookbook not only includes tasty plant-based recipes but also offers insights and advice from other inspiring young women as well as journaling/reflection prompts to help you keep your goals on track.
Olives, Lemons and Za’atar by Rawia Bishara
This delicious melange of Middle Eastern recipes showcases tasty home cooking and encourages readers to season to taste and add their own flair. We love when cooking is a choose your own adventure!
Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo
This cookbook has been nicknamed the ‘Paleo Bible’ because it’s such an amazing resource for how to successfully live and eat a Paleo diet. It includes a number of Paleo guides, 120 recipes and eleven different menu plans that address a range of health conditions. Yes, eleven menu plans! They truly relieve the stress of meal prep and cooking.
Everyday Harumi by Harumi Kurihara
This is one of those simple, healthy cookbooks that have staple recipes you’ll return to again and again. Harumi takes you through basic Japanese cooking techniques and each recipe is very doable, from finding the necessary ingredients to actually preparing the beautiful dishes.
Vibrant Food by Kimberley Hasselbrink
Take a peek outside your window (go ahead, we’ll wait). What you’ll undoubtedly see is a lush array of colours found in our beautiful world – and the plate is the perfect canvas for showing off the multitude of bright fruits and veg available. This cookbook is amazing because it teaches us how to build gorgeous dishes. We eat with our eyes first, so highlighting the visual elements of food is important too!
The Green Kitchen by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl
A beautifully styled vegetarian cookbook whose authors invite you into their kitchen by sharing personal stories about their life as a family. While this cookbook has some recipes with gluten and dairy, they can be easily adapted for a gluten-free or vegan diet.
Modern Native Feasts by Andrew George
Andrew is a member of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia and was the head chef of Aboriginal foods during the 2010 Winter Olympics. In this cookbook, he adapts and updates traditional Indigenous foods with modern, nutritious twists. The result is absolute deliciousness!
Gluten-Free Girl Every Day by Shauna James Ahern
Shauna is a pioneer food blogger and has been writing about gluten-free recipes for more than a decade! In this James Beard award-winning cookbook, she shares recipes for simple family meals using seasonal produce, plus she reveals her tried-and-true gluten-free flour blends for failproof gluten-free baked goodies.
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh
Ghanaian food largely focuses on local, sustainable ingredients and many traditional dishes are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. In this book, Zoe walks us through classic ingredients and contemporary recipes that are the ultimate healthy comfort food.
Sweet Potato Soul by Jenne Claiborne
Jennie is one of our adored vegan bloggers and her recipes and beautiful photography are always impressive. Here, she transforms the iconic Southern recipes she grew up eating (which often included animal products) into vegan versions that plant-based eaters can enjoy. For recipes that include glutenous flour, try making substitutions using our gluten-free flour guide.
Some Good by Jessica Mitton (Culinary Nutrition Expert)
This cookbook is both gluten-free and dairy-free and highlights Newfoundland cooking. In this gem, you’ll get to explore comfort food favourites – like this recipe for battered cod – and discover healthified versions of Eastern classics you may have never even heard of! She also has a follow-up cookbook focused on desserts.
Blender Girl by Tess Masters
Blender recipes are often a go-to for busy people or for those who are new to healthy eating – what could be easier than throwing everything in the blender? All of the recipes are gluten-free and vegan, and because most of the recipes are blender-based it’s really hard to mess ’em up.
The Heal Your Gut Cookbook by Hilary Boynton and Mary G. Brackett
Good health springs from what we eat – but when we can’t digest and absorb things properly, it’s tough to reap the health benefits. This cookbook, based on the GAPS diet, shows you how to heal your gut and restore a healthy balance of bacteria in the digestive tract, which can help alleviate many conditions, from IBD to allergies. There are over 200 recipes that guide you on the path to grain-free, gluten-free and sugar-free living, plus plenty of tips on how to incorporate the GAPS diet into family life.
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig
This cookbook is for anyone who thinks fat, particularly animal fat, is evil. Sally breaks down why traditional foods like butter and other animal fats are good for your heart, nervous system, and brain – and we love how she does it with a rebellious spirit.
Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson
Elegant cookbooks and new recipes are awesome, but sometimes you just want to know your favourite chef’s go-to recipe. This cookbook is a compendium of nearly 100 of Heidi’s go-tos, and it’s full of nutrient-dense recipes you can whip up over and over again, whether you’re cooking for one or your much-loved guests.
Small Plates and Sweet Treats by Aran Goyoga
Aran is the voice behind the stunning and wildly popular blog Cannelle et Vanille. With her cookbook, you can bring the Spanish tapas mode of eating into your home (and maybe indulge in a 2-hour afternoon siesta, too?). All of the recipes are gluten-free and are arranged by season, so you can cook with what’s available. This one is great to have on hand when you’re prepping for a gathering!
Help Yourself to Seconds by Michelle Vodrazka (Culinary Nutrition Expert)
Help ourselves to seconds? Don’t mind if we do! Especially when we’re gobbling gluten-free and dairy-free recipes packed with nourishing, nutrient-rich foods that boost energy, rev up our metabolism and keep us fueled for the day. And, as a bonus, this cookbook is family and kid-friendly too.
Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
Vegetarian cooking was once considered the domain of weird, granola hippies. Yotam has played an enormous role in elevating vegetarianism into something both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike can enjoy. His Mediterranean-inspired recipes will make you think differently about how to cook vegetables, and the photos are stunning – you’ll have as much fun gazing at the photos of the recipes as you will eating them!
From Scratch Cooking by the Grads of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition
Yep, we’re a little biased here. This e-cookbook compilation from our Culinary Nutrition Expert Program graduates is one of our favourite healthy cookbooks to use – partially because all of the recipes are gluten-free, plant-based, and dairy-free, but mainly because every single dollar of your cookbook purchase goes to charity. It’s eating for a good cause – you can’t go wrong with that. The latest edition was published in 2020, but you can also find the six previous versions here.
What are your favourite healthy cookbooks? Please share in the comments!