So you decided to clean up your diet and don’t know where to start? One of the biggest challenges to changing up your diet is learning how to cook new foods, or for that matter, learning to cook at all! Let’s face it, if it doesn’t taste good and the family doesn’t enjoy it, nobody will stick with it. Flavor matters.
Regardless of which new diet plan you’ve decided to follow, having some cookbooks filled with great recipes is a must. Not only will they spark your own creative juices, but they’ll open your mind to trying foods that you might not have ever eaten, new ways to cook things that you have.
A wheat free, and mostly grain free (or low glycemic) diet presents new challenges to even those of us who have been cooking for years. It’ll require you to relearn some of your basic skills from making sauces to breading.
The books I’ve selected to share with you are the ones I’ve found to be most helpful when trying to improve your diet. All of them will have similarities when it comes to advice, however, there may be a few variables along the way in regards to types of sweeteners used, flours preferred, dairy or no dairy, etc.
Don’t let those variations confuse you, rather try what you find and then learn to adjust according to your diet and your preferences. Paleo, wheat free, grain free, low glycemic, low carb/high fat, eating to heal your gut, primal, etc. are all just variations of very similar diets with only a handful of differences along the way.
Top Six Clean Eating Cookbooks
1. Primal Blueprint: Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings by Mark Sisson with Jennifer Meier:
This book will help you get acquainted with the essential list of Primal-approved ingredients: butter, coconut milk, flour alternatives, puréed vegetables, nut butters, eggs, healthful oils, vinegar, salt and assorted herbs and spices. It then teaches you how to create your dips, rubs, dessert toppings, marinades, seasonings, salsa, pesto, flavored butter, tapenade, and gravy. These sauces, dressings and toppings will not only bring flavor and nutrition to your meals, but will also ban the objectionable sugars and fats found in most conventional flavor enhancers from the table!
Trust me when I say that this book was a game changer in my household.
Danielle takes the guesswork out of meal planning with eight weeks’ worth of dinner ideas, complete with full shopping lists and recipes for using up leftovers. Whether we’re moms, students, or business owners, at the end of the day we all want fresh, home-cooked meals that are easy to prepare. And we want lots of variety. Meals Made Simple includes a variety of slow cooker, one-pot, and thirty-minute meals, as well as ways to create entirely new dishes from leftovers. She also offers special “tidbits” to help ensure that your meals turn out picture-perfect.
I’ve tried multiple recipes from this book and I haven’t had one (so far) that wasn’t delicious.
3. Easy Paleo Meals by Kelly V. Brozyna:
Kelly Brozyna, from The Spunky Coconut, brings you 150 easy Paleo family favorites—with all the pluck and liveliness her readers have come to love.
As a busy mom of three who has been feeding her family a restricted diet for multiple health reasons, Kelly understands the challenges of preparing healthy meals daily. She presents loads of creative meals using time saving-techniques essential to anyone wanting to make healthy eating easier.
I love that she includes basics and tips on everything from kitchen tools to ingredients, and meal planning to shopping lists. This is a perfect cookbook for someone who is feeding a family and appreciates easy to make recipes with affordable ingredients.
4. Ditch The Wheat by Carol Lovett:
In this book, Carol Lovett has packed the book with over 120 paleo-friendly recipes that are perfect for anyone looking to change to a grain-free diet and are steering clear of many other foods with inflammatory properties, such as dairy, legumes and highly-processed foods.
She includes useful step-by-step tutorials that will aid you in navigating your grain-free kitchen and teach you how to make food from scratch using the finest quality and nourishing ingredients.
Again, I love that Carol includes so many basics from tools to techniques that help anyone at any level start cooking healthful meals. You really don’t have to be a chef, you just need to know some of their techniques to make things easier!
5. Clean Eating With A Dirty Mind by Vanessa Barajas:
With a perfect combination of more than 150 sweet and savory recipes, this book breaks the mold (and all the rules), its core principle being that just because your food is nutritious doesn’t mean it has to taste that way! Recipes like Pizza Soup, Sour Cherry Crumble Bars, Death by Chocolate Cake, and Salted Caramel Ice Cream are sure to satisfy even the most demanding sweet tooth—and they are all gluten-free, grain-free, guilt-free, and Paleo-friendly.
This is a perfect go-to book when dessert is a non-negotiable, only in this case they’re made without wheat and use better ingredients! I’m not gonna lie… her Butterbeer Cupcakes may be one of my favorite recipes ever, in part because they’re delicious and because I share her love of all things Harry Potter. =)
6. Whole30 Cookbook by Melissa Hartwig:
What kind of list would this be if I didn’t include this brand new release from Melissa Hartwig? In this latest book, Melissa delivers over 150 all-new recipes to help you prepare delicious, healthy meals during your Whole30 and beyond. If you’ve never done Whole30, it’s a perfect 30 day kick start to a whole new life. Beginners should grab a copy of their first book, “The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide To Total Health and Food Freedom” and use this one as a supplemental cookbook. It will change your life!
For the rest of you, refocus on your health with these new mouth watering recipes! With food this good, what could you possibly miss?
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If you have a favorite cookbook that I’ve left out… feel free to share it in the comments!