A good cookbook is one of your most valuable companions in the kitchen, and countless home cooks agree that having a solid collection of cookbooks on hand is a must if you're serious about preparing nutritious meals for your family. There are probably enough cookbooks in the world to wallpaper the Great Wall of China three times over, so where exactly should you start when you're looking to keep the emphasis on healthy eating? Below are five must-have healthy cookbooks that offer a compelling combination of straightforward cooking knowledge and accessible health-oriented recipes to help you create healthy, nourishing meals that you and your family will love.
1. Weeknight Wonders: Delicious, Healthy Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less by Ellie Krieger
In "Weeknight Wonders," Food Network luminary Ellie Krieger offers 150 simple yet undeniably delicious meal ideas for the busy home cook. The great thing about this cookbook is that it steers clear of exotic culinary novelties and instead focuses on artfully reworking classic dishes that you and your family know and love in a manner that emphasizes nutrition and great taste.
For the time-constrained parent, this book offers straightforward recipes that are quick and easy to prepare (all of Krieger's meals can be whipped up in 30 minutes or less), with minimal hassle and simple ingredients. If you're looking for a cookbook that will provide you with a solid assortment of health-focused, time-friendly meals for you and your family to enjoy, "Weeknight Wonders" is definitely a top pick.
2. The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen
The makers of the smash-hit television series "America's Test Kitchen" have consolidated the best and healthiest recipes from their iconic Boston-based 2,500-square foot test kitchen into an all-purpose cookbook that will never leave you short on healthy meal ideas for your family.
This spiral-bound guide delivers 800 health-oriented recipes that cover everything from breakfast and appetizers to meats, pasta and desserts. Parents will also rejoice at the litany of kid-friendly dishes that are offered in this comprehensive cookbook.
The great thing about "America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook" is that it offers you all kinds of helpful cooking tips and techniques without coming across as dry, boring or too textbook. It's also important to note that this cookbook is not a collection of "diet" recipes; instead, it provides you with simple ways to incorporate more fruits, vegetables and whole grains into regular meals in order to boost their nutritional value while maximizing taste.
3. Good Fat Cooking: Recipes for a Flavor-Packed, Healthy Life by Franklin Becker and Peter Kaminsky
The role of dietary fat has become somewhat of a heated topic over the past decade, but if there's any cookbook that has the potential to bring some much-needed clarity to the "good fat vs. bad fat" controversy, it would be "Good Fat Cooking." The authors--an award-winning New York chef and a revered culinary writer--have taken great pains to showcase the benefits of incorporating good fats such as avocados, nuts, fish, olive oil, etc., into flavor-packed dishes that will suit a variety of tastes.
Beautifully illustrated with high-quality photos and featuring 100 mouth-watering recipes, "Good Fat Cooking" is an excellent volume for the home cook who wants to serve their family delicious and nutrient-rich meals that feature heart-healthy fats.
4. Fit Food - Eating Well for Life by Ellen Haas
Ellen Haas, founder of the award-winning website FoodFit.com, brings her passion for healthy eating into print by way of this helpful and highly informative cookbook. Emphasizing 21 "Fit Foods," Haas presents more than 200 health-focused and top-chef-created recipes that incorporate nutrient-rich ingredients into easy-to-make dishes.
Not only does this cookbook cover what types of ingredients to use, but it goes into detail regarding how to properly select, store and utilize those ingredients in order to get the best taste. In addition, the recipes found in this volume will be a breath of fresh air for the busy parent, as most of the dishes take less than a half an hour to prepare.
5. Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi
Born in Israel and based out of London, chef and restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi has become a culinary sensation due to his ability to concoct transformative vegetarian recipes using a refreshingly diverse combination of natural ingredients. Ever since its debut in 2011, "Plenty" has become immensely popular, even spawning a sequel book from Ottolengthi entitled "Plenty More." The vibrant photos in "Plenty" will have your mouth watering, and the recipes in this enlightening cookbook will expand your conception of the possibilities of vegetarian cuisine.
As you well know, cooking healthy meals for your family is a demanding task. Adding the healthy cookbooks listed above to your kitchen library will give you plenty of tools in your culinary arsenal to successfully prepare tasty, nutrition-focused meals for you and your loved ones.