Hi everybody welcome to another article. today we're going to be talking about 18 Best Holiday Cookbooks: Healthy Cookbooks for Families.
it's November so we've got the holidays coming up that's why if you're looking to give the gift of a healthy cookbook this holiday season then you probably know that there are a lot of options out there
so today I'm gonna share with you some of my favorite best holiday cookbooks.
when most people think of the best healthy cookbook for a holiday. I think they usually think of something that's like low-calorie recipes or low-fat recipes or low-carb recipes or low-something recipes
but what I think of the healthy cookbook what I'm really looking at is food quality so I like cookbooks that use whole real food ingredients and no wacky funky stuff just stuff that's really nourishing and good for our bodies.
Best Cookbooks of 2023 to Gift This Holiday Season
And then also another requirement is that the food in there has to taste good because if it doesn't taste good then anyone's gonna eat it and since I am a real food dietician I happen to have a pretty decent collection of real food cookbooks so today I'm gonna share those best holiday cookbooks with you.
so I picked a selection of the best healthy cookbooks with holiday food in mind let's go ahead and take a look at what we've got.
we're going to start out with drinks because, in my opinion, no holiday dinner is complete without some fun drinks.
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Quench: Handcrafted Beverages to Satisfy Every Taste and Occasion by Ashley English
we have this book called Quench which has a fun combination of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks there are homemade soda recipes and then cocktails shrubs that you could mix either with non-alcoholic or alcoholic components.
so it's got a good variation on that something that I really like about cookbooks is all the really pretty hot chocolate pictures. don't you want that hot chocolate with those homemade marshmallows?
so if you're looking for some fun drink recipes with some good variety quench is definitely one to check out.
2. Death & Co
Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails by David Kaplan
another one along the same lines but alcoholic is death and company this book is going to be a rabbit hole for some of you there are so many cocktail recipes in this book when I went through it trying to pick a few that I could highlight for you guys it was just like one after the next something to be aware of with this one though is that the recipes are really specific about what kind of alcohol they call for so it doesn't just call for a gin it calls specifically for like a beefeater's gin obviously you can do whatever you want.
if you've got something else on hand or you don't like a specific type of alcohol you can certainly change it up but they talk about how they created the recipes to very specifically match the flavor profiles of certain alcohols there is a section in this one where they talk about creating specific or like-new cocktails and they give you some sort of criteria to keep in mind when you do that but again there are some really awesome pictures check out this one that's cucumber on top.
so if you're looking for a deep dive into cocktail recipes for your holiday season 'death co' is the way to go this book is awesome if that's what you're looking for.
3. Vegetables Illustrated
Vegetables Illustrated: An Inspiring Guide with 700+ Kitchen-Tested Recipes by America's Test Kitchen
This is vegetables illustrated by cooks illustrated just the cover is a gorgeous look at all those pretty vegetables if you're like me you have a lot of recipes that you make every year for the holidays and they're ingrained in your memory they're very specific and probably not super healthy.
I don't know my favorite Thanksgiving recipe, for example, is mashed sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on top I have to have it otherwise it's not Thanksgiving right you're not going to find something like that in this book but if you are looking to shake up your vegetable sides for the holidays or really anytime this is an awesome book to do that with cook's illustrated and America's test kitchen do a really good job of outlining all the steps of a recipe why something's going gonna work or why to like why it might not work.
so you really learn a lot about cooking from their books and there's just some gorgeous stuff in here let me show you a couple of things that I marked and I really like vegetables if you don't like vegetables that are going to be kind of a downfall for you here this is their green bean casserole which I know is another traditional dish for Thanksgiving in particular.
so if you always do canned green beans and canned cream of mushroom soup maybe check out this cookbook and try their version I haven't tried their version but it looks amazing the other really cool thing about this book is that it's broken down by vegetable so all of the green bean recipes are together all of the radish recipes are together.
so if you know that you're looking for a recipe for a specific type of vegetable you're going to find all those recipes in one place so vegetables this one is my number one recommendation if you're looking for vegetables.
4. Vegan Holiday Cooking from Candle Cafe
next up in the same frame sort of is vegan holiday cooking from candle cafe so you may not be vegan, and you may not even know anyone who's vegan but even if you're not something really great about vegan cookbooks is that it gives you a different frame of reference for cooking without meat or dairy and you know we're all trying to be a little bit healthier so sometimes it's worth it even if you're not vegan to be able to put yourself in a different frame of mind to be able to see a new way to use ingredients that you always make the same way and so this one gives you some traditional flavors of the holidays but done vegan.
so here's where's the really pretty this is a braised cranberry-orange tofu I know some of you are like oh my god tofu is awesome because it takes on the flavor of whatever you put with it so it's not like you know beef that already has its own flavor to it and then you have to complement that flavor tofu is pretty much a blank slate.
so something like that would be an awesome thing to try out or maybe you have family members or friends that are newly vegan or are trying to go more plant-based definitely check out a vegan cookbook like this one to give you some good ideas on how to make some of those more traditional flavors in a plant-based way.
5. All About Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art
All About Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art by Molly Stevens
then obviously for the holidays most of us think of turkeys and roasting so this book is all about roasting a new approach to the classic art and I'm looking at this cover like if you eat meat you want to eat this cover basically this is amazing so this book is exactly what it says it tells you all about roasting there's an entire section it's about 10 pages long on roasting a turkey and all the different components with that from removing the giblets to how to make sure that the thighs are browning at the same rate as the breast and how to carve it's all in here and then there's also one on the roast goose.
and if like me you think of Charles Dickens when you think of roast goose maybe you want to try it out here's some roast goose for you here I don't know I always feel like I'm in a Dickens book when I read about the roast goose.
so if you're looking for some tips and tricks on roasting for the holidays or anytime all about roasting is gonna really put your game up a level.
6. Tasting Pennsylvania: Favorite Recipes from the Keystone State
Tasting Pennsylvania: Favorite Recipes from the Keystone State by Carrie Havranek
and something a little more local is tasting Pennsylvania this one is not really holiday-specific it's got breakfast lunch and dinner kind of options but they're from different restaurants and inns and things like that all across the state.
so if you're looking for something more regionally Pennsylvania this is going to be an awesome one to check out there is a breakfast recipe in here that I desperately want to make it's stuffed pumpkin french toast there's not a picture that makes me sad but I stuffed pumpkin french toast I mean come on that sounds unbelievable there's also, of course, a Moravian sugar cake recipe in here there's an English toffee pudding recipe.
so if you're looking for more Pennsylvania cuisine for your holidays or again anytime tasting Pennsylvania is a great choice.
7. The Artisanal Kitchen: Holiday Cookies
The Artisanal Kitchen: Holiday Cookies: The Ultimate Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy Treats by Alice Medrich
so first up cookies, we have this little one called holiday cookies which is adorable and it's got a fun variety of different types of things from shortbread and butter cookies to the lender cookies like you have on the cover here and graham crackers but all in this little format so it's it's centered around the types of cookies that you might eat during the holidays.
8. The Perfect Cookie
The Perfect Cookie: Your Ultimate Guide to Foolproof Cookies, Brownies & Bars (Perfect Baking Cookbooks) by America's Test Kitchen
if you need more cookies than that I'm going to recommend the perfect cookie from America's test kitchen like I said before America's test kitchen does an amazing job of telling you why something is going to work or not work depending on different variables.
so there's a section in here about cookies that are made with butter versus shortening versus oil and they show you pictures of how they come out differently based on what you put in them so not only are there a ton of cookie recipes in here like every cookie you could possibly need but they're going to tell you how to make them the perfect way.
so if you're looking for cookies and bars and you could use some tips on how to make them even more amazing get the perfect cookie and start making maybe bring some by the library we wouldn't mind we'll test them out for you.
Wintersweet: Seasonal Desserts to Warm the Home by Tammy Donroe Inman
next, we have one called winter suite which I saw this pavlova on the cover and I was like ooh meringue yes we have to talk about this book just because the meringue on the cover Wintersweet is an entire dessert book centered on winter flavors so you've got citrus and pomegranate and then the warm like cinnamon and nutmeg sort of flavors that's what you're gonna find in this book.
and so if you're looking for something seasonal that's really the way to go cranberry cobbler I mean come on here's a coconut sunshine cake that looks awesome and I think let me find you this other picture because I saw this picture and went this is the holidays these are sugared cranberries I love cranberries and this time of year I am like all about cranberry flavored anything and I absolutely want to make sugar cranberries now because those look amazing.
so if you like me are all about the winter flavors right now wintersweet is gonna be your top pick.
10. then I know I know I haven't said anything about pie holidays and pie they go hand in hand I have two pie books for you because I could not just pick one.
10. Pies and Tarts
the first one is Pies and Tarts and again the cover got me right away I was like yes please that looks amazing it's strawberry it looks like then how about this it's a maple pumpkin pie.
so it's not just pumpkin they're also throwing the maple in there to get you extra festive and amazing there's shoe fly pie there a creamy maple tart there are ricotta tarts this boiled apple cider custard that sounds awesome you reduce the apple cider down and then you mix it in with custard and you bake it. so if you're looking for some pies and tarts is a good one for you.
Magpie: Sweets and Savories from Philadelphia’s Favorite Pie Boutique by Holly Riccardi
The second one is Magpie I actually own this book and so when I went to pick out pie books I was like I need to grab Magpie and then I was like well maybe I'm being biased just because I own the book doesn't mean it's the best pie book but this is an awesome pie book.
the cool thing about this one is that it's not just sweet pies the front section is sweet pies but the entire back section is savory pies and pot pies and things like that. so if you're looking for sweet and savory this one is an awesome option for you.
so definitely if you are all about the pies right now you could check them both out first of all there's no one stopping you get all the pie books if you want and trying all the pies but Magpie is going to be an awesome selection for you if you're looking for pies.
12. Pumpkin: The Curious History of an American Icon
and then I have one more that is not a cookbook but is still in the food theme and that is pumpkin and this is a cultural history of pumpkin in America. so while you're now making and eating your pumpkin pies this season you might be wondering how pumpkin came to be associated with the holidays here in the u.s and maybe why pumpkin is so tied to our holiday identity.
it's definitely not the case everywhere else in the world pumpkin is a recipe that is used in other food cultures throughout the year but here you know it's very specific October through December basically is when we eat pumpkin and that's it.
so if you're interested in the cultural history of pumpkins here in America definitely check this out and you can learn a little bit about what you're eating and why.
13. 100 Days of Real Food
This is The 100 days of a real food cookbook now this is based on a blog a hundred days of real food calm and then it's she's gone on to make this cookbook.
so if you want to check that out too you can check out her website and kind of see her journey because her story is that she was moving her family to real food and so she kind of documented the process and she really discovered some things along the way that are helpful for someone else who is also going through that journey.
so this cookbook has a lot of great basic recipes for someone who maybe doesn't have a ton of cooking skills isn't really sure what's going on in the kitchen and is just starting out now for someone who's a little more advanced already knows how to cook and is kind of already doing real food.
this might not be the best option they might actually look at this and be like why are their recipes for these things this is so basic but for someone who is just starting out this is exactly what they need so this is a great option for the beginner.
14. The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
next up is vegetarian cooking for everyone Piper Madison and this is the new edition one of my cats has chewed on the corner but that's okay cuz it still works and this is like the Encyclopedia for cooking vegetables.
so I myself am NOT a vegetarian but I do love this book because I eat a lot of veggies and it's just a great resource so when you go through there it has things all broken up pretty much any vegetable you can think of from the very common ones to even ones that are a little more obscure that you might only find at farmers market it's in here.
and Deborah Madison is like a magician when it comes to food her recipes even the ones that are the most simple somehow there's some sort of magic going on there that everything always tastes delicious so this is a really great guide you can find pretty much anything you need in here when it comes to vegetables and it's a really great resource to have on hand.
15. Local Flavors
Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets by Deborah Madison
the next book is also by Deborah Madison and this is about local flavors the premise behind this book is shopping seasonally at your farmer's market.
so it's really great for someone who does go to the farmers market and buy a lot of stuff but maybe isn't only sure how to make combinations of what they got or is just looking for some new ideas now the book is divided up by types of food which can be really good for someone shopping at the farmers market.
because it's easy to find if you bought a specific thing you can figure out what chapter it's in and try to find a recipe for it it's not so great if you have a specific meal in mind like I'm looking for an appetizer or I'm looking for a soup or something like that because it's not broken up that way so depending on what you want the organization can be like a great thing or maybe a little bit tricky.
but overall I think it's a great book again the recipes taste delicious and how do I make that into a dinner or a meal and then I just go in the cookbook and so many times there has been a recipe with those exact three things in there because since it's based on seasonality it's based on these things that are in season at the same time so that aspect of this book has been really helpful for me.
16. The Nourished Kitchen
next up is The Nourished Kitchen and this is a great option for someone who's a little more intermediate on the whole real food journey so they already know how to cook they've already been doing some basic stuff but maybe they're looking to take it to the next level or just need some new ideas.
and this cookbook has a lot of really traditional nourishing real food recipes that range from some basic things like how to make different types of yogurt, different styles of yogurt, how to make clarified butter things like that as well as a broth but also some just real meal recipes.
it is something that again is better for the intermediate person just because there are some really basic ingredients in here but there are also some things that maybe aren't so basic so it's something that likes.
it's not that the ingredients are obscure or hard to find it's just that someone who's new to real food might not know how to get that or where to get it so it's really great for the intermediate person it also has some fermented recipes in here which is kind of cool to have those thrown in and I think this one is really fun.
17. The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook
in a similar vein, we have the homegrown paleo cookbook and while I would not describe myself as paleo because I do eat dairy and legumes and grains and all that stuff I type of like paleo stuff because it's based on real food great vegetables high-quality meats all that kind of stuff and the cool thing about this cookbook is it does have recipes in there it has some basics like kombucha or different broths or things like that.
but it also has some you know real meal recipes for someone who needs more ideas or is trying to take things to the next level again than a more intermediate person but it also has some lifestyle stuff so it has stuff about growing vegetables that has stuff about raising animals. it has some different pieces as far as like living life with different activities or different at-home projects dyeing Easter eggs naturally that kind of thing.
so it's kind of the overall encompassing guide to living this sort of lifestyle which I think is really cool so if you have someone who's kind of at that intermediate stage but is looking to take things up a notch or maybe is interested in growing some of their own food or raising animals this is a great starter resource.
18. Fermented Vegetables
the next book is fermented vegetables and this is for the person who's interested in doing some food projects or looking into preserving more food I love this book because it's really good for someone who maybe has done sauerkraut but it's interested in doing some new stuff but it still has stuff for the beginner.
so there's a part at the beginning where it talks about you know kind of the basics of fermentation and what you need and different types and stuff like that as well as equipment so it can really get you started and she really presents all the different options so it's not like you have to do this it's just kinda like here you can use this equipment or you can use this equipment some people do this.
I do that and it's a really approachable resource in that way and then as far as the recipes it goes through each vegetable and it has a little section about that vegetable as far as maybe how was traditionally fermented or some problems that you might have with it or things about that make it great for fermenting all that kind of stuff and then I'll have like one or two recipes for fermenting that food which is really cool.
and then also there's more of a recipe section that shows how to incorporate these foods into your actual meals which is also helpful and then there's more at the end there's a section where she talks about things that can go wrong.
if you see mold or something that looks like this that's bad you need to throw it out the type of thing so to help you kind of troubleshoot if you are having problems and you can't quite figure it out there's a section in the back to help you do that.
Conclusion of Best Holiday Healthy Cookbooks for Families in 2023
So those are my favorite cookbooks for the real foodie on your list this year I hope you like this article and if you want more healthy eating tips and nutrition info and healthy recipes make sure that you subscribe because eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle really doesn't have to be complicated and I want to show you how to do it.
so if you want to cook Indian food or Mexican food or Thai food or some fusion of those there's a bunch of them that are fusion cookbooks definitely come and check out our cookbook section there's a ton of them to go through you can have a lot of fun diving into that section in our cookbooks category.
if you are looking for more recommendations as always you can go to the below section on our website and put in a personalized recommendation request form give us a little bit of information about what you like and what you're looking for and we'll send you back a list of items.
that we hope you'll enjoy that's all for us today we'll be back with another article soon enjoy and stay safe and we'll see you in the cookbooks category.