You should see my bookshelf, it’s loaded with cookbooks that I’ve collected over the years. I love having a quiet moment, sitting down curled up on the sofa with a mug of tea and flicking through the beautiful images and recipes, dreaming up a magnificent feast in my head. Admittedly, a lot of my recipe books do just sit there looking pretty and collecting dust, but there are some regulars that I always turn to when in need of some healthy balanced inspiration.
As a wellness blogger, I wouldn’t blame you assuming that my cookbook collection solely consists of the latest faddy diet trends and clean eating gurus. My collection does include some vegan and low sugar recipe books because I have a genuine interest in these areas and like to keep my recipes varied on this blog to cater to my reader’s different lifestyle choices. However, sitting proudly on my shelves are books full of recipes for cakes, decadent desserts, carb heavy dishes and much more.
When I started this blog and coming up to 6 years later, always at its very core is a healthy balance. This has had various definitions for me and over the past couple of years I’ve finally found my groove and embraced it fully. Cakes and chocolate are essential for me to lead a happy and balanced life – they nourish my soul and for me that’s just as important as sipping on a green smoothie. With that said, I’m sharing some of my favourite cookbooks, which in my opinion are fantastic advocates of a balanced lifestyle.
“Part of a balanced life lies in the understanding that different days require different ways of eating…”
I have a total girl crush on this woman, she’s fantastic! Simply Nigella, is exactly that, a collection of her favourite recipes that feed her soul and make her feel good. The underlying message of the book is that all food should be pleasurable and is heroic in rebelling against the clean eating movement. Food isn’t dirty and as she admits you will never hear her talk about ‘healthy’ food, which is one of the main reasons why I love this book. All of the recipes are cooked with wholesome uncomplicated ingredients created for sheer enjoyment. The fact of the matter is, none of the food in the book is designed for losing weight or cutting back. Instead, it focuses on real ingredients and delicious food and I just love the healthy balanced mindset that it promotes.
EVERYDAY SUPER FOOD
I’ve followed Jamie Oliver since his Naked Chef days and have always loved his down to earth and cheeky Essex boy nature. His genuine passion for food is contagious and it comes across well in all of his TV shows. I’ve never owned one of his books before until Everyday Super Food was released, the accompanying TV show had me hooked. This book is full of vibrant colours, delicious fun food which is very much my own ethos when it comes to healthy balanced eating. The recipes are wholesome, nourishing and full of flavour and more importantly the word diet isn’t mentioned once, it’s all about healthy and happy food!
“Nourish your body without giving up the food you love.”
HUNGRY HEALTHY HAPPY
This is a really special book as it’s by fantastic fellow blogger Dannii Martin. I’ve read Dannii’s blog for years and was delighted to hear that she was releasing a book because I’ve always felt that we were on a similar page where health and wellness are concerned. This book has such a strong message about proving that healthy living doesn’t have to be boring and you can still eat the foods that you enjoy. It’s full of lots of recipe favourites that have been transformed into more nourishing and nutrient dense versions by simply changing up the ingredients.
MY FAMILY KITCHEN
Award winning actress and Masterchef champion, Sophie Thompson, released her first cookbook last year and I wasn’t sure what to expect. The book wasn’t written with the healthy living brigade in mind, it’s full of hearty real food and delicious family recipes that are made with love, it’s really taken me by surprise. I love flicking through the recipes for inspiration and it’s very much like a walk down Sophie’s memory lane with a story at the top of each page about the recipes origin. This book reminded me of how food can remind us of happy memories that can help to nurture a positive relationship with food, just lovely!
“Listen to your body it’s smarter than you.”
More than just a cookbook, Amelia Freer opens up and dishes out her expert nutrition advice that she uses with her clients. There are some great messages in this book, like the idea of being consistent and not perfect and including fats in your diet, which are personal favourites. It’s full to the brim of sound nutritional advice, tips and tricks to help you feel fabulous and good about yourself. Topics covered include snacking, sugar, listening to your body, supplements and much more. In my honest opinion, I take and leave some of the advice given, but a lot of the non-faddy ideas make sense to me, also the natural plant-based recipes are right up my street.
There are so many other books that I could add to this list but these are my current favourites that I go back to time and time again. I like them all for different reasons and they all have their own way of contributing to making my kitchen a happy and balanced place to be.
WHAT ARE YOU FAVOURITE HEALTHY BALANCED COOKBOOKS? DO YOU HAVE ANY WINNING RECIPES THAT YOU ALWAYS MAKE?
*All images are linked to the original source.