the best healthy cookbooks to change the way you eat

I just finished a cull of all my old books last year and now here I am stocking up again. And this time they're all Aussies! I think Australians have an incredible angle on nutrition and health - maybe it's all the bikini wearing, but I like to think that we have too much exploring to do and we need to feel good and fit in order to do it all. Cookbooks are tricky things. Yes I've written three, but they say a cookbook is a runaway success for a buyer if they cook two recipes from it. That's not worth the investment for me - it has to completely inspire me, I want to cook many recipes from it, and I want to learn something. I'm definitely learning right now - I've been so inspired by these three authors and I hope you will be as well. I've cooked at least 5 from each book, and more from a couple of them (um, from the first one many more). I eat a lot of veg and I love finding new ways to do that, but I'm not satisfied with only a kale salad for dinner either. Each of these authors have changed the way I cook and the way I think about food and nutrition. In fact, more books belong on this list but let me start with these. xx


Whether you're busting to curb your kombucha spending by going DIY or you're determined to heal that gas/IBS/ bloating or all of the above for good, fermenting is a clever path to step. I've noticed a huge difference in my skin and energy since I started fermenting my own food - add some exercise in there and you're losing weight, and working waaay more veg into your diet. Do some further reader, the author breaks it down really well and it's hard to argue with her whole-foods and cultured food ethos. But for the recipes that will have you obsessing over your next batch of red sauerkraut, sparkling ginger beer or sourdough bread, this book Ferment: A guide to the ancient art of culturing food by Holly Davis has it all. It's great for beginners, and even though I've mastered a few of her recipes I keep going back to learn more, try more of her always delicious ideas. Here's a crock I love and use.  

There's definitely increasing awareness of the crucial role probiotic-rich foods play in our wellbeing, and so you've probably noticed that the ancient art of fermentation is experiencing a renaissance. It's been around for ever and is far from scary. Think of miso! But for me there's also the ease and economy of making fermented foods at home, I love going off grid, doing it myself. Holly guides you through the safety as well, and how to tell if what you're making your family is really safe. I get so excited about scrunching, pickling and bottling my way to better gut health and a deeper connection with my food. 

You can buy Ferment by Holly Davis here for $35

So often looking after yourself with food is a bit of guess work. Yes, eat more veg, yes, good fats are good, but for those looking for more specificity to their diet, while trying to heal their gut, stave off all sorts of illnesses - think cancer and depression - Reece Carter's The Garden Apothecary: The Happy Gut is a gold mine of information and recipes. 

Reece is a model on the side (in case you couldn't figure that out for yourself), but he's a self confessed herb nerd, and he knows what your turmeric will do, how to eat it to max out its potency, he gives tips on growing your own, and his recipes are gorgeous - aka - will actually help come dinner time. The premise of the book is based on the discovery that the gut and brain are not distinct and separate entities but closely connected is life–changing for everyone. We've discovered strong links between bloating and brain fog, diarrhoea and depression, and aches and anxiety, it seems clearer than ever that we need to
support our guts with the utmost care. This man is to the rescue. 

Check our Reece Carter's book The Happy Gut here.

Beauty begins in the belly, says Carla Oates, the mastermind behind this top-selling book and string of edible products designed to overhaul the way you feel and look. I use a few of her antioxidant products (and keep coming back to this, and I just add a dash to a glass or two of water every day), but the book The Beauty Chef: delicious food for radiant skin, gut health and wellbeing is completely inspiring and a constant in my kitchen. 

The book focuses on skin and beauty more than health, but the two are intertwined, right? When the insides aren't working well we look dull as dishwater, and when we're glowing, we know hand to heart we've been looking after ourselves. The book includes simple family meals, healthy spins on traditional dishes, fail-proof ferments, smoothies, lunchbox snacks and special occasion treats that pack a powerful nutritional punch. There's the cauliflower pizza, a must-make for the uninitiated. There's things you can't wait to serve your friends, like the Minty broad bean, pea and yoghurt dip, a bunch of bowls (hello bowl food), and one of my favourites is the Cashew butter chicken. And Cabbage and pork rolls baked in tomato sauce are totally gorgeous too, though I add a splash of apple cider vinegar to the cabbage filling when I make it. 

Here's Carla Oates' book at quite a good price if you need to get cooking!

I'd love to hear what your favourite health-inspiring books are - comment below or find me on social media or on any of these buttons below xxx Kate

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