This is our list of recommended “real food” books, documentaries, and cookbooks. Some of the cookbooks do require recipe substitutions (like whole-wheat flour instead of all purpose flour) in order to not break the “real food” rules. …scroll down for cookbooks! –
99 thoughts on “Recommended Reading and Cookbooks”
Hi! I was wondering if your cookbook is college budget friendly! I am huge into clean eating and eating organic foods and I am trying to find a cook book with recipes in my budget!
Hello Katerina. Absolutely. :)
I have found, Katerina, that it costs about the same for me to eat real food rather than processed stuff. The money that I save by not buying sugar, white flour, yogurts, breads, and other processed stuff is quickly made up for by the fruits and vegatables you end up buying more of. If you’re doung fine with processed foods now, it should be just about the same price to switch over to real foods. :)
For those who like to bake their own breads by hand or using a stand mixer, I can recommend the book Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads. Most of the recipes have two pre-ferments that are prepared the day before the bread is baked. For the simplest breads, one of those will be flour, salt and water or milk left at room temperature, and the other will be flour, water and a tiny amount of yeast put in the refrigerator until about 2 hours before the dough is mixed. The pre-ferments make for much better flavor. On baking day, the pre-ferments generally are combined with the other ingredients including more flour, and the dough is set to rise. Following that first rise, the loaf is shaped and left to rise again, then is baked.
I have baked several of the breads, and they were quite tasty. I look forward to trying others.
Hi, love your cookbook.. I just purchased it and find it so helpful as I make changes to better my family’s health. I’m wondering if you can recommend a cookbook for baby food. I have a 5 mos old who will start solids soon. I checked out the link to the rice cereal recipe but I prefer to have a cookbook in hand instead of looking at the computer screen. Do the weelicious cookbook offer more baby food recipes?
Thanks for your time
Hi there. Yes, it has a whole section on purees.
I love LePetite Apetite by Lisa Barnes for baby food, toddler recipes, and recipes for the whole family. It had become a staple in my house with whole food eating for my growing family!
can you recommend any real food bread machine recipes besides the 2 on your website? is there a cookbook or website that you would recommend?
Hi Kate. It is very difficult to find bread machine recipes that are 100% whole grain and that do not add wheat gluten, refined flour, or other ingredients that do not fit our real food rules. Sorry that I can’t be more helpful here.
It is ages since I have used a bread machine since I generally like to make bread by hand and with a stand mixer. I have found that you generally can get much better tasting bread by starting the bread a day or two before you finish it. In the past, my breads used refined flour mostly, but since I have started planning my 10 days of real food, I have started baking real bread, and I have learned about baking with sprouted whole wheat flour — wheat berries are sprouted, and just as they start to sprout, they are dried and milled. This seems to me to be totally consistent with the philosophy of real food, although the flour (which is available from King Arthur and other sources) is more expensive than conventional whole wheat flour. At the same time, the process of sprouting releases enzymes that eliminate the advantage of starting the bread a day or two in advance. I tried this recipe from the King Arthur Flour web site: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/peter-reinharts-super-sprout-bread-recipe The bread was really good, and I plan to bake more of it as part of my 10 days of real food and afterwards. I will note too that the bread has just 4 ingredients — flour, yeast, salt and water. The sweetness of the bread comes from the action of the enzymes in breaking off sugar molecules from starch molecules in the flour (which is what happens with conventional flour when you stretch out the time between the first mixing and the eventual baking).
The recipe on the King Arthur web site is very similar to one in the book Bread Revolution by Peter Reinhart One comment about the recipe on the King Arthur web site is that the bread will rise a bit more if one increases the water a bit as is in the recipe in the book, and I plan to try that.
Since this recipe can be carried out in just a few hours, it seems to me that you should be able to set your bread machine to do what I would do by hand and with a stand mixer. You may have to experiment a bit, but I urge you to try it and to tell about your results here. I think that you will get a far better tasting bread than you would get using conventional flour with your bread machine.
I love your cookbook! I love how well organized it is and how it helps consumers understand why it is important to eat “real” food. It’s not just a bunch of recipes (which I also love) but a lesson in how we should eat. Thanks so much for all you do and I look forward to all the positive changes in my family’s nutrition and health!
Hi there. Check out: http://weelicious.com/. I know she does. :)
Do you have any recommendations for infant rice cereal? Please let me know, thanks! :)
I am so glad I bought Lisa’s book. I have been on a journey toward healthier food for a while. I have been reading her book and was so pleased when she shared that she had made “mistakes” in the name of eating healthy and then exposed some of those fallacies. I was making some of them and really appreciate her help. I have tried some of the recipes and got my hubby to eat them. We are not quite at the point of doing the total pledge, but we have started on the mini pledges and my hubby is on board with them-yeah!!! Thank you so much!
I am wondering, has anyone got some resources for finding non-stick baking pans. I am looking specifically for bread pans and muffins pans. Thanks so much.
I too am pleased at having read Lisa’s book after having read several books by Michael Pollan. It incentivized me to try switching more to real food and to do 10 days of real food starting soon.
As to non-stick baking pans, I have used the Goldtouch non-stick bread pans from Williams-Sonoma. They have similar muffin pans, but I have not tried non-stick there since we always use muffin papers.
I am a little confused about rice. I read in your cookbook that of course you should stick with brown rice over white rice. But it says to steer clear of Basmati and Jasmine rice…but I buy brown Basmati rice. Is that okay? I thought it still retains the bran…
Hi there, Kristen. This will answer all your questions about rice:http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/types-of-rice. ~Amy
Hi Wendy. There are so many great cookbooks out there! We love Jamie Oliver, too. :) His Ted Talk is one of my favorite resources for getting families thinking about what we feed our kids. ~Amy
Your website is terrific. Just curious why you don’t have any of Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks?
Check out the book â€œFun At Lunch Eating My Vegetablesâ€. Itâ€™s an ebook on Amazon. Itâ€™s a really cute story about a creative boy having fun while eating his veggies. My kids love it!
Do you have any recommendations for children’s books that encourage them to eat local, wholesome foods? I read “French kids eat everything” it really opened my eyes to a lot. She mentions reading to your children about food but quite a few of the children’s books about food talk about how it is shipped from all over the world, doesn’t really help teach our kids to eat fresh and support our local farmers.
Love your blog by the way! Our family has made some major change over the past year with your help :)
Hi. Depending on ages, Eat Healthy-Feel Great is a good book for younger elementary aged kids. It doesn’t really go into local eating. I think the very best education is found at local farmer’s markets. Then go to a grocery store and investigate the label origins of the produce there. Sometimes my kids and I see who can find the produce that traveled the furthest. :) ~Amy
does the 100 days of real food book contain all the weekly meal plans that go with recipes? I work full time and my biggest challenge is eating healthy and working efficiently in the kitchen so that I can spend my precious time I have with my kiddos rather than laboring in the kitchen if I can! :-)
Hi Adele. Here is more info about Lisa’s book:https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2014/01/02/upcoming-real-food-cookbook-august/. ~Amy
I have a one year old and am looking for easy simple meal/snack ideas to get her used to eating a variety of foods. I have run out of ideas. She loves hummus, pasta, pouches and cheese. Another ideas or blogs are helpful
Momma to a one year old
Hi there. Check out these blogs, too: http://weelicious.com/, http://havenrecipes.com/, and http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-eating/family-nutrition. Hope those help. ~Amy
I was just wondering if you were going to do another lunch plan for kids?
Hi Vicki. Right now there are no specific plans to do so. Lisa is focusing on the release of her cookbook in August: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2014/01/02/upcoming-real-food-cookbook-august/. :) ~Amy
I just read “In Defense of Food” this past week as part of our family’s 10 day pledge. It is a meaty book, full of those bits of wisdom we all already know deep down. But maybe we get a little overwhelmed at the thought of all the “diet” or “nutrition” guidance out there. Well, this book is not that! It’s full of really good reinforcing reasons to eat real food! And this site is such a nice, balanced resource to keep us headed in the right direction. Thank you, 100DaysofFood, for such a great website!
Tried and true popular favorites condensed into a super user friendly format — especially great for cooking together or if you’re new to preparing food from scratch http://www.WowLookWhosCooking.com
I honestly think you’ll enjoy the way this collection walks you thru the steps of making real food. The meals are familiar enough to enjoy and because they’re essentially “pattern” recipes they make a great foundation to build a repertoire of recipes you’ll make for the rest of your life!
Hello, I am 25, single and live alone. I work full time and have a busy schedule. Does anyone have any recommendations on whole food eating cookbooks for single people with little time on their hands? Thanks so much in advance for any advice.
Hello Kayla. I think any of the books above are great for just about anyone. What you might find most helpful is not scaling down on the recipe sizes and freezing leftovers to pull from your freezer as needed. You can also keep items in the fridge handy to use throughout the week like cut up fruits and veggies, a big batch of brown rice or quinoa that you can just add sauteed veggies to, etc. If you do a Google search on “quick and easy whole food meals or recipes”, you will find a lot. Here is a sampling: http://www.healthfulpursuit.com/2012/08/quick-and-simple-whole-food-recipes/, http://simplywholefoods.com/, http://www.whfoods.com/recipestoc.php, and http://thefoodadvocate.net/easycookingforone/. Hope that helps. ~Amy
Hi Kayla Cooking for one is challenging in so many ways. Even if cooking was really fun and you discovered ways to make it easy, these days we have to multi task everything right? I’ve been cooking with kids & teens and for large groups with volunteers for a long time. What I discovered during all of this is that its way more fun to cook together! We don’t need to be Iron Chefs we just need to find ways to make it enjoyable and that will make it sustainable. Its like having an exercise buddy, you get your cardio in while catching up with your best friend and getting out in nature—cooking together you make super healthy food from scratch so you know what’s going into your body while catching up with your friends. You can share equipment this way and wastes less because it all gets used up when you make a couple of meals at a time.
I just wrote an article about this if you’d like to know more: “Don’t Try this at Home! Word of Warning to Those Wanting to Eat Healthier” by Barbara Zagata
You should check out a wonderful cookbook called THIRTEEN MOONS SEASONAL RECIPES TO NOURISH AND INSPIRE.
My husband and I have been getting our veggies May – October from our local farmer’s market through a CSA for the past several years. One of my favorite cookbooks out there is “Bi-Rite Market’s Eat Good Food: A Grocer’s Guide to Shopping, Cooking, and Creating Community Through Food”. Wonderful recipes, and great info on how to find/buy/store quality ingredients in your community, etc. And no — you don’t need to live in SFO near the market. We live in Michigan, and found it completely helpful in our neighborhood, too!
Against All Grain should definitely be on the cookbook list. She has some great recipes.
What do you think of gwenyth paltrows cookbook that came out this year? Just wondering if you think this follows most of the real food guidelines.
Hi Alyssa. Gwenyth’s book is real food based but her recipes are more more restrictive, many being based on an elimination diet. You will find not butter, cheese, or cream and barely any gluten. She also uses a few ingredients that Lisa does not, like vegan mayo and a little xylitol. I’ve made a couple of the more simple recipes and many of the the salad dressing. All were really good. :) ~Amy
My 8 year old just wrote out her list to Santa – including a cook book! Any suggestions for kid’s cook books?
And I LOVE Tamar Adler’s book, an everlasting meal. Really reminded me of how my parents and grandparents were more resourceful and careful with food consumption.
Hi Dona. Many of the books above have simple recipes that kids can totally handle. Beyond that, Chop Chop is a cute and easy to use real food cook book that is made for kids. They also have a magazine! ~Amy
A couple of good books are:
“UnDiet” by Meghan Telpner
“Clean Cuisine” by Dr. Andy and Ivy Larson
Both of these books and their web sites are awesome books.
I love this website and will be referring to it to remember all of these great books. In Defense of Food was the first book that I read in my stack of 10 books after I was diagnosed with gluten-intolerance. After many years of searching, I am grateful to have found that book and to finally “get it”! I have referred this site to many people because I think it is realistic and a great first step for so many families/people who are on this path. I think that is beneficialâ€¦.even though I have to skip over the wheat parts!!! Thanks for keeping it going and making a difference.
I just wanted to share that I bought the book Fed Up With Lunch at the Dollar Tree! Yes, where everything is a dollar! So if anyone wants to snag a copy they might want to check their before Amazon!
What about Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson? Love that book!
Hi there. Not familiar. We will have to check it out. ~Amy