A few years back, it became undeniable to me the link between food and physical & mental health. What paralyzed me at first was I didn’t have a clue! Then I found cookbooks!
Back in my university days when I started off on my own I remember packing my grocery cart full of low fat, sugar free, etc. packaged foods. I focused only on my weight. I had no concept of what foods would fuel me.
Another little bit of truth is that food was a huge anxiety trigger for me when I had Amelia. I remember vividly how excited I was to give her that first little bit of rice cereal – that was about the last time for a while I was excited.
Having had so many issues of my own with food I came to realize I was terrified.
Now, my kitchen counter is decorated with my favourite cookbooks. The truth: I have fallen in love with cookbooks. But I have my favourites that have found a home right on my kitchen counter next to the knife block. I pull them out so often, why put them on a shelf?
Of course, looking back, I can see that it was anxiety talking but I learned from it. I’m grateful for that because I found an amazing resource in cookbooks. I learned about foods that would nourish her little tummy. With that, my anxiety lessened, and I found a love of cooking with Amelia.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram my favourite cookbooks are probably no surprise. I literally use one every day!
It All Begins with Food
My journey with Amelia begins with this cookbook, and rightfully so. It’s a cookbook designed for parents with kid-approved recipes.
Beyond that, it’s a resource for how to start your kids off on the right foot with food and build adventurous little eaters. Beginning with introducing solids to your baby to packing school lunches, the recipes are easy to make and packed with nutrients.
Leah Garrad-Cole is no different than any other mother. She wanted the best for her kids and sh shares that with mothers as the founder of Love Child Organics.
In this cookbook she expands on her philosophy to “provide delicious and nutritious foods for babies and children” that “encourages a lifelong love of healthy eating.” A philosophy I share!
I can confidently say I make something from It All Begins with Food at least once a week. That’s easy to say because I make the Family Size Gluten Free Pizza every Friday! In addition, what are our favourite recipes?
- Creamy Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, & Almond Butter Puree
- Chickpeas with Roasted Banana & Squash Puree
- Hard Teething Biscuits
- Roasted Sweet Potato & Blueberry Muffins
- Sweet Potato & Black Bean Taquitos
- Popeye’s Banana Bread
If you’re not sure where to begin with introducing solids or finding healthy, yummy recipes for a toddler, start here. I promise you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Joyous Health & Joyous Detox
Bonus: This one is a package deal for me because I use both cookbooks SO frequently and love them equally.
Interestingly enough I learned about Joy McCarthy when she wrote the foreword for It All Begins with Food. For her, food is a family affair and the dynamic duo of Joy & Vienna in the kitchen is my ultimate mother/daughter goal!
I can’t believe I only discovered Joyous Health in the past year but it completely reformed my way of thinking about food. When I first started following Joy on social media I was immediately intrigued by two things: how glowing her skin was and how much happy energy she had. Guess what: it stems from FOOD.
Joy is the author of two cookbooks but I’m lumping them together into all things Joy. I make recipes from Joyous Health, Joyous Detox, and her blog Joyous Health all of the time. In fact, my first instinct when I want to make something is to see if Joy has a recipe.
Joyous Health literally transformed how I think about food. While her books include recipes both detail the importance of making good choices and outlines what a good choice is, like superfoods. She dives into taking care of your body and mind because you can’t have one without the other.
Why do I love Joy so much?
It’s real food, nothing more! It’s about finding what makes you feel good and reaping the benefits. Detoxing is about healing your body, then making day to day choices to care for it. At the base of her recipes is choosing real food.
What are our favourite recipes:
- Green Sparkle Smoothie
- Chickpea Detox Salad
- Apple Beet Carrot Slaw with Honey Dressing
- Black Bean Chia Brownies
- Apple Walnut Sprouted French Toast
- Apricot Oat Granola Muffins
- Cinnamon Pecan Butter
- Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
- Chewy Chocolate Tahini Cookies
If you’re looking to learn about where to start with a healthy lifestyle, start with Joyous Health!
The First Mess Cookbook
Not only are the plant-based recipes so yummy but bonus points for having a local author! That’s ‘wright’, Laura is from the Niagara Region!
A little fact about me: I am not vegan, but many people think I am. I can understand why because I more often than not cook plant-based. Another fact: people know my love of cookbooks so The First Mess was a birthday present for my 30th from my close friend. My love of cooking and supporting local entrepreneurs collided.
I love the wholesome, simple ingredients Laura uses in her recipes. She morphs classic foods like pancakes and Bolognese sauce with nutrient packed ingredients. Not to mention the variety of ingredients keep my taste buds dancing.
One more fact about me: I’m a sucker for traditions. Growing up I didn’t have many so with my own family it’s something that means a lot to me. Making pancakes on the weekend has become our tradition and Laura’s Fluffiest Multigrain Pancakes is our recipe of choice. With ingredients far more nutritious than your standard pancakes but no less tasty.
Lastly, her salads are SO good. Simple ingredients packed with flavour. Like many of her recipes, she makes traditional foods like potato salad far more nutritious but full of incredible flavours. I have made them for family gatherings with glowing reviews!
Aside from pancakes, here are some of our favourite recipes:
- Early Morning Earl Grey
- Vanilla Coconut Coffee Creamer
- Maple-Spice Buckwheat Crispies Cereal
- Easy Gluten-Free Waffles
- Cider and Sunflower Dressing
- Caramelized Onion Potato Salad
- Brussel Sprouts Salad with Lime and Miso
- Roasted Chili Basil Lime Tofu Bowls
- Crispy Maple Mustard Cabbage
- Chocolate Chunk Ginger Cookies
There you have it –
My journey with health is an outgoing one but what I can with certainty is I am thankful for recipe creators! The women who penned the cookbooks that feed me, and my family took the guessing game out of nutrition.
In addition, everyone loves them! Me, Amelia, Arthur, even guests! I love sharing my love of the recipes from this cookbooks.
With my favourite cookbooks closeby I can enjoy making healthy meals with my family. More so, I know we’re eating food to keep us all healthy and happy. See why I love cookbooks!!