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While I love to follow food bloggers and find new recipes online, there’s something to be said about flipping through the pages of a cookbook.
It feels comfortable and nostalgic—as though it’s the 1950’s when the likes of June Cleaver and Donna Reed were dishing up wholesome meals and sharing family dinners every night.
Cookbooks offer up a much different experience than scrolling through a recipe blog, app or Instagram, for example. They’re often filled with the author’s stories and memories about their favorite dishes—something that you can’t always find on a food blog. Plus, unlike blogs, cookbooks often include photos of the author and maybe places they’ve traveled, as well as the dish itself.
While more people are making home-cooked meals from scratch lately, research shows, many were already interested in cooking way before the coronavirus outbreak hit the U.S.
According to a December 2018 survey by Peapod, 77% of Americans said they would rather eat a homemade meal than go out for dinner and 43% said they planned to cook more the following year.
As a result, more people are buying all types of cookbooks to help them eat healthy and save time. According to research from the The NPD Group, cookbook sales grew 21% in the first half of 2018 compared to the first half of 2017.
Research also shows that our newfound cooking habits show no signs of slowing down. According to a recent survey by AMC Global and Opinion Route, 32% of people will prepare homemade meals after the pandemic subsides.
If you’re trying to cook more, use the appliances that have been sitting on your countertop, or simply need some meal inspiration, here’s a list of 7 best cookbooks for moms to give you a leg up.
1. THE SKINNYTASTE AIR FRYER COOKBOOK, BY GINA HOMOLKA
When I was a member of WW (formerly Weight Watchers) in my 20’s, I discovered Skinnytaste.com and it’s still one of my favorite blogs.
The founder, Gina Homolka, also a #1 New York Times bestselling author, has healthy, lightened up versions of your favorite comfort foods, options for almost every type of dietary need, and plenty of kid-friendly recipes.
Seriously, every time I make one of her dishes, my family loves it.
If you own an air fryer, you’ll want to grab her newest cookbook, “The Skinnytaste Air Fryer Cookbook: The 75 Best Healthy Recipes for Your Air Fryer.”
The cookbook includes 75 recipes that work with any type of air fryer—dishes like Chicken-Vegetable Spring Rolls and Crispy Coconut Shrimp and desserts like Baked Apples With Streusel Topping.
2. HEALTHY ONE PAN DINNERS, BY DANA ANGELO WHITE
When I was writing for Fox News, I interviewed Dr. Jennifer Lang, author of “The Whole 9 Months.” The book is an amazing resource for pregnant women looking for information about prenatal nutrition, research and advice from real moms. Her co-author, Dana Angelo White, MS. RD., also contributed a ton of easy and healthy recipes that I loved and ever since, I’ve been following her on Instagram.
Dana is the author of several cookbooks, and her newest, “Healthy One Pan Dinners: 100 Easy Recipes for Your Sheet Pan, Skillet, Multicooker and More,” is coming out in June.
This new title makes the list of best cookbooks for moms because one pan meals are the key to getting dinner on the table fast with minimal clean-up.
The book includes 100 recipes you can use with a sheet pan, skillet, Dutch oven, multicooker, or slow cooker. The recipes use fresh, whole food ingredients, are quick and easy, and include options for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, under 30 minutes, and freezer-friendly meals.
3. THE BABY AND TODDLER COOKBOOK, BY KAREN ANSEL & CHARITY FERREIRA
When I started this blog in 2017, part of the inspiration came from reading “The Baby and Toddler Cookbook: Fresh, Homemade Foods for a Healthy Start” before my first child even started solids.
Making homemade baby food is something I never gave much thought to, but as I turned each page of the cookbook, I became so excited about all of the amazing healthy, and delicious recipes and decided I would make her food.
As I started to introduce new exciting flavors, tastes and textures, I realized that not only was serving healthy meals one of my biggest responsibilities as a parent, but what I fed her from the start could set the stage for healthy eating habits throughout her life.
The Baby and Toddler Cookbook includes over 90 recipes, nutritional information, and plenty of know-how and tips to make preparing homemade baby food quick and easy.
4. THE WEEKNIGHT DINNER COOKBOOK, BY MARY YOUNKIN
Cooking homemade meals from scratch doesn’t have to be elaborate, complicated, or time consuming. In fact, the way I make dinner almost every night is by sticking with simple ingredients and easy meals.
While having the same rotation of meals makes life easier and eliminates the “what’s for dinner” question, that can also get boring.
So if you’re looking for some mealtime inspiration, check out “The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook: Simple Family-Friendly Recipes for Everyday Home Cooking,” by Mary Younkin.
What I love most about this cookbook is that Younkin categories recipes according to cook time: 15–25-minutes, 30–45-minutes, as well as meals that take 5 to 10 minutes to prep and then cook in the oven or slow cooker.
The cookbook includes recipes like Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork and Red Chile Beef Enchiladas, and has gluten-free options or suggestions for gluten-free substitutions.
5. BAKERITA, BY RACHEL CONNORS
I have a serious sweet tooth and love nothing more than to spend the weekend making healthier versions of muffins, breads, and sweet treats for my daughters.
Designed for beginner bakers, “Bakerita” is filled with gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar–free recipes, including Lavender-Lemon Raspberry Scones, Mocha Chip Cheesecake, and updated versions of classics like chocolate chip cookies. Even better—all of her recipes call for ingredients you can recognize and probably have on hand.
6. THE FRESH AND HEALTHY INSTANT POT COOKBOOK, BY MEGAN GILMORE
Megan Gilmore’s Detoxinista.com is another one of my favorite blogs. Her recipes are easy, healthy, and always delicious.
That’s why I had to include “The Fresh and Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook: 75 Easy Recipes for Light Meals to Make in Your Electric Pressure Cooker,” on my list of best cookbooks for moms.
The cookbook features 75 Instant Pot recipes that use easy to find, whole food ingredients to help you make healthy and delicious meals and save time.
Every recipe has gluten-free options, are made without refined sugar, and many are safe for those with food allergies. With dishes like Korean Chicken Bowls, Eggplant Parmesan Bake, and plenty of desserts, this cookbook will be a #momwin.
7. FROM FREEZER TO COOKER, BY POLLY CONNER & RACHEL TIEMEYER
A few years ago, when I was a new mom with two little ones, I was at a MOPS meeting where one of the moms spoke about her passion for freezer meals. She was devoted to the practice so much so that she had 3-months worth of meals in her freezer and spent all day Sunday cooking.
If you too, love the idea of making meals ahead of time and you also have a slow cooker, pressure cooker and/or Instant Pot, then check out “From Freezer to Cooker: Delicious Whole-Foods Meals for the Slow Cooker, Pressure Cooker, and Instant Pot: A Cookbook,” by Polly Conner and Rachel Tiemeyer, co-founders of the popular recipe blog ThrivingHome.com.
With easy, healthy dinner recipes like Fiesta Lime Chicken Bowls and breakfast ideas like Peanut Butter Cup Steel-Cut Oats, this cookbook will help you get any meal on the table quickly.