If your goal is to start a plant based diet, books might be on your mind!
Check out some picks from Registered Dietitian’s in our 2023 guide.
Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for medical or dietary advice. Always talk to your doctor about any major dietary changes, health concerns, or supplements. See our Disclaimers for more details.
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This article was originally published on 2/20/22. The recent updated date is listed above.
What is a Plant Based Diet?
Simply this: a focus on plants at your meals!
While a plant based diet does not automatically mean “vegan,” many of the popular plant based books seem to learn toward a reduction in animal products.
Following a appropriately planned healthy vegetarian diet (this includes vegan diets) may provide certain health benefits, such as a reduced risk of ischemic heart disease (1).
You can learn more via “Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets” paper.
What do Dietitians think is worth checking out when it comes to books about plant based foods?
I’m so glad you asked. Lets get to the list!
Plant Based Diet Books: The List
Keep in mind that many diet books out there may not be written by doctors or dietitians – or, they might contain cherry picked information.
With that in mind, lets take a look at some Registered Dietitian (nutrition experts) suggestions!
For Those Wanting to Learn About Plant Based Nutrition
Vegan For Life – By Jack Norris, RD and Ginny Messina, MPH, RD
“As a vegan registered dietitian, my number one book recommendation is Vegan for Life by vegan RDs Jack Norris and Ginny Messina. I recommend it because it’s evidence-based, to-the-point and practical.
Rather than using sensational health or weight loss claims to convince people to eat vegan, this book provides the straightforward nutrition information vegans need.”
–Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN.
Grab the book here (affiliate link*):
Learning About Our “Food” (Does a Plant Based Lifestyle Have Significance Beyond Physical Health?)
Eating Animals – By Jonathan Safran Foer
“Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer is part animal agriculture industrial complex exposé and part personal deep dive into the morals of eating animals.
The author explores his own complicated history of eating meat and toying with vegetarianism, which forces the reader to question their own principles.
One of my favorite parts of the book is exploring why we cringe at eating some animals we consider friends, but are fine with the large scale slaughter of others for food.
I read this book when I was beginning my own transition to a plant-based diet and I highly recommend it to others who are vegan curious.”
– Kristina Todini, RDN, author at forkintheroad.co, a sustainable food and green living blog.
Grab a copy here (affiliate link*):
Plant Based Diets For Kids
Nourish: The Definitive Plant-Based Nutrition Guide For Families – By Reshma Shah, MD, MPH and Brenda Davis, RD
This book is a great resource for parents with plant based children!
It dives into nutrients parents should pay attention to (along with helpful charts), from conception through childhood, and even discusses pregnancy and lactation!
And yes, the book touches on supplements for kids following a plant based eating pattern (as always, talk to your doctor about any major dietary changes or supplements)!
As an added bonus recipes are also included.
I have a plant based daughter, and found this book very helpful!
-Christine Milmine, RDN (Dietitian Blogger at Plant Powered You LLC )
Link to the book (affiliate link*):
Making plant based recipes is a key component to a vegan meal plan!
Discover delicious recipes below (and be aware that there are many free ones online as well)!
1. Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking – By: Dana Shultz
If you are looking for a book that helps you save time in the time and effort in the kitchen, check this one out!
This entirely vegan cookbook is unique because:
- Recipes only require 30 minutes or less to prepare
- Use only 1 bowl or pot
- Have 10 or less ingredients
- Nutrient info on all recipes
“I love all of Minimalist Baker recipes. I find all of her recipes to be easy to follow, straight forward, and taste delicious.”
–Elise Harlow, MS, RDN from The Flourished Table.
Check out the cookbook below (affiliate link*)-as a reminder, this means if If you click on the link and purchase, I earn a commission at no added cost to you.
2. Vegan Without Borders – By Robin Robertson
Could this be the most inclusive vegan cookbook yet? This cookbook, written by a previous restaurant chef, features recipes from 20 different countries, and 5 different continents!
If you are vegan looking to expand your culinary skills with diverse cuisines, you’ll want to check this one out.
“I like Robin Robertson’s Vegan Without Borders for authentic recipes from many cuisines.”
–Melissa Altman-Traub MS, RDN, LDN
Grab a copy here (affiliate link*):
3. Green Kitchen at Home – By David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl
Perhaps you are a vegetarian, or want to transition from a vegetarian to a vegan diet. This book, written by best selling authors contains both!
This cookbook contains stunning photos, with tips on how to make many of the included recipes vegan.
“I enjoy Green Kitchen at Home: Quick and Healthy Vegetarian Food for Every Day, which includes vegan recipes that are easy to prepare. Love the tasty and colorful recipes in this book.”
–Jinan Banna, PhD, RD.
Link to the book (affiliate link*):
4. Planted Performance (Plant Based Athlete, Vegetarian Cookbook, Vegan Cookbook): Easy Plant-Based Recipes, Meal Plans, and Nutrition for All Athletes By Natalie Rizzo MS, RD
“My book, Planted Performance, is coming out in March 2023. It lays the sports nutrition groundwork of plant-based nutrition for everyday endurance athletes looking to fuel their activity and aid recovery. It has 68 simple and tasty recipes, several meal plans and meal prep tips to ensure plant-based athletes have the energy they need to bring them past the finish line.” –-Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD (please note the author of this book provided this quote!).
You can pre-order the book ahead of time below (affiliate link*):
5. The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples – By Miyoko Schinner
“Best seitan recipes ever.”
–Marty Davey, RD
You can find it on Amazon here (affiliate link*):
6.Vegan Kids Cookbook – By Karla Moreno-Bryce, MDA, RD, LD
If you have plant based or vegan littles, check this book out!
I love that several recipes use a blender or food processer to cut down on time (something that is very important for me as a mom of two!).
This book even comes with sample meal plans for baby’s (6-12 months old) up 10 years old!
You can a plethora of whole food recipes via Karla’s Vegan Kids Cookbook here (affiliate link*).
-Christine Milmine, RDN and owner of Plant Powered You LLC
7. PlantYou – By Carleigh Bodrug
“PlantYou by Carleigh is an easy way to incorporate more plant-based foods into your home-cooked meals and snacks whether you’re looking to make the full switch to vegan or intentionally plan to add more plants to your dietary patterns.
I love this book because it has simple recipes filled with images of ingredients and the macronutrient breakdown so you have more direction on which recipes best fit your lifestyle.”
– Jessica Crawley RDN
You can snag it here (affiliate link*):
8. The How Not To Die Cook Book – By Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM
This is awesome cookbook for vegans who want to focus on fiber fueled whole plant foods!
If you are familiar with Dr. Greger’s famous “Daily Dozen,” (or companion book, “How Not to Die -Discover Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”), you’ll also appreciate that the recipes also have a list of the the Daily Dozen categories they fall under.
-Christine Milmine, RDN from Plant Powered You LLC
You can check out the book below (affiliate link*):
Helpful Books Geared Toward Registered Dietitians
The Dietitians Guide To Vegetarian Diets – By: Reed Mangels, Virginia Messina, and Mark Messina
“I love this book! It answers all of the questions about vegetarian nutrition that a dietitian could have.”
-Ashley Krautkramer, RD, CSOWM, CD, CDCES from the Vegan Bariatric Dietitian
Get the book here (affiliate link*):
What did you think about this list?
Would you like us to review other books in the plant based space, such as the documentary Forks Over Knives and the China Study (by Colin Campbell )?
Lets us know in the comments below!
And While your here, why not explore our blog? We discuss topics like Intuitive Eating and Veganism as well as Whole Food Plant Based Snack Ideas.
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