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10 Best Plant-Based Diet Books to Help You Lead a Kind and Healthy Life

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There’s plenty to learn when you are considering a transition to a plant-based diet, and there are some great resources to set you on the right path.

Good books can answer so many of the questions you’ll encounter, from why you should choose a plant-based diet to when you can expect it to become routine to how you can thrive in this lifestyle both mentally and physically.

This collection of plant-based diet books covers the basics with all the information you’ll need to make your journey a success, no matter what step you’re at in the process.

Whether you are focused on ethics, the environment, nutrition, weight loss, or finding budget-friendly recipes, we have a book for you.

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Quick List of Top Picks

You’ll Become an Expert with These Plant-Based Diet Books

The Food Revolution’ by John Robbins

The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World

Born the only son of the founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire, John Robbins was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Instead, he became a vocal activist for a plant-based diet and released his ‘Diet for a New America’ in 1987.

In ‘The Food Revolution,’ Robbins clearly outlines the problems with the standard North American diet and makes a powerful case for plant-based eating with information about the inhumane and negative environmental impacts of factory farming.

The book is divided into four parts: Food and Healing; Our Food, Our Fellow Creatures; Our Food, Our World; and Genetic Engineering.

Each section is filled with facts and firsthand accounts which make the case for everyone to follow a plant-based diet.

Key Highlights

The Great American Diet Roller Coaster

Eating with Conscience

Choices for a Healthy Environment

Who is This Book Best For?

This book is an informative guide to many of the reasons to adopt a plant-based diet, including health, animal welfare, and the environment.

It’s a great resource for anyone who has considered this lifestyle, and it’s also a great refresher for those who need a reminder their diet is helping change the world.

‘The Plant-Based Journey’ by Lani Muelrath

The Plant-Based Journey: A Step-by-Step Guide for Transitioning to a Healthy Lifestyle and Achieving Your Ideal Weight

Lani Muelrath is an award-winning teacher, fitness expert, and dietary coach who shares more than 40 years’ worth of knowledge in this plant-based lifestyle guide.

Muelrath breaks this journey down into five steps: Awakening, Scout, Rookie, Rockstar, and Champion.

This book shows you why a plant-based diet is the best option, then teaches you how to make this diet work for you.

Filled with scientific evidence, personal stories, plant-forward recipes, and even exercise tips, this is a comprehensive guide to improving your health and sticking with a plant-based diet for years to come.

MuelTarath also includes a collection of resources, including a shopping list, frequently asked questions, and plant-based replacements for common ingredients.

Key Highlights

  • The Plant-Based Plate
  • Making the Switch: Transition Timelines
  • Exercise and Mastering Strength of Mind
  • Plant-Based Recipe Templates and Variations

Who is This Book Best For?

‘The Plant-Based Journey’ makes the transition to this lifestyle accessible for everyone, especially those focused on their health.

It’s also a great resource for anyone who has had trouble losing weight on a plant-based diet, providing information and suggestions you may not find elsewhere.

‘Liv B’s Vegan on a Budget’ by Olivia Biermann

Olivia Biermann has a unique perspective when she creates plant-based recipes for her Liv B blog, and it carries over into her first cookbook.

She loves to cook and eat homemade food, but she doesn’t love to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

As a result, the 112 recipes in ‘Liv B’s Vegan on a Budget’ are easy and accessible even if you’re new to a plant-based diet or don’t always keep your pantry fully stocked.

Because Biermann strives for simplicity and avoids “fancy” ingredients, these recipes will also keep you well-fed without breaking the bank.

This book is clearly divided into chapters on Staples & Sauces; Breakfast & Brunch; Snacks & Small Bites; Soups & Sides; Sandwiches, Wraps & Salads; Mains; and Sweets.

There are lots of mouth-watering food photos, and keeping with the theme of simplicity, the author blurbs accompanying each recipe are short and sweet.

Key Highlights

  • Half-Baked Cookie Dough Pancakes
  • Famous Lasagna Soup
  • Sweet Sriracha Cauliflower Wraps
  • My Favorite Banana Bread

Who is This Book Best For?

This is a great starter cookbook for new vegans or anyone trying to add more plant-forward foods to their diet without too much effort.

If you’ve ever had friends tell you they’d try eating plant-based, but it’s just not accessible, this would be a great gift to help them realize that’s not the case!

As the title implies, ‘Liv B’s Vegan on a Budget’ is also a must-have for anyone looking to maintain a plant-based diet without breaking the bank.

And it’s perfect for anyone who needs some recipes they can throw together quickly on school or work nights.

‘The Plant Based Diet for Beginners’ by Gabriel Miller

The Plant Based Diet for Beginners: 75 Delicious, Healthy Whole Food Recipes

Gabriel Miller was playing college football and pursuing a degree in livestock production at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln when he suffered a back injury which led him to some serious research about health and nutrition.

Miller quickly realized the animal products he’d relied on for nutrition were not actually the best options for his health, his conscience, or the planet. After completing his drastic transition to a plant-based diet, he had a lot of knowledge to share.

‘The Plant Based Diet for Beginners’ is a great combination of guidebook and cookbook, with information about why to go plant-based, how to shop and plan menus, and more resources in addition to 75 recipes.

You’ll find chapters on Breakfast; Soup, Salads, and Sides; Entrées; Smoothies and Beverages; Snacks and Desserts; and Sauces, Dressings, and Dips.

Many of these whole-food, plant-based recipes contain no added oils, sugars, or salt, but still pack plenty of flavor!

Key Highlights

  • Hawaiian Luau Burgers
  • Easy Vegan Pizza Bread
  • Peanut Butter Nice Cream
  • Sweet Potato Spice Cake

Who is This Book Best For?

This book is perfect for new vegans or anyone who is trying plant-based cooking for the first time.

It’s educational, relatable, and full of easy, healthy recipes to make the transition to plant-based eating as simple as can be.

Even if you’re not new to a plant-based diet, the recipes and menu planning guides in this book could help make your life in the kitchen easier—and healthier!

‘Simple Happy Kitchen: An Illustrated Guide For Your Plant-Based Life’ by Miki Mottes

Simple Happy Kitchen: An Illustrated Guide For Your Plant-Based Life

‘Simple Happy Kitchen’ is a passion project from vegan illustrator Miki Mottes, who had previously created artwork promoting Meatless Monday and a number of animal welfare organizations.

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by nutritional requirements or all the different substitutions you can use on a plant-based diet, this book full of cheerful visuals is here to help.

This illustrated guide to plant-based living is cute and fun, but it’s also full of informative research that can help whether you are just curious about why to try a plant-based diet or have been vegan for years.

The main character is Pedro Almondovar, a roasted almond who will take you on a journey through the world of plant-based nutrition to help you find the information you need to maintain a compassionate and healthy lifestyle.

Key Highlights

  • Shattering the myths about a plant-based diet
  • A chapter highlighting egg replacements, meat substitutes, plant-based milk, and more
  • Simple guides to different essential nutrients and where to find them

Who is This Book Best For?

Though this is not specifically a children’s book, if you have kids, the illustrations will be a fun and informative way to share information about why you’ve chosen a plant-based lifestyle.

This book is also a great way for visual learners to find out more about a plant-based diet and pick up helpful cooking tips and tricks.

‘The First Mess Cookbook’ by Laura Wright

The First Mess Cookbook: Vibrant Plant-Based Recipes to Eat Well Through the Seasons

Laura Wright combines her years’ worth of knowledge from working in her family’s Southern Ontario food market and vegetable patch with beautiful photography for this collection of 125 nourishing plant-forward recipes.

Her ‘Vibrant Plant-Based Recipes to Eat Well Through the Seasons’ starts off with guides to pantry necessities and kitchen equipment, then dives into chapters of recipes for Mornings and Breakfast, Soups and Stews, Salads and Dressings, Hearty Mains and Big Plates, Energizing Drinks and Small Bites, Vegetables and a Couple of Grains, and Desserts and Small Treats.

These recipes focus on seasonal plant-based ingredients, and there are many gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free, and sugar-free options.

Key Highlights

  • Eggplant Bacon
  • Gingered Brussels Sprout and Shiitake Pot Stickers
  • Weeknight Root Vegetable Dal
  • Earl Grey and Vanilla Bean Tiramisu

Who is This Book Best For?

If you are looking to add some delicious, plant-forward recipes to your routine and are drawn to stunning food photography, this cookbook is for you.

Because many of these recipes have a lot of ingredients, including some you may not usually have on hand, be sure to read the ‘Stocking Your Pantry for Success’ guide at the beginning of the book before you get started.

‘Sweet, Savory, and Free’ by Debbie Adler

Sweet, Savory, and Free: Insanely Delicious Plant-Based Recipes without Any of the Top 8 Food Allergens

Debbie Adler has spent years crafting allergen-free recipes as a result of her son’s life-threatening food allergies.

In this cookbook, the owner of Sweet Debbie’s Organic Cupcakes and author of ‘Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats’ branches out into savory cooking while keeping everything completely plant-based and free from the top eight food allergens.

Too often, people think being plant-based and still avoiding allergens like nuts, soy, and wheat can be too limiting, but Adler proves quite the opposite with this collection of 100 flavorful recipes.

In this book, you’ll find useful tips and tricks, a variety of resources, and eight chapters full of yummy, allergy-friendly foods to keep you fed from Morning Munchies to A Feast of Sweets.

There’s even a whole chapter full of plant-based, gluten-free bread recipes!

Key Highlights

  • Lemon Basil Blueberry Muffins
  • Yam Gnocchi with Sriracha Pesto
  • Soft Beer Pretzels
  • Pumpkin Swirl Cinnamon Buns

Who is This Book Best For?

This cookbook is a must-have for anyone following a plant-based diet who is allergic to nuts, soy, or wheat.

Instead of picking through the book to find recipes you can make, you’ll know right away they’re all safe!

Gluten-free vegans will also benefit from this collection of recipes, especially the delectable breads and baked goods.

‘The College Vegan Cookbook’ by Heather Nicholds

The College Vegan Cookbook: 145 Affordable, Healthy & Delicious Plant-Based Recipes

Even the most optimistic new vegan can be intimidated by the idea of sticking to a plant-based diet with the limited budget, time, and kitchen space of a college student.

Holistic nutritionist Heather Nicholds is here to help with ‘The College Vegan Cookbook,’ a collection of 145 simple recipes written with all the constraints of campus living in mind.

Cheap and easy meals are often unhealthy and highly processed, but the recipes in this book are just the opposite—highlighting clean, whole-food ingredients.

The first chapter of this book offers an added value, with tips for ‘living your best vegan life,’ finding the right kitchen tools for your cramped dorm room and figuring out creative ways to stock up on pantry essentials.

This advice is followed by seven chapters of delicious and nutritious recipes, including: Breakfast, Soups & Stews, Sandwiches & Salads, Snacks & Sides, Main Course, Desserts, and Staples like sauces and dressings.

Key Highlights

  • Savory Chickpea Omelet Cups
  • Ramen Noodle Bowl
  • Barbecue Cauliflower Wings
  • Microwave Brownie Mug Cake

Who is This Book Best For?

This book was written for the vegan college student and contains some tips specific to university life.

That said, it’s also a great cookbook for anyone who has fallen into a “junk food vegan” rut with lots of frozen meals and processed foods to help save time.

These recipes will fit your schedule and budget without sacrificing nutritional value!

‘Sweet Potato Soul’ by Jenne Claiborne

After growing up eating classic soul food in Atlanta, Jenné Claiborne wasn’t ready to give up that comforting tradition when she transitioned to a plant-based diet.

In ‘Sweet Potato Soul,’ Claiborne shares her plant-forward twists on favorite Southern dishes with all the ‘Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul’ of their standard counterparts.

Featuring 100 easy plant-based recipes packed full of flavor, this cookbook makes sure you don’t feel like you’re missing anything when you cut animal products out of your diet.

Key Highlights

  • Jalapeño Hush Puppies
  • Fried Cauliflower Chicken
  • Bootylicious Gumbo
  • Sweet Potato Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Who is This Book Best For?

This book is great for plant-based beginners and anyone who hasn’t found a way to satisfy their soul food cravings since transitioning away from animal products.

Though these recipes are healthier than the traditional versions, some do contain processed ingredients, so this book is better for people who are focused on flavor than those going plant-based for their health.

‘The PlantPure Kitchen’ by Kim Campbell

The PlantPure Kitchen: 130 Mouthwatering, Whole Food Recipes and Tips for a Plant-Based Life

Kim Campbell is part of one of the leading families in the plant-based nutrition community, and she puts her background to good use with this collection of 130 wholefood, plant-based recipes.

The first portion of the book is an informative guide to plant-based pantry items, unfamiliar ingredients, kitchen tools, common substitutes, gluten-free alternatives, meal planning, and more.

Campbell then dives into recipes for Breakfast; Breads; Sandwiches, Wraps, and Burgers; Dressings and Sauces; Salads; Appetizers, Dips, and Spreads; Soups and Stews; Entrées, Sides, and Desserts.

Key Highlights

  • Strawberry Rhubarb Streusel Muffins
  • Southwestern Chili Mac
  • Slow Cooker Jackfruit Tacos
  • Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

Who is This Book Best For?

Campbell’s goal is to make plant-based cooking exciting and accessible for everyone, and this book is a great addition for everyone from beginners to long-time vegans who need a menu refresh.

Packed with whole-food, plant-based recipes containing no oils or added sugars, this is also a great book for anyone who is trying to improve their health.

Wrapping Up

Depending on where you are in your plant-based journey, and why you are on this journey in the first place, you’ll have different questions and need different resources.

This list of plant-based diet books is a great place to start looking for answers to any questions you may have, even if you’ve been plant-based or vegan for years.

Whether you want to learn more about the ethical and environmental implications of a plant-based diet or just add some delicious recipes to your repertoire, we hope this list of resources helps get you on your way!

Best Plant-Based Diet Books to Help You Lead a Kind and Healthy Life

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Joy Lindsay

Writing, cooking, and compassionate living have always been some of my favorite things, and have become even more important to me since I went vegan. I'm excited about this opportunity to bring these passions together and share them with the VegByte community!

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