Gift the traditions of a slower life through cooking

Cooking is deeply rooted in tradition and is used as a historical tool in honoring heritage. Using age-old techniques for food preservation, fermentation, and plant-based eating reminds us of how humans have used cooking to cultivate a sustainable and nourished life for centuries.

Each of these cookbooks inspires us to look back to simpler times to use creative and intelligent methods of living sustainably, while still feeling relevant in our modern, fast paced era.

For more inspiration, also check out our holiday guides to Gifts That Give Back {For Women} and Gifts That Give Back {For Men}.

1. OJAS | Nira Kehar

Modern Recipes and Ancient Wisdom for Everyday Ayurveda

Not only is this a gorgeous coffee table book, but this cookbook celebrates the ancient teachings of Ayurveda through modern recipes. The book focuses on eating seasonally and cooking for your “essence” to help balance your body and mind, making it a wonderful gift for someone in your life wanting to connect to the food they eat through a more spiritual approach.

Shop | $23

2. More with Less | Jodi Moreno

Whole Food Cooking Made Irresistibly Simple

This book is considered a “slow food cookbook,” using a minimalist approach of using what you already have in your kitchen. The recipes aim to teach how to create simple, wholesome meals out of what you can find in your pantry. Perfect for the loved one in your life who needs inspiration for cooking healthy, but with a simple approach.

Shop | $23

3. The First Mess | Laura Wright

Vibrant Plant-Based Recipes to Eat Well Through the Seasons

We love this plant-based cookbook that focuses on getting the most out of the food we eat throughout the seasons. Laura Wright’s book is inspired by growing up helping her parents at their local food market, and through this cookbook she teaches how to shop locally and mindfully by buying fresh and local plant-based ingredients.

Shop | $21

4. Kintsugi Wellness | Candice Kumai

The Japanese Art of Nourishing Mind, Body, and Spirit

We love this book deeply rooted in heritage and tradition. The author, Candice Kumai, wrote this book to honor her Japanese roots that helped her to find wellness. She also wanted to create a resource for others to gain insight into ancient Japanese cooking traditions that nourish from the inside out.

Shop | $17

5. Hand Made | Melissa K. Norris

The Modern Woman’s Guide to Made-from-Scratch Living

This book is a fascinating resource for gaining knowledge into how to self sustain by living off of the land. The author also offers guidance to help de-clutter your home and offers a minimalist approach to simplifying your life altogether.

Shop | $12.95

6. Kale & Caramel | Lily Diamond

Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table

For the gardener and nature lover in your life, this book is a beautiful look into how herbs and flowers can nourish the body. Each chapter is dedicated to one kind of herb such as basil, cilantro, fennel, mint and oregano. The author of this book writes poetically through the lens of her upbringing and where she first found a love for the harvest.

Shop | $15

7. The Nourished Kitchen | Jennifer McGruther

Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle

This book is a beautiful approach to farm-to-table cooking that celebrates buying local and fresh ingredients using the studies of ancient and indigenous recipes. The book takes readers through the process of choosing fresh food over processed and aims to cultivate a shift in the way we buy food.

Shop | $23

8. The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone | Deborah Madison

A revised and expanded edition of the most comprehensive vegetarian cookbook ever published

A book that is perfect for someone in your life who is just becoming a vegetarian or is curious about that lifestyle. The book teaches the proper ways to cook vegetables so that they maintain their nutrients and offers simple, comprehensive recipes.

Shop | $24

9. Traditionally Fermented Foods | Shannon Stronger

Innovative Recipes and Old-Fashioned Techniques for Sustainable Eating 

This book was written by a mother who lives off the grid with her family on self sustaining land using solar power and very little electricity. Their lifestyle requires food storage through fermentation, and in this book she teaches the wisdom and traditions of canning. Perfect for the loved one in your life interested in learning how to make their own pickles!

Shop | $15


Courtney Jay Higgins is the Content Strategist at The Good Trade. She is also a Yoga Instructor, vegetarian, wellness and fashion enthusiast. Originally from Colorado, her soul found California when she came to get her degree in Visual Communications at the Fashion Institute Of Design & Merchandising. She has a background in telling a story through writing, creative direction and content creation. Her online blog hosts her unique perspective on the mergence of fashion and spirituality.