Here are my top 7 homestead kitchen books that I love in 2023. Some titles may be expected and some may be a surprise. Check out my list!
Even in the day and age of the internet and online resources, many of us somewhat old-fashioned folks love a good book. Especially one, that helps create and maintain your homestead kitchen. One that you love so much that it has spills and dog ears.
Over the years, I have amassed quite some books. I think I actually need to get rid of some. But my favorite books have earned their place directly in my kitchen. There are some that I rotate through – and some that are there to stay.
This book list is also perfect if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for anyone who has or would like to have a homestead kitchen!
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How I chose the homestead kitchen books:
So what exactly is a “homestead kitchen” you might ask? Good question. While there might be other definitions out there, here is what that means to me:
To me, a homestead kitchen is a place where most of the food is made from scratch with real food ingredients. Since we live in the suburbs, we only grow a portion of the fruits and vegetables we use. As much as we can, we try to source the ingredients locally.
Since we don’t have farm animals and since we don’t grow the majority of our food, I like to call ours an “urban homestead kitchen”.
The homestead kitchen books I chose for this list had to have either one or more of these characteristics:
- use real food ingredients
- focus on traditional diets
- be inspirational
- have great recipes
- fit with the urban homesteading theme
Here are my top 7 homestead kitchen book titles:
First, I will give you the book titles and authors. In the following paragraphs, I will give you a more in-depth review of the book.
- Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
- The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther
- The Prairie Homestead Cookbook by Jill Winger
- Einkorn by Carla Bartolucci
- The New Wildcrafted Cuisine by Pascal Baudar
- Simply Living Well by Julia Watkins
- The New Homemade Kitchen by Joseph Shuldiner
Where to buy homestead kitchen books:
Obviously, you can go to your local bookseller or book shop and buy or order these books there.
If you don’t want to leave your home, you can order them online with all the major booksellers. My links are for amazon.com.
Whenever I can, I love to buy books used. I love not buying something new. If I am looking for a specific title, I often call my local used book store and ask if they have it in stock. Also, amazon.com often has the used version of most titles, so that’s a good place to check out, too!
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon:
- Why this book made this list: to me, this book was such a breakthrough when it first came out in 2001 (when I got it). After years of low-fat and low-carb, I find this book so refreshing. It is based on the research of the dentist Dr. Weston Price who basically found that people who ate a traditional diet with animal fats, lots of fermented dairy, grains, and vegetables were healthier. The whole first chapter is dedicated to the basics. It also talks about food allergies and special diets, how to select foods, and kitchen tips and hints. While I have not made all of the 700+ recipes, the ones that I made were all very delicious. They tend to be basic, hearty fare. It certainly is a book I come back to all the time.
- What is missing: Nourishing Traditions does not have any photos. I am at a point where I can imagine a recipe but I also just love looking at beautiful food photography.
The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther:
- Why this book made this list: if you enjoyed or are intrigued by or own the book Nourishing Traditions, you will love The Nourished Kitchen as well. It basically takes the previous book to the next level. The recipes are a bit more inspired and modern if you will. It is clearly organized by where the main ingredients come from (such as the pasture, the waters, the fields, etc). The many photos of the dishes are helpful in seeing what the final recipe looks like. Every single one of the 160+ recipes has one or two introductory paragraphs that talk about the ingredients, how to serve it, or gives any other interesting information about that recipe.
- What is missing: nothing that I can think of.
Einkorn by Carla Bartolucci:
- Why this book made this list: While I have been baking a lot with rye and spelt in the last decade or two, I have always been wanting to expand my repertoire. There is a good reason why so many people are sensitive to wheat and its gluten. Even though nobody in my family falls into that category, I always like to see if there is a healthier option. Einkorn definitely fits that bill but behaves so differently than wheat or spelt. I have not made very many of the 100 recipes from this book but every single one looks solid and easy to follow. The author seems to have been testing the recipes thoroughly so that readers can bake with einkorn successfully.
- What is missing: the irony is that the late author founded and ran the company Jovial which sells einkorn, einkorn flours, and einkorn products like pasta. However, there’s barely a mention and it would have been nice to see some links where to get einkorn products.
The Prairie Homestead Cookbook by Jill Winger:
- Why this book made the list: if you are a homesteader, real, urban, or aspiring you have probably heard of the blog and Youtube channel The Prairie Homestead and Jill Winger. Since she’s been a Wyoming homesteader for some 10 years, she really knows her game. Apparently, she can cook delicious dishes, too, which you can see in her 100+ recipes. However, this book is as much a lifestyle book as it is a cookbook. She has a whole chapter on ‘homesteading’, growing your food, keeping and raising animals, and anything a beginner homesteader might like to know. Did I tell you that she is also a really witty, funny writer? I have often been chuckling to myself as I was reading this book over and over.
- What is missing: with the premise of the book, I can’t see anything that is missing from it.
The New Wildcrafted Cuisine by Pascal Baudar:
- Why this book made this list: I have always loved to forage in our area. When I happened to see this book in a gift shop on a road trip last year, I knew that I needed to have this! And it did not disappoint! The chapters are organized by season and I was surprised by how many edibles you can find in the wild and what great things you can do with them. Not only does it have dozens of recipes, but it also has stunning photography to whet your appetite! I know I will be returning to this book again and again!
- What is missing: it seems that the author lives in Southern California. We live in Northern California so still the same state. However, there are some ingredients that I think only grow in Southern California. Therefore, I wish he had included something about where exactly to find those wild plants.
Simply Living Well by Julia Watkins:
- Why this book made the list: not strictly a cookbook but a lifestyle book, I think this fits right in with the homesteading theme. The subtitle is “a guide to creating a natural, low-waste home” and that sums it up quite well. Regardless, this book contains a lot of recipes in the chapters about the low-waste kitchen and the kitchen garden. Aside from that, it is such an inspiring read chock full of practical tips for this (urban) homesteading lifestyle. It is definitely a keeper!
- What is missing: I think this book is perfect as it is!
The New Homemade Kitchen by Joseph Shuldiner:
- Why this book made the list: the subtitle “250 recipes and ideas for reinventing the art of preserving, canning, fermenting, dehydrating, and more” says it all. While it doesn’t necessarily target this audience, it is perfect for the homesteader and anyone wanting to learn how to make anything and everything in the kitchen. From condiments to sauerkraut, fermented vegetables and dairy, sourdough, homemade bacon, cakes, and more, it contains over 250 easy-to-follow recipes.
- What is missing: while this book is full of information and graphics, I wish it had more photos so that one can see what the final recipe will look like.
Other posts you might enjoy:
Let me know any good homestead kitchen books I might have missed on this list!
Do you have any other homestead kitchen books that you think should have made this list? Let me know in the comments below!