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By Elizabeth Brion
When I went vegan in 1988, there were, as far as I could tell, only two vegan cookbooks in existence. I probably made every recipe in them at least a few dozen times. Thankfully, things are very different today. It's nearly impossible to keep up with the hundreds and hundreds of vegan cookbooks that have been released over the last decade or so. To help you narrow down which you should buy, here's a list of 2020 vegan cookbooks that we're most looking forward to. Whether you're looking to stop supporting the horrific treatment of sensitive and intelligent animals in animal agriculture, start helping to preserve what remains of our natural environment, or improve your own health (or hey, why not all three?), these cookbooks will help make it simple—and delicious—to do so.
BOSH!: Healthy Vegan<p><a href="https://www.peta.org/living/food/vegan-bosh-recipe-videos-we-cant-stop-watching/" target="_blank">BOSH!</a> is the biggest and <a href="https://www.bosh.tv/" target="_blank">fastest-growing plant-based food channel on the web</a>, reaching more than 25 million people—and in this case, 25 million people definitely aren't wrong. Henry Firth and Ian Theasby reliably come up with crave-worthy, imaginative recipes that are easy and fun to follow. This is their third cookbook, which will be focused on healthier fare, and it hits stores on January 28.</p>
Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes<p>A new cookbook from James Beard Award–winning chef and food justice activist <a href="https://www.peta.org/living/food/afro-vegan-next-greatest-food-fusion/" target="_blank">Bryant Terry</a> is always excellent news, and when it's his first in nearly six years, it's a save-the-date occasion (February 11, for the record). <a href="https://www.peta.org/recipes/summer-vegetable-tofu-kebabs-pomegranate-peach-barbecue-sauce/" target="_blank">Terry's recipes</a> are healthy, innovative, and intensely flavorful. A few I'm looking forward to are Barbecued Carrots with Slow-Cooked White Beans, Citrus & Garlic-Herb-Braised Fennel, and Caramelized Leek & Seared Mushroom Toast.</p>
Eat for the Planet Cookbook<p>This follow-up to the eye-opening 2018 book <em><a href="https://amzn.to/2Po72OT" target="_blank">Eat for the Planet</a></em> contains animal- and planet-friendly recipes from a host of top <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/vegan">vegan</a> chefs, restaurants, and companies—even a few from our PETA coworkers! If you're not familiar with <a href="https://www.peta.org/features/meat-climate-change/" target="_blank">the devastating effect of animal agriculture on our planet</a>, this book will bring you up to speed and show you how to counter it without sacrificing flavor.</p>
So Vegan in 5 Ingredients<p>A number of books have focused on vegan recipes with five or fewer ingredients, but this one by <a href="https://business.facebook.com/wearesovegan/" target="_blank">Roxy Pope and Ben Pook</a> caught my attention when I saw a recipe for five-ingredient, from-scratch ravioli. I know, right? Other intriguing options include Rich Ragu, Super Squash Sheet Pan Bake, and Grilled Cinnamon Plums.</p>
Southern Vegan: Delicious Down-Home Recipes for Your Plant-Based Diet<p>A totally objective fact: <a href="https://www.peta.org/living/food/vegan-comfort-food-recipes/" target="_blank">Vegan comfort food</a> based on traditions of the American South is the best thing in the world. Thanks to <a href="https://www.rabbitandwolves.com/" target="_blank">Lauren Hartmann</a>—the creator of the <em><a href="https://www.rabbitandwolves.com/" target="_blank">Rabbit and Wolves</a></em> website—even if you're not lucky enough to live near a restaurant specializing in this cuisine, you can now make beignets, chicken biscuits, pot pies, jalapeño hushpuppies, and Mississippi mud cheesecake without harming any animals.</p>
Love Is Served: Inspired Plant-Based Recipes From Southern California<p>Although it started out in San Francisco, Café Gratitude is probably the most Southern California restaurant in Southern California: All of its dish names are positive self-affirmations. It's a cute gimmick that's backed up with <em>seriously</em> legit food. Now you can serve its most beloved recipes—including "I Am Warm-Hearted" (grilled polenta with mushroom ragout), "I Am Gracious" (sundried tomato pesto grain salad), and "I Am Passionate" (black lava cake)—in your own home. Whether you require your family to say, "Could you please pass the 'I Am Fearless'?" is totally up to you.<a href="https://amzn.to/2rfWLvw" target="_blank"></a></p>
Gluten-Free, Vegan Cooking in Your Instant Pot: 65 Delicious Whole Food Recipes for a Plant-Based Diet<p><a href="https://healthyslowcooking.com/" target="_blank">Kathy Hester</a> is the author of a number of specialized vegan cookbooks. Her books on <a href="https://www.peta.org/living/food/wontons-fries-delicious-vegan-air-fryer-recipes/" target="_blank">recipes for air fryers</a> and <a href="https://www.peta.org/living/food/slow-cooker-recipes/" target="_blank">slow cookers</a> are well-worn favorites at my house, and if you're one of the many people who have simplified their cooking routines with an <a href="https://www.peta.org/living/food/instant-pot-vegan-recipes/" target="_blank">Instant Pot</a>, I'm sure this book will be similarly indispensable for you. The vegan, gluten-free recipes range from Chickpeas and Dumplings and Veggie Hunter's Lentil Quinoa Stew to from-scratch yogurt and sliceable cheese and Almond Berry Cake.</p>
Wait, That’s Vegan?!: Plant-Based Meatballs, Burgers, Steaks and Other Dishes You Thought You’d Never Eat Again!<p>Full disclosure: I was drawn to this book because the first part of the title is something people say to me <em>all the time</em>. This cookbook from first-time author and plant-based nutritionist <a href="https://lisasprojectvegan.com/" target="_blank">Lisa Dawn Angerame</a> focuses on delicious vegan versions of familiar dishes such as meatballs, burgers, pasta with Bolognese sauce, and egg salad. It's a great option for new and aspiring vegans who are worried that they'll have to eat strange new food—or for experienced vegans who still sometimes crave the flavors of their childhood.</p>
Vegan Yack Attack’s Plant-Based Meal Prep: Weekly Meal Plans and Recipes to Streamline Your Vegan Lifestyle<p>Cookbooks often say that they're designed for busy people, but I've never been more confident that's actually true than when I read that <a href="https://veganyackattack.com/" target="_blank">Jackie Sobon</a>'s upcoming one includes the category "Car Breakfasts." In addition to recipes, the book contains shopping lists, checklists, and a step-by-step guide for making prep day as efficient as possible. In short, I <em>really</em> need this book. Maybe you do, too.</p>
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By Kris Gunnars
Dietary fats are highly controversial, with debates about animal fats, seed oils, and everything in between in full force.
That said, most people agree that extra virgin olive oil is incredibly healthy.
Part of the Mediterranean diet, this traditional oil has been a dietary staple for some of the world's healthiest populations.
Studies show that the fatty acids and antioxidants in olive oil can offer some powerful health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease.
This article reviews why extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest fats.
What Is Olive Oil and How Is It Made?<p>Olive oil is oil that has been extracted from olives, the fruits of the olive tree.</p><p>The production process is incredibly simple. Olives can be pressed to extract their oil, but modern methods involve crushing the olives, mixing them together, and then separating the oil from the pulp in a centrifuge.</p><p>After centrifugation, small amounts of oil remain in the pomace. The leftover oil can be extracted using chemical solvents and is known as olive pomace oil.</p><p>Olive pomace oil is generally cheaper than regular olive oil and has a bad reputation.</p><p>Buying the right type<strong> </strong>of olive oil is crucial. There are three main grades of olive oil — refined, virgin, and extra virgin. Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed or refined type.</p><p>Extra virgin olive oil is considered to be the healthiest type of olive oil. It's extracted using natural methods and standardized for purity and certain sensory qualities like taste and smell.</p><p>Olive oil that is truly extra virgin has a distinct taste and is high in phenolic antioxidants, which is the main reason why it's <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-olive-oil" target="_blank">so beneficial</a>.</p><p>Legally, vegetable oils that are labeled as olive oil cannot be diluted with other types of oils. Nevertheless, it's essential to inspect the label carefully and buy from a reputable seller.</p>
Nutrient Composition of Extra Virgin Olive Oil<p>Extra virgin olive oil is fairly nutritious.</p><p>It contains modest amounts of vitamins E and K and plenty of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-health-benefits-of-omega-3" target="_blank">beneficial fatty acids</a>.</p><p>One tablespoon (13.5 grams) of olive oil contains the following:</p><ul><li><strong>Saturated fat:</strong> 14%</li><li><strong>Monounsaturated fat:</strong> 73% (mostly oleic acid)</li><li><strong>Vitamin E:</strong> 13% of the Daily Value (DV)</li><li><strong>Vitamin K:</strong> 7% of the DV</li></ul><p>Notably, extra virgin olive oil shines in its antioxidant content.</p><p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/antioxidants-explained" target="_blank">Antioxidants</a> are biologically active, and some of them can help fight serious diseases.</p><p>The oil's main antioxidants include the anti-inflammatory oleocanthal, as well as oleuropein, a substance that protects LDL (bad) cholesterol from oxidation.</p><p>Some people have criticized olive oil for having a high <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/optimize-omega-6-omega-3-ratio" target="_blank">omega-6 to omega-3 ratio</a> (over 10:1). However, its total amount of polyunsaturated fats is still relatively low, so this shouldn't be a cause for concern.</p>
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Contains Anti-Inflammatory Substances<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-inflammation" target="_blank">Chronic inflammation</a> is believed to be among the leading drivers of many diseases, including heart disease, <a href="http://www.ecowatch.com/tag/cancer" target="_blank">cancer</a>, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and arthritis.</p><p>Some speculate that olive oil's ability to fight inflammation is behind its many health benefits.</p><p>Oleic acid, the most prominent fatty acid in olive oil, has been found to reduce inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein.</p><p>However, the oil's main <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-anti-inflammatory-foods" target="_blank">anti-inflammatory effects</a> seem to be due to its antioxidants, primarily oleocanthal, which has been shown to work like ibuprofen, a popular anti-inflammatory drug.</p><p>Researchers estimate that the amount of oleocanthal in 50 ml (about 3.4 tablespoons) of extra virgin olive oil exerts effects similar to those of 10 percent of the adult ibuprofen dosage for pain relief.</p><p>Also, one study showed that substances in olive oil can reduce the expression of genes and proteins that mediate inflammation.</p><p>Keep in mind that chronic, low-level inflammation is usually fairly mild, and it takes years or decades for it to do damage.</p><p>Using extra virgin olive oil may help prevent this from happening, leading to a reduced risk of various inflammatory diseases, especially heart disease.</p>
Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Cardiovascular Disease<p>Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke, are among the most common <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/leading-causes-of-death" target="_blank">causes of death</a> in the world.</p><p>Many observational studies show that death from these diseases is low in certain areas of the world, especially in countries around the Mediterranean Sea.</p><p>This observation originally spurred interest in the <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mediterranean-diet-meal-plan" target="_blank">Mediterranean diet</a>, which is supposed to mimic the way the people in those countries eat.</p><p>Studies on the Mediterranean diet show that it can help prevent heart disease. In one major study, it reduced heart attacks, strokes, and death by 30 percent.</p><p>Extra virgin olive oil protects against heart disease via numerous mechanisms:</p><ul><li><strong>Reducing inflammation.</strong> Olive oil protects against inflammation, a key driver of heart disease.</li><li><strong>Reduces oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol.</strong> The oil protects LDL particles from oxidative damage, a key factor in the development of heart disease.</li><li><strong>Improves blood vessel health.</strong> Olive oil improves the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels.<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22914255" target="_blank"><span></span></a></li><li><strong>Helps manage blood clotting.</strong> Some studies suggest that olive oil can help prevent unwanted blood clotting, a key feature of heart attacks and strokes.</li><li><strong>Lowers blood pressure.</strong> One study in patients with elevated blood pressure found that olive oil reduced blood pressure significantly and lowered the need for blood pressure medication by 48 percent.</li></ul><p>Given the biological effects of olive oil, it's not surprising that people who consume the greatest amounts of it are significantly less likely to die from heart attacks and strokes.</p><p>Dozens — if not hundreds — of animal and human studies have shown that olive oil has major benefits for the heart.</p><p>In fact, the evidence is strong enough to recommend that people who have or are at a high risk of developing heart disease include plenty of extra virgin olive oil in their diets.</p>
Other Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil<p>Although olive oil has mostly been studied for its effects on heart health, its consumption has also been associated with a number of other <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/health" target="_blank">health benefits</a>.</p>
Olive Oil and Cancer<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/cancer" target="_blank">Cancer</a> is a common cause of death and characterized by the uncontrolled growth of cells.</p><p>Studies have shown that people living in the Mediterranean countries have a fairly low risk of cancer, and some have speculated that olive oil has something to do with this.</p><p>One potential contributor to cancer is <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/oxidative-stress" target="_blank">oxidative damage</a> due to harmful molecules called free radicals. However, extra virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants that reduce oxidative damage.</p><p>The oleic acid in olive oil is also highly resistant to oxidation and has been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.</p><p>Many test-tube studies have observed that compounds in olive oil can help fight cancer at the molecular level.</p><p>That said, controlled trials in humans have yet to study whether olive oil helps prevent cancer.</p>
Olive Oil and Alzheimer's Disease<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/alzheimers-disease" target="_blank">Alzheimer's disease</a> is the world's most common neurodegenerative disease and a leading cause of dementia.</p><p>One feature of Alzheimer's is a buildup of protein tangles called beta-amyloid plaques in certain neurons in the brain.</p><p>A study in mice observed that a substance in olive oil can help clear these plaques.</p><p>Additionally, a controlled study in humans showed that a Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil improved brain function and reduced the risk of cognitive impairment.</p>
Can You Cook With It?<p>During <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthy-cooking-oils" target="_blank">cooking</a>, fatty acids can oxidize, meaning they react with oxygen and become damaged.</p><p>The double bonds in fatty acid molecules are mostly responsible for this.</p><p>For this reason, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-8-reasons-not-to-fear-saturated-fats" target="_blank">saturated fats</a>, which have no double bonds, are resistant to high heat. Meanwhile, polyunsaturated fats, which have many double bonds, are sensitive and become damaged.</p><p>Olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids, which have only one double bond, and is fairly resistant to high heat.</p><p>In one study, researchers heated extra virgin olive oil to 356°F (180°C) for 36 hours. The oil was highly resistant to damage.</p><p>Another study used olive oil for deep-frying, and it took 24–27 hours for it to reach damage levels that were deemed harmful.</p><p>Overall, olive oil seems to be very safe — even for cooking at fairly high heat.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>Olive oil is super healthy.</p><p>For those who have heart disease or are at a high risk of developing it, olive oil is most definitely a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/true-superfoods" target="_blank">superfood</a>.</p><p>The benefits of this wonderful fat are among the few things that most people in nutrition agree upon.</p>
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Josh Chamot
Seaweed is an acquired taste, but rich in nutrients and cheap to produce, and it could replace carbon-intensive foods on menus everywhere. With that in mind, Lisette Kreischer and Marcel Schuttelaar wrote Ocean Greens, a guide to cooking with seaweed. Kreischer shared her insights on seaweed with Nexus Media, along with two of her best recipes.