10 Black cookbooks to add to your collection

Black History Month is a perfect time to try new recipes and remix old ones, and these cookbooks have you covered.

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As Black History Month is a time to reflect on the contributions of African-American to the global landscape, it is also an opportunity to celebrate our rich cultural traditions—and what better tradition than food? With a communal focus on Black health and wellness, BHM 2022 is the perfect time to try some new recipes, or revise some old faithfuls into healthier versions of themselves.

Credits: Penguin Random House; Smithsonian Books

Whether you’re vegan, looking to cut down on your salt intake or want all the butter you can stand, Spice Kitchen & Bar listed these ten cookbooks not only to provide delicious and easy-to-follow recipes, but they also capture the ingenuity, creativity and love of Black folk.

Hallelujah! The Welcome Table: A Lifetime of Memories with Recipes by Maya Angelou (Penguin Random House, 2007)

Credit: Penguin Random House

As only the phenomenal woman could, in this memoir-cookbook Maya Angelou reflects on pivotal moments in her life and shares the recipes and wisdom at the center of it all.

Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice and Soul by Jenné Claiborne (Harmony Books, 2018)

Credit: Harmony Books

Don’t get it twisted; vegan food in the Black community is not without flavor. Claiborne offers an amazing variety of recipes in this collection—perfect for the vegan veteran or anyone ready to explore.

Grandbaby Cakes: Modern Recipes, Vintage Charm and Soulful Recipes by Joycelyn Delk Adams (Agate Publishing, 2015)

Credit: Agate Publishing

Capturing our hearts with her beautiful social media presence, Joycelyn Delk Adams’ cookbook transitions us from simply pinning her recipes on Pinterest to baking cakes for every Sunday dinner!

Black Girl Baking: Wholesome Recipes Inspired by a Soulful Upbringing by Jerrell Guy (Page Street Publishing, 2018)

Credit: Page Street Publishing

A must-have for every young woman, Guy’s James Beard-nominated offering goes well beyond a cookbook. It’s a treatise on what it means to find your way in this world, enjoying life’s sweetness along the way.

In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean by Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen (Penguin Random House, 2020)

Credit: Penguin Random House

Gathering the wisdom and recipes from grandmothers on the continent, Hassan and Turshen give African Americans a beautiful opportunity to connect with our ancestral homeland, bringing its rich, vibrant flavors to our kitchen tables.

Credit: Gallery Books

Putting a song in our hearts well before her sweet potato pies went viral, the veteran entertainer’s bestselling cookbook—and now, its 20th anniversary reissue—not only feature her legendary recipes but share stories from her life on the road and at home.

Sweetie Pie’s Cookbook: Soulful Southern Recipes, from My Family to Yours by Robbie Montgomery (Amistad Press, 2016)

Credit: Amistad Press

When she wasn’t at her beloved restaurant in St. Louis or filming her top-rated reality show on OWN, Miss Robbie was spending time with her family. In this collection, the matriarch shares humorous and heartfelt stories from that beloved family as well as their favorite recipes.

Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspire by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams (Penguin Random House, 2015)

Credit: Penguin Random House

It’s possible to enjoy our favorite soul food meals with less fat, salt and sugar. Here, this mother and daughter duo—both also acclaimed novelists—show us how to be healthier without forsaking the flavor and connection our food provides.

Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora by Bryant Terry (Penguin Random House, 2021)

Credit: Penguin Random House

This recently released anthology of essays, poetry, reflections and recipes is a must-have for cooks and historians alike. Terry and his more than 100 contributors tell the story of African-American cuisine in all its dimensions and glory.

Sweet Home Café: A Celebration of African American Cooking by the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Smithsonian Books, 2018)

Based on the ‘Blacksonian’s’ award-winning café, the accompanying cookbook takes home chefs and readers through a journey of African-American food as well as offering recipes to staple dishes in the Black community and modern twists on classic favorites.

Candice Marie Benbow is theGrio’s daily lifestyle, education and health writer. She’s also the author of Red Lip Theology: For Church Girls Who’ve Considered Tithing to the Beauty Supply Store When Sunday Morning Isn’t Enough. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @candicebenbow.

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