The Uncommon James founder will release her third book, True Comfort, on Sept. 29

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Kristin Cavallari didn't plan it this way, but her latest cookbook, True Comfort, is coming at the perfect time for fans.

"I've had a lot of the recipes for a long time, but I started working on it right after True Roots came out. It's probably been almost three years," says the Uncommon James founder, 33. "True Comfort was the most fun to work on because it's my personal favorite."

With most people still stuck at home due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Cavallari says her new book — which has more than 100 gluten-free recipes — offers healthy twists on cold-day staples.

"Obviously in the fall and winter months, everyone wants this comfort ... really warm, inviting food," she says. "Now with everything going on in the world, I feel like there's even more of a need for it.

"I think comfort food really can take you back to your childhood or a certain memory. It can turn a really bad day around for you and just make you feel so much better," she continues. "I'm hoping that everyone can get this cookbook and make really yummy good, and then it can actually make them feel better too."

With three young kids in her house, it's no surprise her sons Camden, 8, and Jaxon, 6, and daughter Saylor, 4, are her go-to taste testers.

Kristin Cavallari
Kristin Cavallari
| Credit: Manny Carabel/Getty

Their favorites from mom's book include the chicken ragu and her sheet-pan nachos, and Cavallari's Dutch baby pancake for breakfast.

While they eat mostly gluten-free at home, the jewelry designer says she makes sure her children still enjoy treats as much as possible.

"I let them have all of that, and we get donuts probably almost every weekend," she says. "I don't want to be so strict with my kids. Then they go the opposite way! I'm just trying to give them a good baseline, but my kids are kids."

For all the details on Kristin Cavallari's life now, including how she's raising three kids as a new single mom and finding new joy after separating from Jay Cutler, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.