This quirky pastime of taking photos of our food will haunt us in history books. Have you noticed? There are some beautiful dishes out there and my propensity to photograph is no exception. I’m also a recent convert to a smart phone. That said, my husband is old hat at it and has shared the delights of numerous helpful apps from the one that allows me to see what I might look like if I gained 200 lbs to the one that helps me to remember where I’ve parked in the multi-story lot. I was recently inspired by a blogger known as omnomnivores to look more deeply into food apps. While I’ve certainly not covered the gamut and the gamut is large, here are the results of my research.
My oldest used to have an electronic game that he brought to the supermarket when we shopped. He’d scan the bar codes of various food items which would allow him to capture monsters. Fooducate does the same thing! By scanning the bar code of a food item, you can view nutritional facts, calories and ingredients. It also suggests alternative food items. If label reading is overwhelming, this is a product for you. Free and also available for Android.
No surprises that I’d zero in on this one. It’s a great menu planning assistant as it shares what is in season. The app also has a map that locates farmers markets where the fresh stuff is available. Free and also available for Android.
3. Seafood Watch
Having just returned from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I’m proud to share their guide to buying sustainable seafood. I carry the paper version in my wallet and so do my children but this app also has a sushi guide which helps make good sustainable choices. Free and available for both iphone and Android.
My sister-in-law first introduced me to Paprika. Admittedly, I don’t use it to it’s fullest extent but if you’re interested in keeping track of recipes that work (your own and others) and want an easy way to share them, Paprika is for you.
Similar to other apps that manage recipes, Paprika recipe has a meal planner, a grocery list, and a function that enables you to scale recipes depending upon the number of people you are planning for. $4.99 compatible with IOS 5.0.
Although I’m a frequent yelper, Veg Out can help you find a restaurant that caters to the vegetarians and vegans amongst you. The app allows you to search by your current location or enter a custom location. And it’s international in scope. The application costs $2.99 in the iTunes store
No lie, this is my go-to travel guide. I love the filters that I can apply from type of cuisine to “open now” to price to proximity. This is the true crowd sourcing app for restaurants and other services and I’ve learned that it’s important to read the comments. I may not always agree but Yelp is a great tool. Free for both devices.
7. Real Simple Recipes
Like the name suggests, Real Simple Recipes is about being able to put a meal on the table pronto. The focus is on fast and easy food. These are real simple things you can cook real fast.
You’re able to sort through meal options by both time (20, 30, or 40 minute options) and food categories such as poultry or vegetarian. The app is available for both android and iphone and includes helpful instructional videos. It costs $5 which unfortunately doesn’t preclude it from containing advertisements.
Love to photograph your food? Platter lets you take a photo and tag it with a few key ingredient words and then share it with others. Standing in front of the pantry without inspiration? Type in a list of ingredients and platter will serve up photos and ideas to get you into the next meal. Platter interfaces with both facebook and twitter and is free for both iphone and android.
9. Kitchen Math
As a blogger who reads a whole host of food posts across many different countries, I’m often googling the differences between Celsius and Farenheit or how to make the conversion from ounces to grams. Kitchen Math does this for us. With the tap of a fingertip, I learn that 12 tsp is the same as 1/4 cup. And there is helpful information about the appropriate cooking temperatures for various meat dishes. $0.99 for iphone.
Do you love to cook? If so, you’re already familiar with the Epicurious website. In a similar fashion this app enables you to browse thousands of recipe ideas by main ingredient, course, cuisine, dietary consideration, dish, occasion or other key words. The recipse include photos and an option to add to your own favorites. Like Paprika, it also has a shopping list feature. Epi interfaces with sites like Facebook and Pinterest. The free app is available for iphone and android but it costs $1.99 to sync with your recipes.