Add some spice to your life
It’s not the first time I’ve asked the question ‘where does the time go’ but in our busy day-to-day it’s a question that I find myself thinking (usually on a Sunday night with Monday looming in the distance). For many of us, January means less money, less energy and that general blue feeling that comes along with it. Reading about the potential diets I could be following right now is one thing, but putting it into practice is a lot harder, especially when it comes to rethinking your entire shopping trolley.
This is where cooking apps come in, being able to research recipes online on your commute, in your lunchbreak or when sat on the sofa at home is a great motivator to changing your diet, but when it comes to cooking apps it’s hard to know where to begin. Each one is as glossy as the last, so I’ve done my best to cut through the gloss and take a look at which apps are really worth their salt.
A very slick foodie app, Tastemade is like an interactive cooking program. This app is less about diets and more about adventure, as the app presents new and exciting twists on recipes with an enthusiasm that may be sickly to some. With an emphasis on travel and searching for the exotic, the app even has its own ‘shows’ – 10-minute episodes documenting all kinds of different flavours. Good for trying something new, but not for the calorie counters and dieters.
From the same company that can deliver full recipes to your door, the Hello Fresh app doesn’t require a subscription to their delivery service. The app is very simple to use, with each recipe immediately showing how many calories it contains and how long it’ll take to cook. You can even filter results to only show recipes that include ingredients you already have. Using the app while cooking gives you very clear step-by-step instructions, and provides in-built timers for cooking durations. Great for making great meals quickly, but not if you’re looking for something specific.
BBC Good Food
This is an app I’ve been using for years, as it’s my go-to for inventive and healthy twists on established recipes. There are plenty of meals to look through while the app is accessible and easy to understand. If you want to cook with a specific goal in mind, such as adhering to a certain diet or calorie counting then you can find better apps, but I still find it easy to amass a large collection of recipes through the app. With many apps using American measurements and language, it’s good for using familiar recipes and familiar units of measurement, but not if you’re looking for anything too specific.
Like Pinterest for food, Yummly is the simplest app I found on my hunt. Users submit their own recipes, highlighting how many ingredients are needed, how long it takes and how many calories are in it. Clicking on the ‘yum’ button saves your recipe and helps the app search for similar food as it builds a profile of your interests. The highlight of the app, however, is the in-built shopping list. Through the app you can build a list of all the ingredients you need for any recipes you want, adding and removing wherever you want, meaning you can use it as a handy shopping list regardless of if you’re following recipes or just doing your own thing. Good for dieters and recipe ideas, but can put a strain on your battery.
So many apps on both Android and Apple’s stores will tell you they offer the definitive experience, but it all depends on what you’re looking for. Tastemade appeals to our adventurous side, while Hello Fresh is better suited to family eating. BBC Good Food offers the best of British recipes but Yummly is ideal for calorie counters with a love for social media. There are plenty of options, and for me Yummly was the perfect app for getting into shape and adding more fun to healthy eating, but it all ultimately depends on what kind of flavour you prefer.