We have come a long way from pen and paper shopping lists and dusting off cookbooks for cooking inspiration. With a whole world of recipes available at the click of a button, modern technology has really stepped up its cooking game. There are apps available for every step of the process: from planning to shopping, cooking to storing – there is something for everyone. There are even special features for dietary requirements, nutritional information and ways to cut costs and save on food waste.
But it’s a jungle out there. With thousands of apps all claiming they’re the best, it can be kind of overwhelming and have you longing for your trusted paper list (which I still love and use every now and again). But they’re not as scary as you may think; I’ve done the research into finding the best ones, so you don’t have to. From finding inspiration for new dishes and exploring new cuisines, to storing the entire contents of your fridge right at your fingertips – I’ve put together the ultimate guide in must-have cooking apps, so you can focus on what’s really important… the food.
So what apps are the best?
Regardless of what you are using the app for, I have rounded up the best apps that help me on a day to day basis, and also a few inclusions from the Hedi Hearts Gang.
For the Planners:
MealBoard, currently only available on iPhone, is the all-in-one app for those that love to pre-plan. Not only does it allow you to plan your meals in advance, but it automatically generates your shopping list based on the meals you have chosen for that week so you can easily shop for what you need and help cut costs and waste down.
For the Health Conscious:
This is one of my favourite apps. Change4Life Food Scanner lets you scan a product, and it will then easily reveal the ingredients that are in there. It helps you be able to decode highly processed foods and limit sugar and salt intakes. It’s a super visual app and can really help open your eyes to the dangers of pre-processed foods.
For the International Cooks:
Kitchen Dial is a fantastic (and free) app that helps translate between universal measurements such as ounces, pounds, cups and grams. This is great for people who like to cook from recipes they’ve found online and saves a lot of time and effort converting them into your desired measurement scales – or worse, thinking you’ve converted them right only to find the recipe fail.
For the Beginners:
Just getting started on your cooking journey and finding it all a bit… well… overwhelming? Culinary terms and anagrams can make even the simplest of recipes feel unachievable. But SideChef is your sous-chef in your pocket. This app is great for chefs of all skills and levels and helps you cook the dishes you love and would love to cook with step-by-step instructions in a wide variety of formats suited to your needs. Written, voice commanded and photos to really break it down and help you sharpen your skills.
For the Recipe Hoarders:
Voted as the most popular recipe app on the Hedi Hearts Facebook page, Paprika is the go-to app for collating existing recipes all in one place and easily creating a collection of your favourites. You can input your own recipes, scan them in from a cookbook or magazine or automatically create from a website URL and even some YouTube videos. The perfectly personalised cookbook on your phone.
For the ones Stuck in a Rut:
Never sure what to make come mid-week and sick of rotating through your tried and tested, let Mealime help you out. There are thousands of recipes that you can tailor towards your dietary preferences and collate a selection of healthy dishes that can be prepped and cooked in under 30 minutes. The app is also known for its prompt feature that tells you when to start cooking and also help you streamline your cupboards to reduce food waste.
For the Ingredients You Already Have:
Fridge Pal, only available on Apple, is a free app that helps you keep track of everything you have in your kitchen. You can scan items in, keep a list of what you have, plan meals based around those ingredients and even get notifications for when the items you have are about to expire. It helps cut down on food waste but is also a great tool to have when you are food shopping and forgot to check what you already have before leaving the house.
For those that Go-With-The Flow:
No idea at all what you fancy and happy to throw caution to the wind, then Allrecipes Dinner Spinner is the app for you. Just give it a spin for a random recipe suggestion. You can add some parameters such as dietary requirements or based around a certain ingredient you have or excluding ingredients you know you definitely don’t have. The recipes themselves are also mobile-friendly and come complete with step-by-step recipe videos but with the option to jump certain sections.
What food apps do you swear by? If you need more inspiration or any help you can always reach out to me via email or find me on my Facebook,Twitter or Instagram. Also if you want more healthy recipes, check out my Youtube channel. Loads of fabulous and easy recipes waiting for you there.