The universe of food apps for iPhone and iPad is as diverse as the food available on the shelves of the grocery megastores; it's overwhelming in scope and can easily lead to endless wandering in the aisles. An efficient way to tackle the adventure of loading up your iOS device with "go-to" culinary information is to start by making a list of your own food essentials. From there, it's easy to search the App Store or Google for just the right item.
Whether you want to browse recipes, find specifics on a particular cuisine, make a restaurant reservation, or create a grocery list, it's all possible through the App Store for free. If your cash is burning that proverbial hole in your pocket, don't worry, as most free food apps for iPhone and iPad offer paid, upgraded versions, that expand the app's capabilities. First, though, take advantage of the developer's generosity and see if the following techno-culinary tools might prove useful in your kitchen, at the grocery store, or at a restaurant.
Best Recipe Apps for iPhone and iPad
Three key apps for large recipe databases are Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List, 170,000+ Recipes BigOven, and Allrecipes -Your Kitchen Inspiration.
Epicurious has over 30,000 recipes, many of them compiled from the archives of Conde Nast magazines Bon Appetite, Gourmet, and Self. Each recipe page is visually simple to follow and includes an image of the dish, and ingredient list, and step-by-step instructions. "Lunches Kids Love," "Vegetarian Mains," "I Cook Like a Pro," and "I Can Barely Cook," are a few of the many category choices. The rating tab has a "Would make it again" listing, which is a helpful element.
BigOven contains a mega database of over 170,000 recipes. It relies on its users to continually expand the choices, and there is an extensive body of reviews. You can search by title, keyword, course, or ingredient. I wanted to make Gougeres, a classic French appetizer, so I typed that in and was rewarded with 14 very different recipes, including a recipe appropriate for diabetics. It's critical to create a free BigOven account in the app in order to take advantage of its many features.
The Allrecipes app combines gorgeous design elements with more than 45,000 recipes submitted by users. Use the menu bar at the bottom of the page to customize your recipe search through the available categories: Course, Ingredient, Method, Time, Occasion, and Cuisine. The "More Like This" feature expands your choices once you've narrowed your search to a particular dish.
Best Food Education Apps for iPhone and iPad
With 58 million overweight people in the
United States, exponential growth
in cases of type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related diseases, and the
ever-escalating cost of health care, it's no wonder there is a plethora of apps
that focus on food education. These apps can improve our food knowledge and
eating habits, leading to a healthier lifestyle.
This iPhone app lets the user scan product barcodes, and its database currently contains over 200,000 items. The results include a food grade based on the fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and protein content. The number of calories per serving is also listed. When I scanned a package of roasted almonds, data was provided about the health benefits of almonds, comparable products, and the option to compare one product versus another.
Find Me Gluten (Free)
Find Me Gluten Free is the perfect iPad app if you are in unfamiliar surroundings and need a safe place to eat. The restaurants listed fall into one or more of the following categories: they have a gluten-free menu, list gluten-free ingredients, or accommodate people with this type of dietary restriction. Turn on the phone's Location Services and nearby restaurants will pop up. One important tip: It's always good to call ahead and verify that the restaurant can handle your particular dietary needs.
There is a seemingly endless number of free food apps for iphone and ipad available, depending on your individual food interests and needs. Foodspotting, Yelp, Facebook, AroundMe, OpenTable, and Foursquare are all integral to the cyber-food world adventurer.
Put together your own list of personal favorite food apps to share on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and wherever food lovers are found. Don't forget to share them with me, too!