If you love to cook in 2013, chances are you brought your phone or iPad into the kitchen in order to make a recipe. This year, food and cooking apps really shined. From finding farmers markets to losing weight to storing recipes, there are a ton of great apps available. Check out our list of apps you should be using. Don’t see your favorite app? Tell us in the comments what we missed.
Many people apire to buy locally-grown food, but struggle on where to start. Escaping the routine of a big grocery store can be tough, but this app helps make it easier. Harvest helps you identify local sources of fresh food, from weekly farmers markets to farmstands. But it also proves to be a useful planning tool, giving you information on what produce is in season lcoally, how to properly store your fruits and vegetables and even information on what types of pesticides are used on each crop. The best way to become a savvy food shopper is to be an informed shopper and we highly recommend this app.
My Fitness Pal
Source: My Fitness Pal
There are a million different diets out there, but the simplest (and oldest) way to lose weight is to simply burn more calories than you lose. MyFitnessPal allows you to track both the calories you eat , as well as how much you burn off exercising. You can set goals, track specific aspects of your diet and share your efforts with other app users. But the feature that puts this app over the top is the massive (more than 1 million) database of prestored food information. You can find most meals from major chain restaurants, as well as many independent local eateries. Can’t find what you are looking for? Calculate the calories and submit it to the database for others to use.
Paprika Recipe Manager
Source: Paprika Recipe Manager
There are a bunch of recipe manaagement tools that have popped up for computers and devices over the years, but we really love Paprika. You can easily search for, and import, recipes from across the web using the app’s built-in browser. You can sync your recipes across devices — add a recipe on your computer at work and it will be waiting for you on your iPad at home. Two other features we love — the ability to interact with recipes as you cook (cross off the ingredients and steps as complete), and the handy grocery list generator which makes weekly or monthly meal planning much easier.
Modernist Cuisine at Home App
Source: Modernist Cuisine at Home App
The Modernist Cuisine at Home cookbook has been described by some as the most beautiful cookbook ever created. The cookbook now exists as an app, and while pricy ($79.99 in iTunes), its a spectacular collection of content and wonder. In addition to the recipes from the book, the app comes with an additional 250 recipes, exacting technique videos that are beneficial even to experienced cooks and an array of planning and cooking features. But what you really pay for is the ability to explore the world of molecular gastronomy at home from some of the leading innovators in the food world. If you don’t own the book but have been eyeing it, this app might be a much better experience.
Vivino Wine Scanner
Source: Vivino Wine Scanner
How many times have you enjoyed a bottle of wine with friends or at a restaurant and then forgotten the label? We sample a lot of wines here at PBS Food and they can start running together in our minds after a while. Enter the Vivino Wine Scanner, which is a simple and free tool that allows you to catalog and rate wines using your phone’s camera. Made for both iOS and Android, the app has more than a million wines in its database. Keep track of what you’ve sampled, which wines rank as your favorites or search the community ratings. This app will help make sure you enjoy the next glass.
Mario Batali Cooks!
Source: Mario Batali Cooks!
We’ve long been big fans of Mario Batali and his expertise is beneficial to anyone who loves Italian food. Now, you can (virtually) get Mario’s personal help in your own kitchen with his first app. Browse the catalog of recipes (you can watch Mario cook each one), get video help with your kitchen techniques and get suggested food and wine pairings for each dish.
Another great (and free) tool to help you start buying your food locally is Farmstand. With this app, you can quickly identify farmers markets near you, keep track of which markets you’ve visited and share photos of the best products at each market.
Yummly started as the world’s largest recipe search engine, allowing users to simultaneously search for content from across the largest food sites on the web. Now, you can get the same features on your devices, as well as the requisite shopping list, recipe box and recommendation tools. One feature we love: You can scan products with your phone’s camera and get suggestions on how to use the ingredient. So, if you need potatoes for a specific recipe, you can suggestions on how to use the entire bag throughout the week.
Holiday Recipes & Party Planning Guide, by Food52
Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the holidays? Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, founders of Food52, are the perfect team to help you. While the Food52 site, is always a great resource, we love that they have packaged their holiday content into this app. The app includes more than 150 curated holiday recipes, step-by-step photo instructions, video techniques and more.
Fooducate is a great way to trak your own weight loss goals, but also to get help and suggestions in making healthier food choices. In addition to the food diary and exercise tracking, this app lets you scan the barcode of an item at the grocery store and then provides the positive and negative attributes of the item and suggests any healthier alternatives. The idea is that instead of just tracking your weight loss, you are teaching yourself to eat healthier. That is something we could all work on.