Whether you prefer your food farm-raised or plant based, one thing you can’t deny is that the most nutritious meals are prepared at home using fresh ingredients. But cooking can be a chore, especially for 9-5ers.
Going to the store, picking out ingredients, coming up with recipes, and hauling them home can be a 2-hour affair at times. For this reason, I’m all for it when an app comes along that helps make my home routine easier. As someone who sometimes spends two hours in traffic going one way, I can’t afford the luxury of investing hours into meal prep.
And quite frankly, the crock pot gets old.
The three apps below are a blessing for anyone who doesn’t have all day to plan meals. From healthy delivery to easy to follow recipes, they will help keep you healthy and well fed, while shaving hours off of your meal prep!
User: The budding gourmet
Operating System: IOS and Android
Blue Apron is a delivery app that delivers fresh and natural food right to your doorstep, and all of the meats are hormone-free. The draw is that Blue Apron pre-prepares food and sends recipe instructions that the recipient cooks for themselves. At $9.99 per recipe, (each recipe contains two servings) Blue Apron is a steal. They promise never to repeat a recipe within one year, and all of their recipes are uber unique and fun.
For someone who is looking to jazz up their recipe bank and improve their cooking skills in a fun and affordable way, Blue Apron is the route to go. The app provides an additional benefit by operating as a recipe bank, where people can search and find recipes, take pictures of the finished product, and upload them to the online community. For a mom on the go, not having to meal prep is a huge plus.
User: The vegan foodie
Operating System: Android and IOS
Happy Cow allows users to locate vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants and health food stores worldwide. Happy Cow allows users to filter their search results in terms of what they’re looking for, upload photos of their orders, and find great options for plant-based eaters. Users can view restaurant locations via an interactive map and are even given the option to request directions to the restaurant.
What’s great about this app is that it finds places that are specifically geared toward vegetarians and vegans. People who don’t eat animal protein can have a hard time finding places that cater to their needs. Happy Cow makes it easier to locate places that carry foods that contain vegan options that can often be hard to find in traditional grocery stores and restaurants such as plant-based cheeses and seitan to use for protein dishes. Happy Cow also boasts a community where advice, images, and vegan tips and tricks can be shared.
User: The Conscious Eater
Operating System: IOS
True food is an easy to use shopping guide that helps users know which brands and common ingredients typically use GMOs (genetically modified ingredients). True Food contains the Center for Food Safety’s shopping guide. The guide was created using company statements. The Center for Food Safety reached out to popular companies for updates on company policies related to different products and ingredients. Users are given tips on how to avoid GMOs and are provided with red lists (foods that contain ingredients that are typically genetically engineered) and green lists (foods and products that avoid typically genetically modified ingredients). The app provides information that would take one person hours to research, thus saving the conscious eater time and energy.
Although there is some debate over how harmful GMOs actually are for people, most people agree they are pretty bad. Until our country requires GMO labeling, apps like True Food make it easier to go into the supermarket armed with knowledge of what to buy and not to buy in order to make a more nutritious meal.
Elizabeth Aguirre is a technology professional with more than 8 years experience working in the software industry. Currently, Elizabeth is pursuing an M.S. in E-commerce at DePaul University and works as a consultant for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing in Chicago. She is on a one-woman mission to empower small business owners through the use of technology. When she’s not being a cool mom to her daughter Esther, she enjoys tweeting and mediation.