I love to cook; always have. Growing up, my mom, and grandmas let me spend countless hours following them around the kitchen cracking eggs, stirring pots, mixing deserts, but mostly getting in the way. While my brothers were watching sports, I was in the kitchen learning to prepare shrimp scampi, made from scratch lasagna, and something called “wiggly soup” (we won’t go there right now). At the time it didn’t seem like something that a teenage male would/should be doing but looking back learning to cook was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world. All of that to tell you that I love the Whole Foods App. I have been trying out quite a few different Apps both paid and free for cooking in the past few months, finally landing on this free but full featured recipe/shopping list App.

Cooking made easy

The very first thing that you will notice when launching this App is its simplicity. 5 tabs, that’s it. Search, on hand, favorites, locations, and shopping list; each doing something different; each very straight forward and to the point in what is contained within. Depending on how you cook you will either be in the “on hand” or “search” section most with this App. If you already have a bunch of ingredients, but don’t know what to make with them, on hand is for you. If however you’re the kind of person that picks out their dinner in the morning, and stops on their way home for the contents of that meal, the search is where you’ll reside. Personally I am a bit of both. Sometimes I just don’t feel like thinking so I open the fridge, see what I’ve got and slap it in the program to see what it makes for me. That’s when on hand is invaluable. Sometimes however I really feel the need to plan things out, this is my search time. I first figure out what my appetite is, and I search for a delicious looking entre. Either way is perfectly acceptable, and totally possible with Whole Foods.
One of the most useful things in this App for me is the special diet menu of the search tab. My friend and graphic designer is vegetarian. Jessica never expects anyone to go out their way to cook especially for her, but sometimes it’s nice to make someone feel special and cook something tailored to their needs. This App has you covered. Under the Search tab, there is a drill down menu called special diet. Within you have many options from dairy free, to high fiber, to vegetarian, and even vegan. When I want to cook a meal for my friend, I pop into the App, tab the vegetarian menu, select my course, and category as usual.
Each Recipe has what you would expect; pictures, serving size, ingredients, and nutrition. Something that I was pleasantly surprised with was the addition of the special diet icons above every photograph of every dish. Each icon tells what special diet concern that dish fulfills. If for example the dish is suitable for someone with a dairy free diet, there will be a small blue circle with a white D inside above the picture. This is helpful if you’re just browsing recipes without employing the Special Diet drill down. It takes a little back and forth to learn what all of the symbols mean as the only place to find out is actually under the special diet menu, but after you figure them out they are very helpful. If there was one thing that I would add to this App it would be a key inside of every recipe showing what each symbol stands for.

Why you should get it

Anyone that reads on a regular basis (I hope everyone), knows that I’m a sucker for universal binary (1 App for all platforms) so you can imagine how happy I was to see that this App is in fact a universal binary. Admittedly I usually use my iPad for cooking as it’s easier to read and the form factor is just better for recipes but in a pinch the iPhone version could be of use. Also it’s free! What do you have to lose from downloading a free App? Above all, the reason you should download and try out the Whole Foods App is its simplicity and UI. It really is easy, and fun to use. No clutter, strait to the point recipes. If you ever cook, even occasionally, this is the App for you.

You can get the Whole Foods Market Recipes App for free here from the iTunes