Anyone with a kitchen savvy parent or grandparent knows the importance of a well-maintained recipe box. But the emergence of new technologies (and the never-ending barrage of countless food blogs) has made it difficult to not only keep a list of delicious recipes handy but also to find great recipes in the first place.
For those who are hip to the "Cloud," a hardware-free way of storing digital information, know that Evernote is one of the best apps around. Evernote allows users to easily clip any piece of information on the web — from text, to images, to websites, and more — and store it away for safekeeping. But now, Evernote is getting into dining with Evernote Food. The new, free app allows users to take advantage of the information they have around them to not only keep recipes handy, but to document food experiences and even post about their restaurant outings and recipes.
“When people talk about Evernote, they talk about productivity,”says Naomi Pilosof, Product Manager for Evernote Food. “But we’re also a lifestyle brand."
What’s the Deal
If you’ve used Evernote before, you’ll recognize a lot of the same core fundamentals within Evernote food. Upon opening the app for iOS or Android, a prompt will pop up to invite you to sync your original Evernote account. The app then thoroughly searches everything you already have tagged as a recipe and drops it into a cookbook — which can remain private or become a public blog that anyone can access
“Because Evernote is private by default, you can create a food blog for just you and your partner,”Pilosof explains. “But if it is something you want to share, we definitely want to cater to those users as well and have it be something you can show off to friends and family.”
Looking for new recipes? The “Explore Recipes”panel displays meals from blog partners working with Evernote — including notable blogs such as Joy the Baker, Health-Bent, and Turntable Kitchen — in an easy-to-browse format. If you’re looking for something particular (from Mexican to kale to gluten-free), then the search function of the app is a great place to start. Everything can be directly clipped to your recipe book, or shared via email, link, or on Facebook or Twitter.
Evernote Food is also useful when dining out thanks to a partnership with Foursquare that gives a quick map of what’s around you, organized by cuisine. The map, when used in conjunction with the “My Meals”section, can also show users when they dined at a specific restaurant and what they ordered.
“You have one place you can go to capture all those food-related experiences, and that’s really special,”Pilosof adds. “And everything links back to Evernote.”
Why It Matters
There are tons of apps that are catered to one aspect of food, but Evernote Food makes an earnest attempt at building all aspects of food documentation into one cohesive package.
For example, searching far and wide on the Internet for vegan, paleo, or gluten-free recipes can yield a glut of results, but without a proper way to vet the recipes, it’s likely you’ll never get around to cooking all of them. Because Evernote Food plays so nicely with Evernote's tagging function, it's extremely easy to document recipes and label them depending on dietary need, ingredients or calories.
From there, users can try out the recipes for themselves and note any success. This can then be used to help users augment or tweak recipes as well as let users humblebrag to social media when they eat healthy. While this pseudo-blogging platform is entirely optional and requires diligent participation to get value, it can be a good alternative to a traditional pen and paper food diary.
Finally, Evernote does well in capturing society’s compulsive need to take pictures of every piece of food they have at a restaurant. However, instead of showing off to friends, the map function can give users a great idea of how their patterns change when eating out. Studies show that we consume more fat and calories and eat less vegetables when we hit up restaurant row, and it can be all too easy to get diner’s amnesia when it’s all over with Eating at home and it's association with dietary intake: a systematic review of the evidence. Lachat, C., Nago, E., Verstraeten, R., et al. Nutrition and Child Health Unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium. Obesity Reviews, 2012 Apr;13(4):329-46. Now, all of your food photographs can adorn a map and a timeline of your meals — which is even more motivation to pick the healthier option on the menu.
What’s your favorite healthy eating app? Let us know in the comments.
Photo by Evernote Food