For cooks and bakers nationwide, the fast-approaching holidays can bring an often-overwhelming list of kitchen-related to-do items, including grocery shopping, prep work, baking, cooking and cleaning, just to name a few. And, of course, with so many culinary responsibilities on tap over such a short span of time — even without factoring in all the gift shopping, preparing for holiday guests, etc. that also accompany the season — this can all be a recipe for havoc in the holiday home. But have no fear. For today’s kitchen heroes, technology can help save the day or, at the very least, minimize some of the mental burdens that can accompany the mountain of kitchen-related chores. Cooks seeking some help handling the holiday heat in the kitchen can turn to these five kitchen-duty-related apps for some much-needed assistance:
- BigOven: Primarily a recipe app (it boasts 350,000-plus recipes covering all different types of cuisines and offering options for nearly any occasion), BigOven also offers a handy grocery-list feature that allows users to add items straight from their favorite recipes, share lists with family members, sort items by department, and mark off items as they shop. Later, the app helps users eliminate food waste with its Use Up Leftovers feature, which will offer recipes based on the ingredients users have on hand. The app is free, and it’s available in Apple’s App Store and on Google Play.
- Flipp: This app trims a ton of work for coupon clippers by putting digital coupons for the groceries they need right on their phones. It can search fliers from over 1,000 retail stores, associate available coupons with the items on users’ grocery lists, and then let users know which retailers in their area are offering the best deals. Flipp is free to download and use, and it’s available in the App Store and on Google Play.
- Perfect Produce: This app helps take the mystery out of choosing the best fresh produce by telling users just what to look for in their fruits and vegetables. (For example, they should grab soft-spot-free avocados that are firm but yield to gentle pressure for immediate use, or hard, still-slightly-green avocados to store for use at a later date.) Later, the app can provide helpful storage and handling tips (that hard avocado, for example, can last for up to five days in the fridge), plus offer nutritional information, recipes and preparation guidance. Perfect Produce is free and available in the App Store and on Google Play.
- Wave Timer: Professional and rookie cooks alike know how messy their hands can get when working in the kitchen, and how the mess can spread to pretty much everything they touch in the process. This app helps rein in the cleanup chores — and keep users’ phones from getting all gunked up — by using the iPhone’s front-facing camera to allow users to stop a timer/alarm with a simple (and touch-free) wave of the hand. The free app is available to download from Apple’s App Store.
- Substitutions: In addition to offering alternatives to ingredients that might cause issues for allergy sufferers or wreck that hard-to-follow weight-loss regimen, this app can help prevent a cooking disaster and/or a mid-prep run to the grocery store when users realize they forgot to pick up baking powder or buttermilk. Substitutions is free to download in the App Store.
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