App Attack is a weekly series where we search the App Store and Google Play Store for the best apps of the week. Check out App Attack every Sunday for the latest.
Thanks to social media, presentation has taken on an entirely new meaning. We’ve evolved into a world where our photos are curated to look perfect, and flat lays have become more than a photography term. This especially applies to all the food we consume, with some of us not being able to take a first bite until we capture the beauty of a dish. This week, we have an app that will bring out the foodie in you — just in time for those Instagram-worthy holiday photos.
Oh She Glows — available for iOS and Android — is an app that consists of over 95 plant-based recipes, including over 75 gluten-free recipes. I know, that might not sound too appetizing if you don’t have any specific dietary restrictions, but there’s still a dish for everyone. From brownies and pumpkin spice lattes, to gazpacho and butternut squash mac ‘n cheese, you’ll be too mesmerized by the photos to realize it’s all very good for you.
The app is an extension of the recipe blog OhSheGlows.com, which has accumulated over a million followers to its site. It includes the most popular recipes from the site, along with photography shot by the author, Angela Liddon. The recipes have also been edited and even improved since first being created.
When I first opened the app, I scrolled endlessly through all of the different recipes not even reading what the titles were. My eyes were instead glued to the beautiful images of the food. Each photo looks so crisp and clear, with the food laid out both neatly and festively. The birds-eye view and marble laid out underneath adds a sleek touch, you almost want to print the photos out and frame them.
For those on an iPad — the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, and iPad Pro specifically– you’ll have split view. When you tap on a specific recipe, you’re brought to all of the information needed to create the dish or drink. To the left you’ll see the amount of servings, prep time, and the list of ingredients. It also addresses any dietary concerns you’ll need to know, like whether or not it’s gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, etc.
To the right is a brief but entertaining headnote behind the recipe. Underneath it are directions, a list of tips, and nutritional information. In the top-right, you can tap on the heart if there’s a recipe you love and it will save to the “Favorites” section. At the bottom, you can also add notes to it that you can refer back later. If there’s a specific recipe you’re searching for, there’s a search bar included that allows you to type it in and quickly find it.
To make searching easier, you can narrow down what you’re looking for as well. There are filters included, which you can separate by dish types, dietary info, meals, and seasons. Under the “Other” filter, you’re able to select options such as “Homemade Staples,” “Kid Friendly,” “Quick + Easy,” and more. To help make planning easier, you can also choose to view each dish by category so you distinguish between condiments, dessert, and main dishes.
Aside from the interface being extremely aesthetically pleasing, it’s also simple to navigate. Essentially, all you need to do is scroll up through and tap on whichever recipe you’re interested in. My favorite part of the app is that you can cross out each ingredient or step in order to keep track of your cooking or baking progress. By tapping on the text, it will strike it out for you so you visually know that it’s done. Tapping on it again will remove the strike.
On the iPhone, it’s a little different. You’ll notice that instead of split view, the information is separated into tabs instead. By tapping on each one, you’ll be able to see everything you need. All the other functionalities are the same. You also won’t have to worry about your having to unlock your device with messy hands while cooking, since there’s an anti-lock feature.
Even though I have yet to try the recipes myself, I love that they all seem extremely simple even for a novice like me. Of course it depends on the dish, but most of them don’t require too many ingredients and they also don’t look intimidating either. There’s a huge variety in the different types of food as well, to really suit even the pickiest of eaters — AKA me.
The Oh She Glows app will cost you $2, with another in-app purchase available called a “Bundle.” Each Bundle includes a variety of themed recipes, and there’s even a holiday one for free. With the Cookie Lover’s Bundle, you’ll have access to four cookie recipes ranging from Gingerbread to Peppermint Crunch cookies — and they’re adorable.
Unfortunately, there’s no actual tutorial on how to make them look as visually beautiful. Let’s hope when I do try out the recipes, they don’t turn out looking (or tasting) like a Pinterest fail — and neither will the photos.