Googling "chicken recipes" generates hundreds of results which probably won't help you figure out what to cook for dinner any faster. The PixFood app (iOS, Android) gives you a bearable number of unique, recipes that look tasty.
The app uses your smartphone's camera and AI to pick out a range of choices. PixFood offers access without an account (which is free), but having an account helps the app personalize your results.
"At first, they (the recipes) are more or less the same for everyone, but as you continue using it, it starts to learn what you precisely like, by connecting patterns and taking into consideration different behaviors," PixFood founder Martin Tonnesson told TechCrunch.
Using Pixfood is easy after you download it for free:
- Sign up with your email or Facebook
- Let PixFood know if you have an food allergies, dietary restrictions, or foods you don't like
- On the app's main screen, take a photo of a food item or a photo of a food item
- After "thinking" for a moment, PixFood will ask you to specify a little more on the food item. (If you photographed chicken, for example, what type is it: Wings, roasted, fried?)
- Tap your selection and PixFood will generate about 20 recipes.
- If you see one you fancy, tap it and PixFood will tell you the cooking time, ingredients, and show a video to help you along.
- Tap "Go to Steps" and the video will play similarly to an Instagram Story. Don't panic, you can track back if it skips ahead.
If you see a recipe on the go, you can save it to your profile for later. PixFood lets you share recipes too, so you can brag to your friends or let your parents know you're not starving.
The camera is pretty accurate. I think it's especially handy that it registers photos of food. I tested it on basil and cumin, to see how much it would recognize. PixFood spotted basil leaves, but stumbled on cumin.
It's not a problem if the app doesn't know what you've photographed; it just asks you to type what you meant and proceeds to generate recipes.
PixFood could be useful if you're looking to spice up your meals or even eat healthier. If you are trying to eat healthier, future updates might consider showing approximate calories in a dish. Right now, if you tap a meal, there's only a sliding bar that changes your ingredient amounts as your servings increase.
The app could be helpful for finding creative uses for those extra odds and ends in your fridge.
Another thing that might need tweaking is the Instagram Story-style step-by-step videos. As a particularly anxious individual in the kitchen, seeing the videos click by made me nervous. Knowing you can click back helps, but it might not be worth the trouble.
Using PixFood is all on your preference. It seems like a cleaner, quicker, less overwhelming way to find a unique meal than shuffling through Google results and more modern than the classic cookbook.
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- The PixFood app uses AI to generate recipes for users after they take a photo of a food item.
- The app offers step-by-step instructions, video tutorials, ingredient list, filters for diet and allergies, and more.
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