There’s no time like the present to kickstart your vegan food journey.

When it comes to a plant-based diet, there is so much information out there that it can be overwhelming. Books, research material and documentaries, choices are endless. If you are looking to make a systematic switch to a plant-based diet, which is one of the healthiest, these are the vegan food apps you can download.

With their user-friendly interface, attractive layout and useful features these apps will help you make informed decisions. From 100s of vegan recipes to finding the finest restaurant around you and connecting you with other vegans worldwide to facilitate the exchange of information, these apps have it all.

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abillion

abillion is a food discovery and consumer advocacy platform which has created a global community of vegan diners around the world. The app lets the user take a photo of the food they are having and review it. You can see the options and pictures on your screen. There is information about restaurants near your serving vegan delicacies which can help you go out and dine without having to worry about what you are going to have.

All reviews are shared with food or similar business around the world. This network of information helps them not only expand their plant-based menus and improve the quality but also understand what vegan diners are actually looking for. The Singapore-based company works with top hotels like Grand Hyatt Singapore to help spread the vegan cause.

For every review, you can use a dollar to donate to designated animal sanctuaries around the world. abillion has partnerships with animal rescue groups and shelters.

Food Monster

Food Monster is renowned for offering thousands of gluten-free vegan recipes to its users. So you have a phenomenal range of options to cater to your needs at any time of the day, all year round. If you subscribe to their monthly or yearly plan, you can gain access to an archive of 8,000 recipes in addition to 10 new recipes delivered to your phone each day.

There are more than 600 category filters to help you zero down on exactly what you are looking for. You can find recipes picked by the editor according to diet type in the Meal Plan section. You can also customize your meal plans according to your choices.

From themes such as raw vegan desserts and dairy-free cheeses to collections sumptuously named American Fusion and Umami, there is no dearth of delectable dishes to choose from. Images of the dishes are of high quality and you can share the recipes in your circles to help strengthen the network of people following a plant-based healthy lifestyle.

vegan food apps

Forks Over Knives

In 2011, a documentary received universal critical praise for its exploration on how a plant-based diet is extremely helpful for the body to fight chronic illnesses such as heart disease. Forks over Knives was that documentary, and it is today a powerful movement.

Founded by Brian Wendel, Forks Over Knives is also known for its cookbooks, some of which are New York Times bestsellers, and its app which helps food lovers whip up new meals every day. There are more than 400 whole-food, plant-based recipes for you to choose from once you make a one-time purchase. The list is updated weekly with new dishes, curated by the illustrious chefs of Forks Over Knives.

It is like a workbook — you can add notes and mark your favourites. There are step-by-step instructions for each recipe to guide you with the cooking process. And, there is a feature to assist you with the grocery list for each recipe.

HappyCow

If you are looking for a quick, hassle-free way of finding a perfect vegan restaurant in your city, then HappyCow is certainly going to make you happy. Started in the US in 1999 as a public service to help travellers gain information and access to healthy plant-based food, HappyCow is now available in 180 countries.

With more than 500,000 registered members, over 750,000 reviews and close to a million photos, this is indeed a global platform for vegan as well as vegetarian lovers. There are around 140,000 listings to help you find the best vegan place serving your preferred dish whether you are in Tokyo, San Francisco, Stockholm or Johannesburg.

Besides restaurants, the app also provides information about food trucks, farmers markets, coffee shops and stores. Contact info and the address of the restaurant are among the helpful features to guide you. Due to its global presence, the app has support in several languages including Japanese and Chinese.

HappyCow is vegan-run, which means its staff members are vegans and vegetarians.

Oh She Glows!

The first thing you notice about the app is its aesthetics — the high-resolution photos, neat font and overall design are quite pleasing to the eyes. Oh She Glows is a plant-based food app by Angela Liddon, who is best known for her blog as well as the New York Times bestselling cookbook of the same name. The app contains many of the recipes that have made Liddon famous.

You can quickly search for recipes, complete with nutritional information, according to ingredient keywords, recipe title, season, dietary or allergy info and even dish type among other options. One of the best things about the app is its anti-lock feature, which prevents the phone from going to sleep and is of great help when your hands are busy cooking. You can even customise your recipes, take notes and strike out any information you have already gained.

There are more than 160 recipes including gluten-free ones. The languages supported by the app are English and French.

Veggie Alternatives

This free app is for anyone who wants to transform their lives for the better by going vegan. Featured on BBC One’s The One Show, Veggie Alternatives is exactly what its name suggests. You’ll find more than 300 substitutes for foods that many consider hard to give up — eggs, chocolate, bacon and even ice cream. Discovering brands selling vegan food products that are perfect, healthier alternatives is easy through this user-friendly app.

That is not all, the app lets you buy branded vegan products you need as well as find recipes tailored for your taste buds. One of its key features is allowing you to chat with other vegans through its in-built forum. This helps users learn more about veganism from the experiences and knowledge of one another. There is also a ‘Smart Assistant’ to help with recommendations and recipes.

21-day Vegan Kickstart

Developed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the Washington DC-based non-profit and advocacy organisation, 21-day Vegan Kickstart is meant for those who are taking their first steps in the vegan universe.

As the name suggests, the app guides you through a 21-day-long diet regimen to make you go vegan effortlessly. There are meal plans, a library of recipes approved by experts, tips from nutritionists and hands-on grocery lists among other unique features for your ease. The plant-based recipes are accompanied by step-by-step photos and nutrition facts. So, you can easily prepare a tasty, wholesome meal. The free app also sends you daily messages of inspiration.

BevVeg

For those who do not know, alcohol is not always animal-friendly. Albumen from egg white, casein from milk, gelatin from bones of cows or pigs, and chitin from the shells of lobsters or crabs are just some of the animal derivatives that are used in alcohol either as an ingredient or during the filtering process. This is where BevVeg becomes unique — it lets you find vegan alcohol drinks.

BevVeg is a free app by BeVeg International — a world leader in vegan certification. The app has over one million vegan beverages for you to enjoy without worrying about hurting animals.  Wines, beers, spirits or liquors of any type, but all vegan, are provided through a massive database for ready reference. There is also a vegan wine scanner for you to check if the bottle you are holding is a certified vegan product. You can also see if a drink is vegan but not certified by BevVeg.

Each product has ratings and comments which helps the user make an informed choice. Users can add information to the database as well as contact wineries and breweries from the app.

VegMenu

If you love Italian food but want vegan options, it’s time to download this app on your phone. From appetizers to main course and side dishes to cakes, VegMenu contains a wide range of healthy Italian delights. Its search feature allows you to not only find the perfect gluten-free recipes but also select foods based on the time taken to prepare, the colour as well as cost. You can use the nutritional information to make a perfectly balanced dish. Besides a shopping cart, the app also gives you a built-in timer, measurement converter for conversions like grams to ounces, and automatically calculate quantities required according to the number of servings.

Its ‘Empty Fridge’ feature helps you reduce food wastage with ideas for turning the leftovers into a delectable dish. Menus are available according to holidays, too, to make your life a little easy around those busy days when there’s too much to do. Guide to in-season fruits and vegetables is also available, and the app is completely free to use.

Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen

Plant-based is one of the healthiest diets, but it is not all that simple. Even among plant-based foods, some are healthier than others. This is what Dr. Michael Greger found out through years-long research, which he then compiled into his famous guideline known as ‘Daily Dozen’. The framework was then presented in his acclaimed book How Not to Die.

The “dozen” in Daily Dozen refers to the 10 food categories, including beans, grains, berries and fruit, one beverage category, and an exercise category. Dr. Greger suggests that fulfilling all these 12 categories daily are necessary for a perfectly healthy body.

The app contains details of the healthiest of the vegan and vegetarian foods in each category. Through it, you’d be able to keep a track of your daily progress by the type of foods and servings you consume under each category every day. Once you get accustomed to the system, you’ll find that several categories can be met at once in a single meal.

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India.