Food App Review of the Week: Trufflehead

By on Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Cost: $3.99
Runs on: iPhone

Finding healthy, organic recipes isn’t always the easiest proposition. You might say it can be as difficult as digging through dirt trying to find a truffle. Well, consider this app your trained pig.

Trufflehead was created by Deborah Chud, MD, a mother who knows how hard it can be to find healthy dinner options. This app includes over 260 recipes: 160 vegetarian, 150 dairy free, 110 gluten free, and 200 low-calorie and low-fat dishes. Better yet, every recipe includes nutrition data.

The app is very simple to use. It has four main sections: Recipes, Favorites, Shopping List and References. First stop is a recipe section where you can conduct a basic search or select a recipe based on one of 10 categories. When selecting a category, such as “Lunch,” a series of recipe cards appear and you flip (one at a time) from left to right when browsing the recipes options. This provides a title, image, cook time, difficulty level, serving size, plus written information about the dish. Scrolling up and down on the card reveals more information and a “View Recipe” button opens up to the complete recipe page.

This navigation is good for a few options, but flipping through 50-plus cards can become a little cumbersome. The search function helps narrow this down, but but isn’t perfect. For example, you can search “gluten free” to get results (the first being Almond Butter Cookies), but search “gluten free cookies” and get zero results. Moreover, search “almond butter,” “almond” or “butter” and you’ll get results, whereas searching “almond cookies” returns nothing.

The recipe page has four tabs: Overview, Ingredients, Instructions, and Equipment. Each of these tabs are what you expect. Where this app excels is in all the details. Throughout the recipe pages are hyperlinks that provide additional information on ingredients and equipment; video slideshows with audio narration to explain cooking steps (an internet connection is required); symbols to identify the best foods to purchase organic, according to the Environmental Working Group; and more.

As I used this app I found myself digging deeper and deeper into the various information it provides. The References section includes all the hyperlinked information, plus much more information on things such as your carbon footprint, sweeteners and tips for food safety.

Just about all the functionality you’d want and expect from a good recipe app is in here. You can create shopping lists, organized by department and combine lists from different recipes; add recipes to your Favorites page (although you can’t categorize them); e-mail the recipe to a friend; and “like” recipes. The design is nice, cleverly color-coded depending on the section you’re in, and moving around the app is smooth and simple.

Overall this is a very solid app that hits all the right notes. I do wish the video slideshows were regular videos, but they are adequate. I think anyone looking for healthy recipes will be very pleased with this app—and you won’t need to train a pig.

Toque Rating: 4.5/5

Written by Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Hitched, a service and lifestyle online magazine for married couples. When Steve is not not researching or dispensing relationship information, he's reading, eating or marrying flavors together in the kitchen.


  1. Trufflehead hits it on the head as a useful, well-designed recipe app #foodapps

  2. Deborah Chud says:

    Thanks so much for the thoughtful review of my app. I spent 2 years working on it, including recipe development, recording 170+ demos, styling the food photos, etc., and so it really means a great deal when someone takes the time to look at it in a serious way. That you liked it makes it even sweeter, and it gives me a powerful incentive to keep working. The app is expandable, and I will be adding new recipes and demos in the near future, and periodically thereafter. Thanks so much!
    Deborah Chud
    P.S. You definitely identified a weakness in the search function that I had never considered, and I’ll talk with my team about how we can improve it.

  3. Trufflehead says:

    Trufflehead hits it on the head as a useful, well-designed recipe app #foodapps

  4. Thanks to @ToqueMag for their review of the @Trufflehead #cooking #app!

  5. Deborah Chud says:

    Hi, Steve. Just a quick update: I’ve just released a free “lite” version of the app called Trufflehead Starter, which contains 20 out of Trufflehead’s 270 recipes. It’s an unusual “lite” app in that it offers all of the features of the “pro” version. So, for those who like to try before they buy, TH Starter is a great option.

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