Plant Jammer

Cooking is confusing when you don’t know what ingredients to use for what recipe. I often find myself checking out all our food items in the kitchen, but still being unable to make a decision. Oh, look an almost-expired cauliflower! Uh… What should I do with it this time? Combine it with rice, or make rice out of it? I definitely am one of those people that want to make something special out of everything: I just love cooking. Unfortunately, I am not a creative mastermind yet, so most of the time I end up lost in the world of cooking books, trying to find something I can adjust accordingly. Sometimes, however, I wish it wouldn’t cost me so much time to come up with something to cook. Then a friend introduced me to Plant Jammer.

            Plant Jammer is an app with is all about vegetarian food: perfect for Storm. Its main feature is that the recipes are entirely customizable. Say you want to cook up a Chinese tofu stir-fry. Plant Jammer will recommend you several ingredients such as snap peas, chili peppers, soy sauce, etc, etc. You can pick whatever you like or have laying around the house. Next up, the app provides ingredient options that fit well with your choices from which you can choose again. This way, you can create your own Chinese tofu stir-fry. In addition, Plant Jammer aims for appetising dishes. After you created your recipe, it shows a chart with the amounts of balance between sweet, sour, umami, oil, spices, and crunch. The app gives you more food items to balance out the flavours even better. So even if your ingredients seem random, you the app tries to create a delicious result.

            Other features of Plant Jammer include health and diet goals. Examples that might be interesting for Stormers: vegan, vitamin B12, and 1-st Week Plant-Based. As you select your diets, the app automatically eliminates certain ingredients. For your goals, it highlights specific ingredients you can use. Further features are mail planners and grocery shopping lists, and nutritional statistics. Although Plant Jammer already provides several possibilities, it is still in development. For example, the recipe variety still needs to be expanded. The creators are therefore looking for testers to create new recipes. In addition, the app can be glitchy at times. For instance, the time does not always add up correctly, the recipe descriptions contain illogical sentences, etcetera. It is likely that the general recipe descriptions are predesigned and thus don’t always fit the choices you made in ingredients.

            Of course, I had to try out this app myself. I’m a huge breakfast lover, so I chose to make overnight oats. The ingredients I picked were orange, mint, and walnuts. What struck me about the ingredient recommendations was that there were items I would never connect to oatmeal. Did you ever put avocado, ginger or mint in your oats? I certainly haven’t. So, experimental as I am, I picked mint. Sometimes you need to get out your comfort zone. After choosing everything, I was ready to make my dish. Another thing that surprised me was the walnut-toasting. Normally, I would just grab a handful of walnuts and toss them on top of my oats. Now I had to toast them in a dry pan. I loved it: it made me feel like a chef such as Gordon Ramsay – minus the swearing. I couldn’t wait to taste my dish, so when I woke the next morning I almost immediately ran to the fridge. I am glad to say: the oats tasted great. Surprisingly, the mint worked well. This dish could have been served in a spa. It could have been a bit sweeter, though. Plant Jammer recommended to add extra banana, but we didn’t have that unfortunately. Luckily, it was not an enormous problem.

            Overall, I think Plant Jammer is an amazing alternative for the time-consuming search through cookbooks. It is easy, quick, and fun. You can simply pick whatever ingredients you want to use, and then the app provides a recipe for you. It only costs a few minutes of your times, which is useful if you have a busy day or don’t feel like putting a lot of effort in your dish. Most importantly, it is an enjoyment to use! Mind you, it can even be a bit addicting for foodies. Firstly, the recipes are fancy. When toasting the walnuts, I really felt like someone who knew what she was doing. Secondly, you can be as weird as you want. One recipe I made is a pica with corn, butternut squash, and feta cheese. I have yet to try it out, but combining these ingredients made me feel creative. I challenge you to think of something crazier, so go on and download Plant Jammer!                              

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