Do you ever wonder exactly how many calories are in a serving of your favorite dish?
Recently someone posted a comment asking about how many calories are in a serving of Applesauce Puffs. I did some investigating on the Internet and discovered there are many different sites that allow you to analyze and monitor your daily calories, most of the sites are have pre-stored calorie counts for popular brand name food products and chain restaurant dishes, and some sites allow you to log in recipe ingredients along with a number of servings and then it calculates the per serving calorie count and nutritional content for you homemade dish.
One of the biggest problems I kept running into was that many of the recipe calorie calculator sites require you to enter each ingredient individually.
The easiest site for me to use was https://www.verywell.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4129594. Instead of searching the database by each individual ingredient, on the VeryWell website, you just copy and paste the list of ingredients from your recipe, insert the number of servings, and like magic, the recipe is “analyzed” for you. The service is free and you can do it without creating an account, but if you do create an account (which is also free) you can store frequently made recipes on the site to use when tracking your daily calories.
Step 1: Head over to Verywell
Step 2: Paste the list of ingredients into the text box
Tips when adding your recipe:
- Combine duplicate ingredients: If you are analyzing a cake recipe that has 2 cups of granulated sugar in the cake, and 1 cup of granulated sugar in the frosting, instead of listing them separately combine them for a total of 3 cups of granulated sugar. I’m not sure why but the analyzer doesn’t like duplicate ingredients listed.
- Remove duplicate measurements, butter is sometimes listed in a recipe as: 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, remove one of the measurements.
- Remove ingredient options: If your recipe reads: 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans make sure to omit the one you are not using. 2 ingredients on one line will cause an error message.
Step 3: The recipe analyzer may need additional clarification
If you get an error that reads: “Measurement not recognized“, try converting your measurement into grams. You can easily convert the measurement with a unit converter if needed, or do a quick Google Search. In my recipe, the analyzer got hung up on “1 cup pecans”, a search told me 1 cup of pecans is roughly about 109 grams.
- Try not to focus on perfect accuracy, Keep in mind that food manufacturers aren’t required to be perfectly accurate with their nutritional information, either. The FDA only requires them to be accurate within 20 percent in either direction, and that’s a good goal to aim for within your own tracking.
Step 4: That’s it, check out your Nutrition label!
If you are a blogger you can embed this label on your site, although I am not sure it provides Google with the Structured Data needed to help with search engine optimization.
I will admit these calorie tracking tools are extremely useful at helping you reach your weight goals, they can also help if you are trying to make specific changes to your diet, such as eating more protein or less sodium. But they are not something I use all the time. I just track for a week or two to help me get a clear picture of my daily intake, so using the Calorie Counter website is a little more involved than I want to devote to daily food tracking, but it is the perfect EASY solution to quickly finding the calorie content of a recipe.