An Insider’s Guide to (Truly Useful!) Healthy Recipe Websites

~ Does it sometimes feel like it takes forever to find just the right healthy recipe online? We’ve got tips to help! Through years of blogging, we’ve spent literally hour after hour researching recipes, and we’ve collected some of our favorite tips for using online resources to quickly and easily find exactly the (healthy!) recipes you want. At Two Healthy Kitchens, if we don’t have the recipe you’re looking for, we’d really like to help you find it! Because hey – we’re all in this together! ~

Healthy Resources vertical

So, you’re looking for healthy recipes, huh?

Surfing online sites? Maybe struggling to make a grocery list?

Well, you’ve definitely come to the right place! Two Healthy Kitchens was created for people just like you! (And we’re tickled pink that you’re here!)

Maybe you’re looking for a healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole, or a healthy Flourless Chocolate Cake, or a healthy Lemon Meringue Pie? Great! Except … we haven’t posted any of those recipes (yet!).

But wait … we still want to help! Our goal is to be your go-to for healthy inspiration and recipes … and if we don’t have the exact recipe you’re looking for, we want to be the ones to help you find it!

Where NOT to Start (Skip the Obvious)

Now, a lot of people start looking for recipes in what are, arguably, the most obvious places – big sites like Food Network and Allrecipes. We love those sites as much as the next guy (or gal 🙂 ), and they’re jam-crammed full of yummy ideas.

But, if you’re looking for HEALTHY recipes … there are some specific strategies and more targeted healthy recipe websites you might find far more useful. Little gold mines of healthy recipes just waiting to be discovered by hungry, nutrition-minded people (like you!).

Try some of these on for size …

Yummly … Custom Searches, Shopping Lists and More!

If you love Pinterest, you can take your recipe finding-and-collecting fun to a whole new level with Yummly! We’ve watched this recipe site really skyrocket in popularity in the food blogging community lately, and it’s definitely worth a peek.

Yummly Main Page

Unlike Pinterest, Yummly is focused solely on recipes. It has a powerful recipe search function (so you can more easily narrow down and search out those HEALTHY recipes!) and is happy to offer recipe recommendations it thinks fit your preferences.

But here’s what’s really great … Yummly also has the super-cool added features of a digital recipe box and a smart shopping list (with the Yummly apps for iPhone, iPad and Android). I know, right?!? So useful!

Instantly Narrow Your Search with Detailed Preferences

Maybe even better yet, for people who are truly trying to focus just on HEALTHY recipes – there are settings that let you specify what type of recipes interest you, so Yummly automatically starts narrowing things down to help you focus in on the HEALTHY recipes you’re hoping to find. For example, you can specify that you’re interested in certain diets like paleo or vegan, that you have various food allergies like peanut-free or gluten-free, and even what cuisines interest you and how skilled of a cook you are:

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Yummly can also filter recipes based on all sorts of other criteria, like special occasions and your taste preferences (how spicy you like things, for example), and even certain ingredients you want included in the recipes (so you can search for how to use up the leftover chicken that’s sitting in your fridge) or ingredients you want excluded (since you’re out of eggs and milk). Wicked cool, right?!?

Yummly specifying ingredients

Here you can see that we’ve told Yummly to find recipes that INCLUDE boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but EXCLUDE eggs and milk.

Keep Organized with Recipe Collections (Mini Cookbooks!)

To keep all your recipes really organized, it’s a good idea to create collections (you Pinterest fans can think of these as being sort of like “boards” on Pinterest). Collections let you group your favorite recipes so they’re organized and easy to find – your own little cookbooks.

So, instead of just having one big hodgepodge of all the recipes you’re dying to try, you might have a collection of “Healthy Desserts,” another of “Healthy Super Bowl Recipes,” another of “Favorite Two Healthy Kitchens Recipes,” 🙂 and so on.

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It’s easy to add more collections to your Yummly recipe box, so you always know where to find the exact recipe you want! This is just a tiny snapshot of how our recipe box is organized with collections. As of right now, we’ve got more than 3,200 recipes in 53 collections. You can imagine what a mess 3,200 recipes would be if we didn’t divide them into handy collections!

Easily Add More Recipes to Your Recipe Box

One more really neat thing that’s going to make your life easy – Yummly makes it super simple to add recipes to your recipe box (and then to your collections)! Whenever you’re reading a blog you love (like … ahem … Two Healthy Kitchens :D), and you find a recipe you’re dying to try, all you have to do is “Yum” it. Right … but what does that mean? Well, you just hit the “Yum” button. Most bloggers have one. On Two Healthy Kitchens, it’s over here:

Click to Yum

Yummly’s “Yum” buttons allow you to quickly and easily add a recipe to your Yummly recipe box by “Yumming” it. Not all blogs and websites have Yummly “Yum” buttons installed, but those that do typically display the icon prominently, along with other social sharing buttons. You can see that, here at Two Healthy Kitchens, it’s on the left side of our site. Other blogs might display their “Yum” buttons at the top or bottom of the recipe.

But what about when you’re on a site that doesn’t have a Yum button? No problem! Yummly has a handy bookmarklet that you can add right to your browser’s toolbar. Yummly tells you how to do that with a quick drag-and-drop method HERE, and if you have any trouble at all, they have a handy download option HERE. This is what it will look like on your browser bar:

Yummly bookmarklet

Check Out Publisher Pages

A great way to start filling your Yummly recipe box with healthy recipes is to find healthy food bloggers you really love, and head directly to their publisher page to Yum some of their recipes (and don’t forget about organizing them into collections!). For example, Two Healthy Kitchens has a Yummly publisher page, filled with recipes from our site. When you click HERE to go to our publisher page, you’ll see only OUR recipes.

So – when you find a blogger whose recipes fit your preferences and healthy eating goals – this is a terrific way to find more of their recipes and add lots of them to your recipe box, all at once, for inspiration later!

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Here’s a snapshot of just some of the recipes from Two Healthy Kitchens that are hanging out on our Yummly publisher page … and eagerly waiting for you to find them and add them to your own Yummly recipe box! Other bloggers will have their own publisher pages, where you can find all their recipes, grouped together for easy reference.

So next time you’re at the grocery store, completely desperate for inspiration for a quick but nutritious dinner, you’ll have lots of handy ideas, plus you can easily generate a shopping list, too! Yeehaw! Dinner dilemma solved!

To get started with Yummly, you can find out more about how it works HERE, and to get to their help screen for even more info, you can click HERE.

Adapting to Pinterest Changes

Now, lest you think we no longer love Pinterest, let us assure you that nothing could be further from the truth! Pinterest is crazy-popular for a reason! Find stuff you love, then organize it into useful boards so you can find it again later! Brilliant!

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Since so many of you are pretty familiar with Pinterest, we’re going to skip the basics (although if you’re not on Pinterest, you can learn all about how to get started HERE, but we’re warning you: it’s highly addictive!).

For those of you who’ve been using Pinterest practically forever, let us share a couple of tips that might help you use it more effectively, at least when it comes to maximizing it for finding healthy recipes.

Changes to Your Pinterest Feed

Pinterest has made some changes in the last year or so, and one of the biggest changes gets right to the very heart of what many people originally loved about Pinterest: the Pinterest “feed.”

When Pinterest first started, it was all about following other people (or bloggers, like THK) that you loved. Whatever they pinned would show up in your feed, automatically creating a stream of fresh ideas from people you chose to follow because you liked the kinds of things they pinned.

Great!

Except …

If you’ve taken a peek at your feed over the last several months, you may have noticed that more and more of what you’re seeing there isn’t from bloggers or other people you’ve chosen to follow. Nope. Now your Pinterest feed is probably pretty jam-crammed with a lot of “chosen for you” pins that Pinterest has suggested based on your preferences, and also “sponsored pins” that companies have paid to have prominently displayed.

Pinterest Feed

Here’s a screenshot from our Pinterest feed. As you can see, in addition to including pins from other bloggers and pinners we follow, it also includes a lot of sponsored, paid, “Promoted by” pins, and also “Picked for you” pins that Pinterest has selected for us.

Harrumph, right? But not to worry …

If you aren’t loving how your feed works anymore, it just means that you might want to slightly change the way you use Pinterest.

Using Pinterest Like a Recipe Search Engine

Rather than just being a fun way to scroll through whatever pops up in your feed, now Pinterest is more and more becoming a search engine, kind of like Google. This is actually not a bad thing for people (like you!) who are searching for healthy recipes.

One strategy, then, is to specifically search out HEALTHY recipes, rather than waiting for them to show up in your Pinterest feed. Use the Pinterest search bar just like you would Google – type key words like “Healthy Chicken Recipe” or “Healthy Desserts,” and you’ll get all sorts of ideas that fit those criteria. Then you can pin them to your own boards to save for later (or make them for dinner tonight!), just like always.

Pinterest search bar

Here we used Pinterest’s search bar to search for “healthy chicken recipes,” which yielded lots of returns that were more targeted toward what we were really hoping to find (ahem … healthy chicken recipes).

Make the Most of Time-Saving Rich Pins

Once you’ve found a recipe or two that you think you might like, there’s one more time-saving step that can help you quickly sort the healthier ones from the maybe-not-so healthy ones, without having to click all the way through to the recipe blog or website, and scroll through all the information there.

Lots of websites and blogs have taken the extra, super-helpful step of enabling their food pins to be what Pinterest calls “Rich Pins.” What that means to you is that, when you click on a recipe with “Rich Pins” enabled, you can quickly see all the ingredients in the recipe (and how healthy they actually are), without ever clicking through to the blog or site. (Unfortunately, not all sites have taken that step of enabling those super-handy Rich Pins.) You can see how a rich pin looks below:

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When you click on the pin for our Greek Yogurt Coleslaw, you’ll get lots of additional info about the recipe, without even clicking through to our site. For one thing, you can tell at a glance exactly what ingredients we’ve used. Not only can this help you decide if you have the ingredients you need already on hand, but it can also help you decide if the recipe actually meets YOUR criteria for HEALTHY … before you bother clicking through to check out the full recipe on our site.

Dig Deeper When You Find Sources You Love

Another way to maximize Pinterest: when you find a healthy recipe that looks truly phenomenal, or you make a recipe from a new website or blog you found, take a minute and dig deeper. Go to that site’s Pinterest page and follow them.

If they really are all about healthy eating, you might want to follow ALL of their boards. But don’t forget that you can also cherry pick just the healthy eating boards that interest you, and follow only those – you don’t have to follow every board.

Following on Pinterest

Also, since there’s no guarantee that pins from sites and bloggers you follow are going to show up much in your feed anymore, you can actually go directly into their boards to discover what they’ve pinned there, and then repin anything that looks good to you, to your own boards.

Make It Easy to Find Your Recipes … Stay Organized

Just like I recommended with Yummly, though – it helps to be organized! So, rather than having one giant, disorganized board called something like “Healthy Recipes,” consider adding more specific boards like “Healthy Chicken Recipes,” “Healthy Desserts,” and “Healthy Snacks” so that you can easily find what you’re looking for in a snap! As an example, here’s what just a few of our boards look like:

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Beyond Candy Crush … Facebook Groups

Ah, Facebook! That massive time suck that allows us to flash our Candy Crush skills (when we should be doing laundry) … and to find out about the children of that girl from high school that we didn’t even remember until she friend-requested us two years ago.

But Facebook can actually be an ally in your quest for healthy recipes!

So when you’re done playing Candy Crush, try this …

Join groups that focus on sharing healthy recipes. Easy, right?!?

My favorite is Healthy Whole Food Recipes – Sharing Group. Click HERE to check out the group, and then you can ask to join by using the little box on the right-hand side.

Facebook group

Choosing the Best Facebook Groups to Join

There are lots of recipe sharing groups out there, but if you’re really trying to stay healthy, stick with recipe groups that focus specifically on HEALTHY recipes. (Okay, okay … that’s almost too obvious. But with so many groups out there, the temptation to join any old recipe sharing group can overcome even the best of us … and suddenly your Facebook feed is full of temptation …)

Also, be very wary of any groups that allow people to type out entire recipes (unless they own the recipe). You see a lot of that on Facebook, but it’s really disreputable and unethical – basically it’s a violation of copyright law to republish someone else’s recipe in its entirety. Most bloggers won’t participate in groups that allow such shady practices. So to make sure you’re dealing with top-quality people (and their top-quality recipes), skip groups that allow that sort of conduct.

Huh … turns out Facebook really is so much more than cat videos!

Healthy Aperture and Finding Vegan

Both of these recipe sites allow you to search for certain topics, like “Pasta” or “Carrots” or “Healthy Breakfast Recipes,” and then show you recipes that fit your search criteria. From there, you can click through to the blog or website that published the recipe you’re interested in making.

Healthy Aperture is uniquely positioned as the only site of its kind that’s moderated by registered dietitians and solely focused on healthy food blogs. As an example of what you’ll find, here’s what Healthy Aperture served up when I searched for “pasta” … just a handful of the nearly 3,000 pasta recipes they’ve warehoused:

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When it comes to the site Finding Vegan, don’t immediately shy away just because you aren’t vegan, or even vegetarian. It’s still a fantastic starting point for finding lots of seriously enticing, veggie-forward recipes – perfect for searching out recipes for things like oatmeal, veggie sides, salads, and smoothies. Just look at the gorgeous inspiration that popped up when I searched for “salad”:

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The great thing about these two sites is that the recipes you’ll find there have already gone through somewhat of a screening process, so you’re more likely to find a “healthy” recipe that’s actually … well, healthy … and with a lot less searching, too.

The one downside is that sites like these rely on bloggers and content publishers (like Two Healthy Kitchens) to submit recipes to be included, and quite honestly, a lot of bloggers just don’t have the time to do that very often. So, you’re somewhat limited in the recipes you’ll see there, simply because a lot of great recipes are never submitted for consideration.

What Are Your Favorites?

Whew! Are you hungry yet? Is your head just spinning with all of the (healthy!) possibilities?

We hope we’ve inspired you and given you at least one new tool you’ve never considered before.

And now … we’d love to hear from you!

What are your favorite healthy recipe websites and online resources? Pop down to the comments and let us know! We’re excited to swap ideas with you!

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Comments

An Insider’s Guide to (Truly Useful!) Healthy Recipe Websites — 32 Comments

  1. Such an informative post! I have to optimize my site with rich pins but I have no idea where to start… it sounds like a handy tool. The thing with healthy is though that it is a subjective term. What might be healthy to one person isn’t healthy to another. I’ve seen so many raw vegan recipes that use a half a day’s allotment of calories in one tiny two inch slice! Might be raw, but definitely not healthy!

    • We’re delighted to help! There truly are so many online recipe websites, and even a lot of healthy recipe websites. The real trick is just knowing how to navigate them all quickly and effectively. And geez … isn’t that really the thing so many people need most, as they frantically dash through the grocery store, trying to cobble together a dinner plan mere moments before dinner is supposed to be on the table?!?! Who hasn’t been there, right? Good search and organization skills can be a total lifesaver! ~Shelley

    • Thanks, Sheena! And yeah – that Yummly – isn’t it just so useful?? We’re watching it really gain momentum lately, at least in the food blogging community, but I still feel like it’s not nearly as widely known about or understood by non-food-bloggers as it maybe ought to be. So many useful features! ~Shelley

    • So glad you thought it was a helpful guide! 🙂 With so many recipe websites out there, it’s getting harder and harder to focus sometimes, and to find the recipes you really want without wasting loads of time! Really glad you stopped by to check this out! ~Shelley

    • Michelle, thanks a million for the Stumble! We totally appreciate that – and of course, I’m just thrilled that you found this so helpful it was worth a Stumble! I really hope this post saves even just a few people a little time and maybe gives them fresh ideas for easy ways to find HEALTHY recipes! Thank you, thank you! 😀 ~Shelley

    • Yeah – that really is something that Yummly has done well – all those filters and search options. Really helps people focus in on the types of recipes that work best for them. So glad you liked the post – thanks for the kind words! 😀 ~Shelley

  2. What a great resource for those who want to eat a bit healthier. Thanks for putting this together. I’ve just skimmed it for now and it looks rich with info, so I’m going to reread it when I have a bit more time. I’ve pinned it for now. Thanks again!

    • Thanks, Debi! I know it’s really a lot of info to sort through all at once – longer than our posts usually are. But there just wasn’t anything we wanted to leave out – if anything there were things we would have added (maybe “An Insider’s Guide Part 2”???). So glad you thought it all seemed helpful! That means a lot, especially coming from someone like you who’s got a ton of her own tips and tricks up her sleeve! 😀 ~Shelley

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