How to Easily Calculate Nutrition Information of your Home Recipes?
August 13, 2007 2:30 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a recipe nutrition figure-outer?

I'm looking for someplace where I can type in the ingredients of my recipe and it will magically calcuate the serving sizes and nutritional information. Surely there is someplace on the web, or software that I can purchase, that does this, but I haven't been able to unearth it. Is anyone out there using something like this?
posted by momzilla to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
If it's a simple recipe, I use NutritionData and look up the individual ingredients and do the calculation myself. If it's more complicated, I use AllRecipes, look up a recipe that's as similar as possible, and use the nutrition information given there. It's certainly not exact, but it seems to work out pretty well.
posted by bibbit at 2:37 PM on August 13, 2007

You could use FitDay. You have to enter the ingredients one at a time though, and it doesn't suggest a serving size.
For example, if you key in 1 cup cooked boneless skinless chicken breast, diced, this is your nutritional info:

Amount Per 1 cup, cooked, diced
Calories 315.46
Calories from Fat 117.09

% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13.01g 20%
Saturated Fat 2.96g 15%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.61g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.37g
Cholesterol 114.76mg 38%
Sodium 405.56mg 17%
Potassium 281.62mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 13.6g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0.424g 2%
Protein 33.98g 68%
Alcohol 0g

Vitamin A 1 %
Vitamin C 0 %
Calcium 3 %
Iron 9 %
Vitamin D 0 %
Vitamin E 3 %
Thiamin 8 %
Riboflavin 10 %
Niacin 74 %
Folate 2 %
Vitamin B-6 31 %
Vitamin B-12 7 %
Phosphorus 26 %
Magnesium 8 %
Zinc 8 %
Copper 4 %
posted by iconomy at 2:43 PM on August 13, 2007

Using the database here you can enter the ingredients in cups/tablespoons/grams/ounces, whatever, and then sum them on your own.

I'd caution against it, though, as you learn that the carrot cake you've made has over 500 calories per slice in the frosting alone.
posted by piro at 2:45 PM on August 13, 2007

If it's something I make pretty regularly, I use the "create a custom food" option on FitDay. You can enter all the ingredients in the daily food entry screen, then use the total nutritional values to create and save your custom food, and then just delete the ingredients. It sounds a little complicated, but isn't too bad in reality (and plus the recipe gets saved in my FitDay account, so I don't have to enter it again). The downside is that you're just getting the information for calories, fat, carbs, and protein, unless you want to note down the vitamin/mineral/etc. content of your ingredients and add it up yourself.
posted by paleography at 2:56 PM on August 13, 2007

On NutritionData, mentioned above, there's actually a function that does this for you! (You need to register to use it, but it's free and they don't seem to spam you.) When you're viewing a food, click 'Add to Pantry'. Then, once you have several items in your pantry, you can adjust the amounts and it calculates the nutrition facts for the whole recipe. It's fabulous!

(As a sidenote, I find fitday to be pretty annoying. The online version doesn't ahve a ton of foods, and doing the 'custom food' option is only useful when you already know the nutritional profile of your component ingredients.)
posted by Kololo at 3:14 PM on August 13, 2007

Gah, i just wanted to check and see if I'd given you the right directions (I had), and in doing so discovered that 1.5 cups of spagetti with 8 tablespoons of Prego brand sauce and one tablespoon of Parmesan cheese is over 800 calories. Holy crap!
posted by Kololo at 3:28 PM on August 13, 2007

nthing Nutritiondata and the pantry feature.

Kololo, that does seem a bit high to me-- 1/2 a cup of jarred sauce would run you maybe 100 calories, and a tbsp of Parmesan cheese maybe 30. A cup and a half of spaghetti is not 650 calories. According to my Calorieking application, it is 337. Maybe you're mixing up dry/wet?
posted by synecdoche at 3:40 PM on August 13, 2007

I think that the calorie count for the Prego sauce is wrong. It has it listed as 130 cals per 2 tablespoons. There's lots of sugar in prego, but that seems high!

That being said, i think that that's an unfortunate bad example - i've used nutritiondata lots of times and this is the first time something's looked really out of whack.
posted by Kololo at 3:49 PM on August 13, 2007

Similar to FitDay is Calorie King's Nutrition & Exercise Manager.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:31 PM on August 13, 2007

Try It has a recipe calculator, so you can type in your recipe, how many servings, how to make it, etc. and it will calculate the nutritional information.
posted by ollyoop at 4:45 PM on August 13, 2007

The nutrition tracker at Spark People has a large, searchable database of nutrition info, and lets you enter in nutrition info for foods that aren't listed (I use the aforementioned for this, or labels on packaged goods). More to your point, it also lets you create "Food Groupings" in which you specify the amounts of all the various ingredients. It does all the math, and saves the grouping so you can add it to your day's food quickly tomorrow when you're eating leftovers, or next week when you make the same thing again. You might have to register, but it's free and there's a MeFi group over there, so you might enjoy it.
posted by vytae at 8:10 PM on August 13, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks to all for your responses! I'll check out the various links and see what I can do.
posted by momzilla at 1:42 PM on August 14, 2007

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