As someone with special dietary needs I am an avid cookbook purchaser and Pinterest recipe user. I like to cook at home because I know what I'm putting into my food. I am constantly looking for delicious vegetable, gluten free and sugar free recipes. Pinterest is a great resource for recipes like these, but I have noticed a few issues with recipes on the platform. These issues are seemingly getting worse the longer I use Pinterest. These are the 10 most common mistakes I find with recipes on Pinterest, especially in the healthy section.
1. Mislabeled Recipes
Often I am searching for Paleo and AIP (autoimmune protocol) recipes. Since these diets emerged into the health wellness arena there's been a surge of people using these labels on Pinterest posts. A lot of the time those recipes aren't what they are labeled. If you are going to cook for the Paleo audience and AIP diet you need to know the basics of those diets. Don't just label, tag and keyword stuff recipes for more traffic.
2. Ingredients List is Out of Order
List the ingredients in order of use. Have you ever hear of mise en place? If not it's where the cook prepares all the ingredients and puts them in order according to the step- by-step instructions. It saves the cook time by skipping those extra steps during the cooking process. When ingredients are not in order the instructions become confusing and cook's end up searching for what to use next.
3. Missing Ingredients from List or Instructions
There have been numerous times that I have prepared all my ingredients and after preparing the dish discover there's a leftover ingredient. What? That's weird! I frantically read over the recipe thinking "what did I miss?"
Or I am following the preparation instructions and there's an ingredient that wasn't in the ingredient list. What? Again, that's weird!
A sure way to keep this from happening is to read your recipe several times. Have someone proof read it or ask a family member or friend to make it before you post it.
4. The Author Didn't Make the Recipe
I understand that as a blogger you are trying to put out as much content as possible and as fast as possible. You're trying to rank on Google and make it look like you didn't just start your blog. But if you're a recipe blogger I highly recommend you make your recipe before posting it. There have been several instances where I am going through a recipe - and because of my experience cooking - I know the recipe is not going to work. When this happens I always check the blog comments to see if anyone else is having trouble and 100% of the time that turns out to be the case. That's exactly when I know you didn't make your own recipe and simply posted it to your site.
5. Spell Measurements Out
I know the short hand versions of food measurements save blogging time, but unless you cook a lot most likely your audience doesn't know them. It's easier for your audience to follow ingredients when they are spelled out like ounces, tablespoons, teaspoons, etc.
6. Don't Use Numerals Together
For example if you need one, eight ounce package of goat cheese it should be listed like this in your ingredients list: 1 (8 ounce) package of goat cheese. Instead of the bad example written like this: 1 8 ounce package of goat cheese. It could be mistaken for 18 ounces. Unfortunately I see this a lot and it's very confusing!
7. List Simple Preparations in Ingredient List
Again this goes back to the mise en place idea. Your ingredients should be prepared by the time you begin cooking. So if you need to chop two carrots that preparation task needs to be listed in the ingredients list. It would look like this: 2 carrots, chopped. 1 medium onion, diced. So on and so forth. Longer preparation instructions are saved for the step-by-step part of the recipe.
8. Indicate Sizes of Cookware
In the step-by-step preparation portion of the recipe be sure to indicate what size cookware to use, whether it's a large bowl for mixing or a small frying pan to caramelize onions. You don't want your audience to use too small of a bowl and they are unable to mix the ingredients together. How frustrating would that be!
9. Indicate Level Of Heat for Stove Top
Sometimes I come across recipe instructions that don't indicate heat. Do I need to put it on a low setting to simmer? Is it coming to a boil? What do I need to do for this? "Put it on the stove to cook for 30 minutes" are incomplete instructions and could make your recipe turn out horrible.
10. Test Alternatives
If you are going to suggest that a recipe can use alternative ingredients like milks and flours, test those alternatives. Gluten free flours are not all made with the same ingredients. Regular milk has more fat content than alternative milk and thats why it's used in baking. Replacing it with something like almond milk won't make it the same texture and consistency. Just be cautious when suggesting alternatives.
So there you have it! I hope this helps improve your recipes and build a loyal following! Always provide quality over quantity as you are more likely to get those returning audience members who praise your food. You want to make recipes that are passed down from generation to generation!