As a registered dietitian nutritionist, and pretty seasoned home cook (if I don't say so myself), nutrition and flavor are always top of mind for me. I pride myself on cooking items from scratch and only using the freshest ingredients. But between my busy schedule and taking care of my family, luxurious homemade fresh meals aren't always an option for me. Plus, I've been working from home recently given coronavirus concerns and since some restaurants are closed, I've been cooking much more than usual. As much as I love cooking, sometimes you just need a break! Not only a break from standing over the stove all week, but also a break from the buildup of dishes.
My big break came when Daily Harvest was kind enough to take some of the burden off my shoulders. If you're not familiar with Daily Harvest, it's a pre-made frozen meal delivery service that emphasizes fruits and vegetables. It works on a subscription based program, where you can choose how many items you want and how often you want them delivered. After your first delivery, you have more control of your account with the opportunity to add additional items, change box sizes, swap out selections, skip a week, and manage deliveries.
Daily Harvest sent me a week's worth package of assorted items, including their famous smoothie cups, harvest bowls, soups, energy bites, oat bowls, lattes, and flatbreads. Below, you'll find my honest review of Daily Harvest.
First, let's talk about the ingredients.
As a nutritionist, the first thing I look at on a label is the ingredients list. I always make sure that the list is full of ingredients I can pronounce and understand. I also like to think logically about what the ingredients should and should not be listed for an item I'm buying. For example, there is no reason why high fructose corn syrup and a laundry list of other ingredients should be in my peanut butter: it should simply be peanuts and maybe a bit of salt, but that's it. Since ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, I always take a look at the three first ingredients to make sure they are a whole food that I'm familiar with.
With that being said, ingredients were the first standout for me when analyzing the Daily Harvest items. The majority of the ingredients used are organic, and I really like that the meals are frozen. A lot of us associate frozen foods with tons of sodium and preservatives, but when done right, frozen foods can even be more nutritious than fresh. Frozen produce in general is often flash frozen directly after harvest or preparation, and this helps to lock in nutrients that fresh foods may gradually lose when in transit to the grocery store. Daily Harvest works directly with farms to source nourishing ingredients and freeze produce within 24 hours of harvest to lock in nutrients and flavor.
So, how does it taste?
Because the ingredients are fresh, the flavor of the all the items, including the smoothies, soups, and bowls, are really nice. While the smoothies are definitely some of my favorite items from the company, I was also impressed with the soups. The Daily Harvest soups are essentially all vegetables, (some have ancient grains mixed in), and you just have microwave them or heat them on the stove. But since the soups are pretty low in calories, they are not a meal alone and should be considered more of a large side dish.
And let's take a moment to discuss the new flatbreads.
These flatbreads are completely vegan, packed with tons of veggies, and also gluten free (the crust is made from cassava root flour). A serving is half a flatbread, but honestly, even if you eat the whole thing it won't break the calorie bank and it's also not too high in sodium. I aim for 600mg of sodium or less per meal, 1/2 a flatbread is 250-290mg so one whole one is 500-580mg. The Artichoke and Spinach was my favorite, but the Kale and Coriander was delicious, too.
What about packaging?
Daily Harvest just unveiled their re:generation program, which is a shift towards 100% compostable and recyclable packaging made from plant-based renewable fiber, which breaks down naturally instead of sitting in a landfill for thousands of years. Packaging can be a real pollutant with some of these meal delivery service companies, and I appreciate that Daily Harvest is keeping the environment top of mind.
And the cost?
So it's no secret that meal delivery services can be pricey, but Daily Harvest actually isn't too expensive. For 12 items (you get to pick from the smoothies, bowls, soups, and flatbreads), it will cost you about $90. That means each item is roughly $7.50, which is definitely more expensive than if you were to make meals at home, but is less than the average commercial meal. The convenience factor is also something to contribute to the cost.
When looking at the service as a whole, I think it's nutritionally balanced and full of wholesome ingredients. When you open up the lid of any of their products, you actually see real colorful fruits and vegetables. The flavors are there and everything really does taste great. The convenience factor is huge, and they give you heating options for microwaving or stovetop, so there is a method for whatever you prefer. While Daily Harvest does offer items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I think it's worth starting with one item to ease the burden for you at whichever meal is the hardest for you to prepare. I always meal prep our dinners for the week, and breakfast is very easy for me to whip up something, but I find that lunch is always a challenge. Having a few harvest bowls, soups, and flatbreads on hand makes the perfect healthy lunch that I can heat up in minutes and continue on with my day. Overall, it's a great service that is suitable for everyone from the everyday commuter to the stay-at-home parent.
You Might Also Like