As a longtime food writer, it’s my job to eat, well…everything. Taco Tuesday, happy hours, and wine pairing dinners at steakhouses are all par for the course.
To give some balance to my lifestyle, I try to eat as healthy as possible at home. I visit my local farmers’ market for produce on weekends and try to eat as many vegetarian and vegan meals as possible during the week. Sadly, whatever I purchase results in either salads or stir-fry.
Founded in 2015 by Rachel Drori, Daily Harvest is a vegan-friendly meal subscription service that offers frozen foods delivered to your door. The upbeat marketing campaign features happy, peppy people touting the ease and deliciousness of the company’s smoothies, bowls, and flatbreads. The company sources from small farms, uses compostable packaging whenever possible, and has recently been listed on Forbes’ lineup of Best Startup Employers. (For the record, this is not a sponsored post.)
In 2017, the company raised a $43 million funding round, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and VMG Partners. Bobby Flay, Olympian Shaun White, and actor Haylie Duff are investors. Clearly, the company is poised for success…but do the products actually deliver in taste, affordability, and convenience? After getting an offer for $30 off a box of items, I decided to see for myself.
I ordered an assortment of items including one soup, one “scoop” (ice cream), one “bites” (a frozen snack), a chia bowl, an oat bowl, several veggie bowls, one flatbread, two smoothies, and a “bake” (a larger format entree for two).
The order arrived in a large box filled with dry ice. Each item was beautifully packaged with ingredients clearly printed on the labels. The box, including the packing, was all marked recyclable. Somehow, the 14 items also managed to fit inside my apartment-sized freezer.
Every item I tried was surprisingly delicious and filling though most bowls were under 300 calories. Of course, there were standouts, like the tomatillo flatbread with a gluten-free, sweet potato-based crust. A hint of cayenne pepper and pickled peppers gave it a zest not usually associated with frozen foods.
The same goes for the artichoke and lemon harvest and cauliflower and kimchi bowls. Clearly, Daily Harvest isn’t afraid to use spices — and that makes all the difference. Daily Harvest also uses nuts and seeds in its bowls, giving them some nice textural differences while you’re eating.
The bites — simply frozen nuts, seeds, fruits with some cacao or coconut rolled into balls — are delicious. The banana and cacao tasted like a good-for-you version of a banana split in nugget form. Clearly a winner.
I am not a smoothie person and Daily Harvest’s smoothies did not convince me otherwise, but the blackberry + blue majik chia bowl was a bright way to start my day and I enjoyed the happy Smurf-hued breakfast very much.
Each item costs $5.99 to $11.99 and there are several discounts available, and shipping is free. My total for 14 items was $78, making each item under six bucks on average. And, though Daily Harvest is a subscription service, it’s easy to suspend a weekly delivery or cancel the account altogether.
Daily Harvest was surprisingly delicious and sated me. I don’t think I could live on only them (I did toss some shrimp into one skimpy roasted eggplant caponata bowl), but they’re a great alternative to supermarket frozen foods, including overly processed vegan burgers and nuggets.
I’m looking forward to my next box, set to arrive this Friday — this time no smoothies, but double the “bites”.
Have a favorite delivery meal kit? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.